Jesus asked in SportsBoxing · 7 years ago

Who is greater; Mike Tyson or Larry Holmes?

Personally i think Holmes defeated better competition. He also had far more title defenses as the universally recognized heavyweight champion. Tyson had 6, Holmes had 21.


Sure; Tyson beat Holmes, but during the fight Holmes wasn't even the champion, he was a senior citizen who had just come out of retirement. Also; reportedly Holmes didn't properly train for the fight.

Update 2:


And Kevin Mcbride whopped Tyson, so is McBride the greatest?

McBride whopped Tyson who whopped Holmes who whopped Ali thus McBride is the greatest not Ali LOL

16 Answers

  • Matt
    Lv 6
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a great question. Mike Tyson is more popular than Larry Holmes, however, boxing isn't about popularity. Here is a brief rundown through each fighter.

    Larry Holmes

    Wins: 69

    Losses: 6

    Draws: 0

    KOs: 44

    Notable wins: Earnie Shavers, Ken Norton, Mike Weaver, Muhammad Ali, Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, and Gerry Cooney.

    Mike Tyson

    Wins: 50

    Losses: 6

    Draws: 0

    KOs: 44

    Notable wins: Trevor Berbick, Pinklon Thomas, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Tony Tubbs, Frank Bruno, and Donavan Ruddock.

    Like you said, Mike Tyson had 6 title defenses while Larry Holmes had 21.

    Although Mike Tyson defeated Larry Holmes, I believe that Holmes was not quite at his best. He was coming off those two close losses to Michael Spinks, and after that, hadn't been in the ring for 2 years. He had a lot of ring rust.

    Holmes is a top 5 Heavyweight, while Tyson is barely a top 10 to some. Tyson did become the youngest champion and undisputed champion as well, but Holmes was greater.

    Hands down, Larry Holmes.

  • 7 years ago

    Mike Tyson is not a great heavyweight, he was a heavy puncher, but not a very good boxer. Larry Holmes on the other hand was an all time great, top ten rated heavyweight. It isn't even close, Holmes was far superior to Tyson in every comparable category save punching power. I don't even rate Mike Tyson in my top twenty best Heavy Weights all time, and I have Larry Holmes in the top five best all time. Losing to McBride is not a black mark against Tyson's legacy, any fighter can lose on any given day to another, but quitting on your stool is not something a "Great" champion does, and Mike quit on his stool. It's not that you lose, it's how you lose that matters

    Larry Holmes was far greater than Mike. Honestly I can think of at least a couple dozen all time greats that were far superior to Mike Tyson.

  • 7 years ago

    Larry Holmes is greater than Mike Tyson. Holmes had much more longevity. He had 20 title defenses from 1978-1985. He had heart, determination, a great jab and right hand. I think what made him so great was he was adaptable. He could fight any style boxer or slugger. Tyson was on his way from 1986-88 to becoming a great, great heavyweight ,right up with Ali, Louis, Marciano and Holmes. However his life and personal problems interfered with his career. It is too bad. Yes Larry Holmes is top 5. Tyson I would put bottom near 10,11 or 12.

  • 6 years ago

    Larry was more accomplished ,but had the misfortune of beating up an old handicapped Ali in what I would call the saddest most painful thing I ever watched , and to make matters worse he tried to mimic Ali in an embarrassing act he put on in front of the cameras , as if people wouldn't notice . poor larry thought he could step in and resume the fame that Ali had as if it was transferable . Tyson at his best with cus demato ,in that window of time, could be argued greater than holmes ,why? well he demolished carl "the truth''Williams ,larry fought Williams too and took a beating but squeaked a points win in a gift from the judges. Plus lets not forget larry didn't just get beat by Tyson ,he got destroyed ,it was the first time larry ever got knocked out for the count like that, he wasn't in his prime granted . but he went on to beat good fighters after that fight and hold his own .

