Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali film explores boxers’ famous bout, relationship

October 17, 2009, 12:30AM

 larry holmes, muhammad aliView full sizeAP Fight PhotoMuhammad Ali reacts after being struck by Larry Holmes during their 1980 title fight.Larry Holmes believes his career always has been overshadowed by that of Muhammad Ali.

And maybe he’s right. After all, ESPN Films documentary about the boxers’ relationship and legendary fight, airing 8 p.m. Oct. 27, is called “Muhammad and Larry” not “Larry and Muhammad.”

In any case, the Easton Assassin has a sense of humor about how people perceive his accomplishments served up beside Ali’s.

“Ali said he was the greatest and everyone said ‘Yeah,’” Holmes said Friday. “I said I was the greatest and everyone said ‘Yeah, right.’

Maybe the fact that he whupped The Greatest in their 1980 title fight makes it easy to poke fun at himself when the subject is Ali. That, and his genuine affection for a man who once relied on him as a sparring partner.

“I have a good relationship with him. I could call his house right now,” said Holmes, a 59-year-old Palmer Township resident. “We never had an argument. I was there (in his camp) to earn money and get my rent paid. If he said he was the greatest, I said ‘You are the greatest.’”

The film is part of the “30 for 30” documentary series ESPN is running to mark its 30th anniversary.


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