Born on November 3, 1949 in Cuthbert, Georgia. Holmes and his family relocated to Easton, Pennsylvania in 1956 where he began boxing at the local PAL.
As an amateur, Holmes compiled a 19-3 record and advanced to the 1972 Olympic Trails. He turned pro in 1973 and gained valuable experience while sparring with heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. A win over hard-punching Earnie Shavers (W 12) garnered Holmes a WBC title go with Ken Norton on June 9, 1978. In one of the great heavyweight title bouts of all-time, Holmes won the title via 15-round decision. Behind his signature left jab, an impressive string of seventeen defenses followed, including wins over Mike Weaver, Shavers, Scott LeDoux, Muhammad Ali, Leon Spinks, Trevor Berbick, “Tex” Cobb and a much-hyped bout with Gerry Cooney.
In 1982, The Ring magazine named Holmes “Fighter of the Year.” He relinquished the WBC strap in 1983 and accepted recognition from the newly formed International Boxing Federation (IBF) as champion. Three successful title defenses followed (TKO 12 James “Bonecrusher” Smith, KO 10 David Bey, and W 15 Carl “The Truth” Williams) before losing the title to Michael Spinks (L 15) on September 21, 1985. Following a disputed loss (L 15) in the rematch, Holmes retired.
He returned to the ring to challenge for the title three times, against Mike Tyson in 1988 (TKO by 4), Evander Holyfield in 1992 (L12) and Oliver McCall in 1995 (L12). In 2002 Holmes hung up the gloves for good with a 69-6 (44 KOs) record.
A successful businessman, Holmes owns and operates a variety of business ventures in Easton.
Born: Nov. 3, 1949