Larry Holmes TKO Bonecrusher Smith This Day November 9, 1984 Keeps Crown
- Larry Holmes 221½ lbs
- James Smith 227 lbs
- TKO at 2:10 in round 12 of 15
- Riviera Hotel & Casino, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Referee: Davey Pearl
- Judge: Glen Hamada 109-100
- Judge: Duane Ford 108-101
According to the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated, Holmes earned $1 million and Smith $175,000.
This was Holmes’ first fight as IBF champion. He relinquished the WBC title on December 11, 1983, and accepted the IBF title following a dispute with the WBC and promoter Don King over how much money he would make for a mandatory defense against WBC No. 1 contender Greg Page.
This was Holmes’ first fight since defeating Marvis Frazier on November 25, 1983. Holmes had been scheduled to face John Tate on April 6, 1984, but the fight was canceled after Tate injured his shoulder in training. Holmes was then set to meet WBA champion Gerrie Coetzee on June 8, 1984, but the match was canceled because the promoter, JPD Sports, had trouble coming up with funding. There was then a legal dispute over who had the right to promote a Holmes-Coetzee bout.
In 2009, Holmes told the following to Michael Kay, host of the YES Network’s “Centerstage”:
“I was trying to make a lot of money real quick. And ‘Bonecrusher’ popped in the picture. They gave me $3.5 million to fight him. And I shouldn’t have fought James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith because three weeks before that I had got a hemorrhoid operation. But for $3.5 million to go out there and fight James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith? So I went out there and I fought him. I was bleeding after the fight, but I got $3.5 million. I put a patch back there and come on down.”