Easton honors Larry Holmes with statue dedication

EASTON, Pa. (WPVI) -- Hundreds gathered at Scott Park Sunday for the dedication of a nearly 9-foot bronze statue depicting boxing legend and Easton native Larry Holmes.

"I'm very pleased that so many people from Easton came out because he deserves it," said Nancy Rice.

"You couldn't find a better person, as a man and as a fighter," said Eugene Warner.

"I wanted to be a good boxer. I wanted to have a clean reputation. I wanted to treat people like people," said Holmes.

Holmes' former opponent and promoter Don King was also in attendance.

"It means a lot to me to hear him say that and be here with this great city," said King.

Nicknamed the "Easton Assassin," locals tell Action News Holmes made them proud when he won the heavyweight title in 1978.

"It was exhilarating. It was just absolutely thrilling. I think I remember going outside and just like screaming when he won," said Rice.

Holmes received a marching band escort through the streets of his hometown - an honor few receive.

"He never left. He stayed here. That means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to all these people," said Warner.

Since his fighting days, Holmes built a business empire in Easton.

The street next to the monument is named in his honor.

The 66-year-old tells Action News he's humbled and a bit nostalgic.

"I think it looks good. I was a little younger. I wish I could look that young again. I wish I could still fight like that," said Holmes.

Sunday's dedication is a longtime coming. It took more than five years to raise the $250 million needed to pay for the monument.

It was sculpted by Brian Hanlon of Toms River, New Jersey.
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