Thirty-seven years ago when Larry Holmes began his boxing career, the seventh-grade dropout didn’t expect to become the longest-reigning heavyweight boxing champion and own a 69-6 career record.
The man who tallied 44 knockouts also has a street in his adopted hometown of Easton named after him and owns a building overlooking the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.
Holmes, now 60, will be honored with a 9-foot bronze statue in the city’s Scott Park. A rendering of the sculpture was unveiled Monday. Holmes said he hopes it inspires kids who don’t expect to achieve great things.
“If that had happened when I was young and crazy, it probably would’ve went to my head,” Holmes said in a videotaped interview with Express-Times writer Michael LoRe. Watch it below.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., who grew up with Holmes in the former Delaware Terrace housing development on South Side, calls it a dream come true.
“It’s for every kid who grew up in the projects, for every kid who grew up underprivileged, for every kid who grew up with one parent and for every kid who had a goal,” Panto said.
The $250,000 cost for the statue will be privately raised by selling bricks etched with donors’ names that will line a walkway up to and surrounding the statue. They cost $125 each. Names also can be etched on a wall behind the statue or on its base for $2,500 or $3,500. For information or to donate, visit larryholmesstatue.com.