Larry Holmes vs. Muhammad Ali

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Show 1963 - Caesars Palace - Las Vegas - Nevada - USA.jpg

Larry Holmes 211 lbs beat Muhammad Ali 218 lbs by RTD at 3:00 in round 10 of 15

  • Date: 1980-10-02
  • Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Referee: Richard Green
  • Judge: Richard Steele 100-90
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  • Judge: Duane Ford 100-89
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  • Judge: Chuck Minker 100-90
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Notes

Holmes jabs Ali.jpg
  • This was Muhammad Ali's first fight since defeating Leon Spinks to regain the WBA heavyweight title on September 15, 1978. Ali announced his retirement in June 1979.
  • On February 14, 1980, Ali told the Associated Press that he was 75 percent sure that he would return to the ring. On March 5, he agreed to fight John Tate, the new WBA heavyweight champion, in a bout tentatively scheduled for June. However, Tate lost the title to Mike Weaver by a 15th-round knockout on March 31.
  • At a press conference on April 16, Ali said he would fight Larry Holmes for the WBC heavyweight title. The announcement came as a surprise, as the press conference was billed as a contract-signing for a bout between Ali and Weaver. Ali said negotiations for a Weaver fight fell apart the previous night when Weaver's promoter, Bob Arum, issued new demands that "were totally unacceptable."
  • On April 28, it was officially announced that Ali and Holmes would box on July 11 in Rio de Janeiro at the 165,000-seat Maracana Stadium. Promoters Don King and Murad Muhammad said Ali would get $8 million and Holmes would receive $4 million. However, the announcement came as a surprise to the boss of the stadium, who said it was "all new to me." Rio de Janeiro State Sports Superintendent Ricardo Labre said, "The chances are 99.9 percent against the bout being held here." He said setting up the ring, seats and other equipment "would destroy our grass. This is a soccer field." The bout was officially called off on May 12. Ali made $250,000 and Holmes $100,000 in forfeit money. After the cancellation, Holmes signed to fight Scott LeDoux, whom he stopped in seven rounds on July 7.
  • On July 17, 1980, Ali and Holmes signed to fight on October 2 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Promoter Don King said Ali would be paid $8 million and Holmes $6 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.
  • Due to concerns for Ali's health, the Nevada State Athletic Commission had the former champion examined at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic as a prerequisite to being granted a boxing license. Ali checked into the clinic on July 23, 1980. His neurological exam was conducted by Dr. Frank Howard, whose report contained the following information: Ali showed a slight degree of missing when he tried to touch his finger to his nose, he had difficulty in coordinating the muscles used in speaking, and he did not hop on one foot with expected agility. However, Dr. Howard determined that there were no specific findings to prohibit Ali from fighting. The Mayo Clinic report was forwarded to the Nevada State Athletic Committee, but it was not made public at that time. Based on the report, Ali was granted a boxing in Nevada.
  • Ali weighed in at 217½ pounds, his lightest weight since he defeated George Foreman on October 30, 1974.
Compubox Logo
Jabs Holmes Ali
Landed 205 36
Thrown 444 157
Percent 46.2% 22.9%
Power Punches Holmes Ali
Landed 135 6
Thrown 207 41
Percent 65.2% 14.6%
Total Punches Holmes Ali
Landed 340 42
Thrown 651 198
Percent 52.2% 21.2%
compuboxonline.com
  • 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.
  • Dr. Charles Williams, who was a member of Ali's medical team, diagnosed Ali as having a thyroid imbalance and prescribed one tablet of Thyrolar per day. Thomas Hauser, in his book Muhammad Ali: His Life & Times, wrote: "Thyrolar is a potentially lethal drug, and no one on Thyrolar should engage in a professional fight." To make matters worse, Ali doubled the dosage because he "thought the pills would be like vitamins." Thyrolar is known to cause fatigue, sluggishness, headache, increased blood pressure, tremor, nausea, increased heart rate, frequent urination and weight loss. The drug also interferes with the body’s self-cooling mechanisms, causing the body to dehydrate then overheat. Against Holmes, Ali said he felt weak, fatigued and short of breath from round one on. His body wasn't able to cool itself properly, and his temperature rose. That, Dr. Williams later acknowledged, "led to heat exhaustion that went into heat stroke with an immediate period of slight stupor and maybe delirium." He added, "I may have placed him in jeopardy inadvertently." Ali's former physician, Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, told Hauser: "Ali was a walking time-bomb in the ring that night. He could have had anything from a heart attack to a stroke to all kinds of bleeding in the head." Four days after losing to Holmes, Ali checked into UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Dennis Cope, who supervised Ali's stay, determined "that prior to medical intervention, Muhammad's thyroid gland was functioning properly."
  • Ali blamed the loss to Holmes on his use of Thyrolar and insisted, "I shall return."
  • Poster #2, Poster #3, Program Cover, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6.

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