    Mike spinks beat holmes twice, Tyson destroyed mike spinks in short order . Tyson could through a four punch combo timed at 2 seconds or something crazy like that ..this is forgotten by many. THAT Tyson was faster than holmes in holmes prime, this is something overlooked but 100% true ,this is a factor that make hard punchers devastating punchers , a hard puncher without the speed can still knock down people ,but the opponent can at least brace for it minimizing its effect , many fighters pop back up fast from them ..not the case with hard punches that you didn't see coming,and in combinations. former heavyweight champ Trever berback is onother fighter that holmes fought and Tyson fought , holmes beat berback ,but Tyson destroyed berback . My vote is Tyson .

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  • 7 years ago

    The Easton Assasin had the best CONSISTENT left jab that I ever saw, and I started watching the sport during the 1964 Olympics. Ali's was the best, but he didn't always use it like he COULD have; Thomas Hearns, #3 jab. When these guys SERIOUSLY threw the jab as a weapon - as Holmes did so well - its hard for armchair fans to realize; these guys are six feet away from their opponent and snapping their heads' back, period!

    That said, Tyson never trained for 15 rounds, and in his prime, Holmes would dust anybody, from Russia, North America, or the UK whose come along since he hung it up.

    Tyson should have never left Rooney; his legacy would be far more respected today, if he'd stayed with him....Holmes, awesome!

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Larry was the greater fighter than Tyson. Holmes was always a good boxer, while Tyson's prime lasted only around 4 years(86'-90'). Larry could even beat Eric Esch at the age of 50, as obese! Of course Esch was never a great boxer, but Larry is the only heavyweight boxer who still made with 50 a good impression inside the ring. I know that Tyson did drugs and was in prison, but here it's all about competition and that Tyson makes a worse impression. That Tyson beat an out-of-prime Holmes doesn't mean anything. Every boxer who is out-of-prime and out-of-shape could have been beaten(even Ali). Tyson was beaten by Lewis, Louis by Marciano, Ali by Holmes, Moore by Ali, Walcott by Marciano, Dempsey by Tunney, Jeffries by Johnson, Holyfield by Valuev, Liston by Martin and Foreman by Briggs. Nobody cares, because this doesn't mean anything. We all get older and there will always be a younger and fitter guy who will beat you when you're too old. That's the circle of life and has nothing to do with greatness. Holmes and Tyson were both great fighters in their prime, but Tyson destroyed his potential and that for I see Holmes as the greater of them. Larry never had a chance in being great, since he was chocked for his similarities with Ali in the 70's and was robbed his victory over Spinks in the 80's, when the ring judges voted against him(even though he boxed better than Spinks). Tyson had the chance to be great, but he threw away his career because his own personality was in his way. I'm happy that Tyson changed his personality and became nowadays a humbling and nice person. I have deep respect for both of them, but I think Larry is the greater of them, not because he defeated a better competition, because he never let himself down, even though everyone in the business tried to keep him down. You can't keep a good man down!

  • BOBO
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Holmes has the better resume, because of the big names on it, but if you don't count Tyson beating Holmes, don't count Holmes beating Ali. Also Holmes first Two losses, were to Spinks. Tyson basically put Spinks into retirement. Holmes has the better resume. Prime vs. Prime Tyson wins the fight. Holmes was a jabbing machine. A great boxer. Top 5 all time easily, but a Prime Tyson to me wasn't going to just eat jabs for 12 rounds. He would dodge weave, and knock people out.

  • 7 years ago

    Holmes all day. His achievements say it all: heavyweight champion for 7 years, 20 successful title defenses and went 48-0 before getting his first defeat. Holmes copied Ali's skills and incorporated his own, particularly his power, which is quite underrated. He also had arguably the best jab in all of boxing: long, quick and stiff. You also have to admire his longevity, as he won bouts even in his 40's, notably against Ray Mercer. Tyson was highly-skilled and physically gifted, but he self-destructed and messed up what could've been one of the greatest heavyweight careers of all time.

  • 7 years ago

    Who is greater?

    Larry Holmes, not only in the ring, but out of the ring, because character matters!

    You start looking at the biography of Mike Tyson and you find things regarding his life that are even worse than what most people know about.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Prime vs Prime Tyson would knock Holmes out I believe. But maybe on overall record and legacy Holmes is "Greater"

    It's crazy people aren't giving Tyson credit for his win over Holmes but are giving Holmes credit for beating on the corpses of Muhammed Ali and Earnie Shavers.

    Source(s): Fighters records!
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