VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / What If: Rocky Marciano vs. Larry Holmes

What If: Rocky Marciano vs. Larry Holmes

Who takes it?
Publish Date: 02/11/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

What if Rocky fought Larry?

Rocky Marciano is the only undefeated Heavyweight World Champion in boxing history. He held the title from September 1952 to April 1956, when he retired at the age of 32 with a record of 49-0, 43 KOs. During the course of his title run, Rocky defeated the likes of Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore among others. So how good was Marciano really? If you asked this question 35-40 years ago, Rocky probably would rank as a consensus top 3-5 all-time Heavyweight. Bert Sugar ranked him #14 all-time pound for pound of all-time. Contemporary opinions of Marciano seem to be a little more tempered with Rocky still highly respected but not generally included among the likes of Ali, Louis, and Dempsey, and Johnson at the very top of the all-time Heavyweight list. To help shed light on the question of Rocky’s greatness or lack thereof, we’re going to put in him with a man who came within one fight of tying his historic 49-0 record, in Larry Holmes.

Video: Most Underrated Champ!? | Larry Holmes Genius Style Explained

Most Underrated Champ!? | Larry Holmes Genius Style Explained

Larry Holmes was one of the greatest and most underappreciated Heavyweight champions in boxing history. Sandwiched between the eras of Ali and Tyson, he never quite “got over” in the popularity department. However, true boxing fans appreciate his brilliance. Holmes possessed outstanding boxing skills along with perhaps the best left jab in Heavyweight history. He held the WBC/IBF Heavyweight championship for more than 7 years, defended the title 20 times and won his first 48 professional fights. Larry once proclaimed that Marciano: “couldn’t carry his jock strap” and now gets the opportunity to back that statement up in the ring.

So, here we go, who will prevail? Marciano or Holmes? Let’s find out!

Video: Rocky Marciano - 49-0 - Hardest Hitter In Boxing History (A Knockout Documentary)

Rocky Marciano – 49-0 – Hardest Hitter In Boxing History (A Knockout Documentary)

LET’S SETTLE THIS IN THE RING

More than 70,000 fans have gathered at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to witness this epic showdown between two of the great legends of the Heavyweight division. Rocky enters the ring weighing 194 ½ lbs., wearing his trademark white trunks with black trim. Holmes, who is coming off perhaps the finest performance of his career, a 13th round stoppage over Gerry Cooney in June 1982, wears white trunks with red trim. Larry weighs 213 ½ lbs. As the fighters come to the center of the ring, the height differential between the two men is readily apparent. At 6’3’’, Holmes towers over the 5’10’’ Marciano. Referee Mills Lane issues the final instructions, culminating with the command to “get it on”.

Holmes uses the ring cleverly and effectively in round one, working behind his jab to keep Marciano off balance. Marciano pursues but is ineffective, landing only 3 of 23 punches for the round. Larry finds Rocky time after time with his jab it over the course of round two. To this point, Marciano has still only landed 9 punches for the fight.

By the third round, Rocky is completely flummoxed, simply unable to cope with Holmes’ superior speed and skill. Larry is making one of the greatest Heavyweights in history look like a club fighter. A hard right cross by Holmes stuns Rocky and draws blood from his nose. Rounds four and five are simply more of the same. Holmes is brilliantly using the ring and working his left jab. Rocky’s attempts to pressure are futile as he just swings and misses wildly.  By the end of the fifth, Holmes has easily won every round and Marciano is seriously swollen under his left eye.

Marciano finally works his way inside midway through round 6 and bangs away to Holmes’ body. Larry backs him off with a sharp right which snaps Marciano’s head back. However, Rocky lands a hard left hook which stuns Holmes towards the end of the round. Holmes seems a bit winded at the start of round 7 as Marciano is finally getting into the fight. Larry spends most of the round along the ropes as Rocky pummels him to the body. A wicked right by Marciano hurts Holmes late.

Rocky pounds Holmes on the inside for the first two minutes of round 8. However, Larry catches him flush with a tremendous counter right. Marciano is hurt as Holmes rakes him with sharp combinations for the remainder of the round. Larry is in full command again as round 9 begins, peppering Marciano on the outside with the jab. Holmes is putting on an absolute boxing clinic. By the end of round 10, Rocky’s left eye is nearly swollen shut.

