Larry Holmes vs. Muhammad Ali

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Holmes jabs Ali.jpg

1980-10-02 : Larry Holmes 211½ lbs beat Muhammad Ali 217½ lbs by RTD at 3:00 in round 10 of 15


  • Ali was planning to face John Tate for the WBA title, but Tate lost the title to Mike Weaver. Ali then set his sights on Weaver, but Ali said negotiations for a fight against Weaver fell through when promoter Bob Arum made last-minute financial demands.
  • Ali's purse was $8 million, while Holmes made $2.3 million.
  • Caesars Palace constructed a temporary 24,790-seat outdoor arena for the fight. The live gate was $6 million, a record for that time.
  • Three months before the fight, Ali was ordered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to go to the Mayo Clinic for a neurological exam. The exam was not made public at the time but contained the following results: Ali was a little off when he tried to touch his finger to his nose, he had trouble coordinating his speech, and he couldn’t hop on one foot well. Nevada approved the fight with Holmes based on this exam.
  • There were no knockdowns, but Holmes dominated the fight and was given every round by all three judges. Ali's corner stopped the fight after the tenth round.
  • Ali blamed the loss on an overdose of thyroid medication that caused him to be weak and overly sensitive to the 100-degree Las Vegas heat. Ali insisted, "I shall return."