Holmes Vs Shavers-Mar 25th, 1978
Larry Holmes was a near unknown going into this fight. His most impressive wins had come against Tom Prater and Ibar Arrington, not exactly household names. Holmes was undefeated with a record of 26-0 with 19 knockouts, but was really very untested and would be taking a huge step up in class in this fight. Earnie Shavers was just coming off his close decision loss to Muhammad Ali for the world championship and was looking to get another shot for the title. Holmes was not an easy comeback fight as the world would find out. Earnie had a record of 54-6-1 with 54 knockouts and as always was one punch away from winning the fight in KO fashion. Let's see if Holmes was ready for this test.

Here's the fight as I saw it.-Green are the round scores as I scored it, red is important text like a cut, great punch or knockdown.

Round 1- Holmes comes out showing an impressive jab. Shavers isn't able to get set to deliver his punches. Shavers lands a decent right with a reply of a right from Holmes. Holmes controlling the action with his quickness. Shavers looks a little stunned early as Holmes delivers quick accurate shots.
Holmes Round- 10-9

Round 2- Exchange of jabs early and is Holmes is controlling the action with that jab. Shavers lands a huge right that stuns Holmes. Holmes is reeling back, Shavers lands another right. Holmes responds with a right but is shaken again by a thunderous Shavers overhand right.
Shavers Round- 10-9  (19-19) even

Round 3- Holmes comes out with lightning jabs to Shavers head. Holmes is controlling the action and seems to have regained his legs. Shavers hit with a Holmes right that stops him in his tracks. Holmes looks real quick this round. Holmes Round- 10-9  (29-28) Holmes

Round 4- Holmes comes out snapping his jab. Shavers can't get inside, the jab is too quick and strong. Shavers missing most of his punches. Holmes lands a real nice uppercut to punctuate the round.
Holmes Round- 10-9  (39-37) Holmes

Round 5- Holmes is moving well and keeping Shavers at bay. Shavers lands a nice left hook. Holmes lands a quick right cross, Shavers is Hurt! Shavers is in the corner taking punches. He fires back a nice right that stops the Holmes onslaught. Holmes Round- 10-9  (49-46) Holmes

Round 6- Holmes moving and scoring effectively from long range. Shavers still trying to land the big one. Shavers moves in and lands a barrage of shots to Holmes body. Holmes fires back in this close action round. Even Round 10-10  (59-56) Holmes

Round 7- Holmes with great jabs, Shavers with a nice shot to the body. Shavers is pressing the pace, but not scoring well yet. Holmes fires a nice combination to end the round. Holmes looks awfully impressive. Holmes Round- 10-9  (69-65) Holmes

Round 8- Shavers lands a right, but is still being outworked. Uppercut from Holmes, Shavers lands a glancing right. Shavers rocks Holmes with a nice right hand to end the round.
Holmes Round- 10-9  (79-74) Holmes

Round 9- Holmes comes out on his toes and is moving real well. Shavers pops Holmes with a right hand cross, but is still taking more then he is giving. Fast paced round that Holmes did better work in.
Holmes Round- 10-9  (89-83) Holmes

Round 10- Shavers lands a good shot to the body. Holmes still sticking and moving while Shavers is pressing forward. Holmes moving well, but gets caught by a big right hand. Shavers pressing the action better this round. Shavers- 10-9  (98-93) Holmes

Round 11- Shavers lands a right as both fighters are a step slower. Holmes lands a hard right. Shavers looking for the one punch that can change things. Holmes still jabbing well and looks real good on his toes. Holmes- 10-9  (108-102) Holmes

Round 12- Holmes moving well away from Earnie. Holmes keeping out of range and controlling the distance with his quick jab. Shavers lands a good right, but Holmes fires back with jabs and moves away.
Holmes- 10-9  (118-111) Holmes is my Decsion

Judges Scores-120-108 Holmes
                     119-109 Holmes
                     120-108 Holmes- Holmes wins a unanimous decsion over Earnie Shavers
Holmes-U Dec 12

Larry Holmes basically held his coming out party at this fight. He wowed the crowd with his speed and even Howard Cosell was dually impressed. Holmes was close to getting a title shot now and he would prove to be one of the great ones of all time. Earnie Shavers was near the end of his career, but he would get a shot later at Holmes for the title and would prove to be a tougher match the second time. Larry Holmes was on the road to the top and it would take a long time for him to fall.