By the 11th, Rocky is absorbing a serious beat down. From ringside, announcer Howard Cosell is screaming for the referee to stop the fight: “this is the most ignominious scene ever observed in a boxing ring………I’m not going to say another word”. Twenty seconds later he adds: “did I mention this is the most ignominious scene ever observed in a boxing ring”. Howard is lucky he held on to his toupee based on what came next.

Marciano lands a crushing overhand right which sends Holmes to the canvas. Larry is up at the count of 8 but doesn’t know where he is. Marciano pursues, landing a left hook which nearly sends Larry through the ropes. Only the bell saves Holmes from a certain knockout. From ringside, Cosell opines: “This is why you can’t count the great Marciano out of any fight, great job by Mills Lane in not stopping this fight too soon.”

Holmes gets on his bicycle at the start of Round 12 but is still on rubbery legs. Marciano stalks like a hungry lion. With 1:00 remaining, he backs Holmes to the ropes and lands a vicious left hook to the body followed by a right to the jaw which staggers Holmes once again. Larry fires back gamely and courageously but he’s on his last legs. As the 13th round begins, Holmes no longer has the energy to move away from the powerful Marciano. He’s hurt again midway through the round by a Marciano right. At this point, no one knows what is keeping Larry up. However, the gritty Holmes lands a hard right which backs Rocky off towards the end of the round.

Rocky is having a hard time seeing and is now tiring himself. However, he still has the better of the action in the first half of round 14. Once again, he rocks Holmes with a left hook. However, as he tries to follow up, Holmes lands a perfect right flush which sends Marciano to the canvas. Marciano is more off-balance than hurt and is up at the count of 3. However, this gives Larry the jolt of energy he needs. An inspired Holmes lands a four-punch combination that forces Marciano to cover up. Larry punishes Rocky with clean punches for the remainder of the round.

Holmes believing he is ahead on points is now energized, having withstood Marciano’s furious assault. Larry dances and moves over the first two minutes of round 15. However, with 45 seconds remaining, Rocky lands a wicked right that rocks Holmes. Larry holds on and is forced to the ropes. However, Holmes lands a left, right combination which stops Marciano in his tracks. Larry goes back on his bicycle as Rocky desperately chases. Holmes manages to avoid trouble for the remainder of the round. The bell rings and we await the decision.

We go to ring announcer Johnny Addie:

Judge Jerry Roth scores: 143-141 Holmes

Judge Duane Ford scores: 142-140 Holmes

Judge Chuck Giampa scores 143-141 Holmes

Larry Holmes wins by unanimous decision!

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
The Truth About Rocky Marciano
A lot has been said on social media the past few years ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
BetMGM Promo
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Peter Maher: An Irish Tribute
INTRO: I was seriously ill in 2018 with 7 nights in the ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Revenge of the Barbados Demon: Joe Walcott Unravels the Infernal Riddle of  Mysterious Billy Smith 
One of the fight game’s greatest and most unheralded welterweights, ‘The Barbados  ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
The Twilight Rounds: Rod Serling explores the dark side of boxing – Round five
“I’ve always liked fighting and fighters,” wrote Rod Serling in the Author’s ...
Archie Moore Down Under: Part Three
Archie Moore resumed training immediately after the controversial ending to his fight ...
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest News
Top 10 NBA Players of the 1970s
Sure Barry was an asshole, but he was ...
Top 10 Catchers of the 1970s
Fosse is best known for his run-in with ...
Top 10 NFL Offenses headed into the 2023 Season
Many questions are being asked headed into the ...
Betting Tips
06/04/2023 - 8:30 pm
Ball Arena
Tip:
Nuggets to Cover
-8.50
FanDuel
06/01/2023 - 8:30 pm
Ball Arena
Tip:
Nuggets to Cover
Nuggets -8
FanDuel
05/29/2023 - 8:30 pm
TD Garden
Tip:
Heat to Cover
Heat +8
FanDuel
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: NBA Finals Series Preview and Prediction: Jokic of Playoff Jimmy for the win?
NBA Finals Series Preview and Prediction: Jokic of Playoff Jimmy for the win?
Video: Boxing History 101: Randall
Boxing History 101: Randall "Tex" Cobb the Man who shut up Howard Cosell
Video: Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.6/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
4.5/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1 & Get $200 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Bet $1 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
PointsBet
PointsBet Bonus
5 x $50Bet Credits
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Get up to $1,000 back in bonus bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: contact@thegruelingtruth.com

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site