Many people know that legendary ex-world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes had a very short amateur boxing career. There he spent only 22 fights, and Larry got his main experience at a young age in sparring with other famous heavyweights.
The boxer said that a large number of sparrings helped him feel confident with boxers of any plan, no matter whether he had to defend or attack himself.
“Sparring showed me a lot, and first of all that I can cope with any fighter. I could get into the ring with Muhammad Ali, or Joe Fraser, or Ernie Shavers, any boxer. Ali had a style in which he boxed, threw jabs, moved around and made circles in the ring. Joe Fraser had a style that he used to get close and knock you out. Ernie Shavers is the same story. I knew how to retreat because Ernie Shavers was pushing me and I knew how to go forward because Ali was forcing you to attack. “
“Ernie Shavers was the toughest puncher I’ve ever fought. Jerry Cooney is in second place. “