BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Almost 100 people filled the Molten Lounge in the Sands Casino Tuesday night to hear former heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes of Easton reminisce about his life and career in a presentation entitled " Larry Holmes---The Soundtrack of My Life."
Introduced by Lehigh Valley cable television and radio personality Mike Mittman, who co-presented the show and served as disc jockey, Holmes spoke for over an hour about his key boxing matches from his 38-year career.
He was preceded by aspiring singer and artist Jennifer Kay of Bethlehem who beautifully performed a number of Chaka Khan favorites, including "I'm Every Woman" and "Sweet Thing."
Holmes and Mittman currently co-host the syndicated Service Electric Cable TV-2 show, "What The Heck Were They Thinking?!"
The former boxing great stated to the audience: "I am living proof you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough at it."
He prides himself on being a heavyweight boxing champion for seven and a half years, yet he stayed in Lehigh Valley, in Palmer Township, and did not relocate to California like most sports stars have done.
Holmes said he was urged by agents, promoters, and advisors even at the start of his career to quit boxing because he wasn't talented enough and he sarcastically thanked all those who forecasted his failure.
In addition, Holmes claims he received little respect at times during his career, to which Mittman interjected and played an excerpt from the famous Aretha Franklin song "Respect."
In addition, he rejects the idea he was "just another Muhammad Ali copy."
Holmes spoke of his bouts with Ernie Kovacs, Mike Tyson, Ray Murphy, and Gerry Cooney, whom he said was referred to as "the Great White Hope."
He quipped how he was never called "the Great Black Hope" and claimed once more how he received little or no respect.
He mentioned that he has remained friends with most of the men he fought with over the years.
Holmes commented, "Boxing has taken me all over the world, " and was thankful for the opportunities the sport afforded him during his career.
He ended his reminiscences with the following advice for young people contemplating a boxing career: "It's what you put into the game that you get out of it, but I would never tell a guy he could fight if he lacked the talent."
Allentown, PA 18102