Don King to join Larry Holmes at historical statue unveiling in Easton PA
Legendary boxing promoter Don King, considered the greatest in the history of the sport, will join one of his many champions, Larry Holmes, during a historical statue ceremony unveiling in honor of the former heavyweight champion in Easton PA on Sunday Dec. 13.
The statue which features Holmes unleashing his legendary left jab will make up the monument along Larry Holmes Drive, at the Forks of the Delaware.
“There is no one more deserving of this fantastic tribute than Larry Holmes,” said King. “He has been steadfastly loyal and committed to me from day one and was without question one of my greatest champions.”
The Larry Holmes statue arrived in Easton on Dec. 7, as Larry and Diane Holmes were on hand to watch, and the monument to the former heavyweight champion was built in Easton’s Scott Park in preparation for a statue dedication ceremony to be held Dec. 13.
The formal unveiling ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, with dozens of Holmes' friends, former sparring partners and promoter King in attendance.
The centerpiece of the monument is an 8.5-feet-tall bronze sculpture of Holmes firing a jab at an invisible opponent. The casting put in place was an exact replica made from the mold of artist Brian Hanlon.
"Against all odds, with the mind of a champion, Larry Holmes pushed past obstacles and naysayers determined to pursue and maintained the heart of a legend," the base reads.
The plaque also holds the names of Holmes' 11 siblings: Pearl, ReDell, Antoinette, Lee, Bob, Charles, John, Perry, Mark, Floyd and Jacob. Holmes' parents John and Flossie are deceased, as are three of his brothers: John, Perry and Floyd "Fede."
Holmes grew up on South Side Easton after his family moved to Easton from Cuthbert, Georgia.
Organizers aren't certain how many people to expect for Sunday's dedication. Larry Holmes Drive will be shut down during the ceremony.
Other former fighters expected include heavyweight Gerry Cooney, whose 1982 fight with Holmes was one of the most anticipated of the decade; light heavyweight Michael Spinks, a former champ and the first man to defeat Holmes as a professional; Saoul Mamby, a former junior welterweight title-holder; and Vinny Pazienza, a former lightweight and middleweight champion.
Larry Holmes owns a 69-6 career record, with 44 knockouts. He came out of retirement a number of times, last fighting in 2002 at age 52.
"That's the example I've been trying to set," he said. "If Larry Holmes can drop out of school and come from Easton, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and accomplish something, why can't I?"