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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 07:07 GMT 08:07 UK
Veteran Holmes crushes Butterbean
Holmes beat Butterbean on points
Holmes beat Butterbean on points
Veteran boxer Larry Holmes got the better of Eric "Butterbean" Esch in their heavyweight exhibition in Virginia.

The 52-year-old, the undisputed world champion from 1980-1985, won a unanimous points decision over his opponent.


As far as I'm concerned, this is it
Larry Holmes

Judges scored it 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 in favour of Holmes, who picked up $250,000 for his efforts.

However he immediately said he was retiring - for the seventh time!

Holmes said: "As far as I'm concerned, this is it.

"I don't think anyone's going to offer me a lot of money."

Holmes made a good start, dominating the opening round with his jab against the bald big-bellied fighter.

But fans were unimpressed and began jeering by the end of the first three minutes.

The boos continued through the first half of the fight.

Butterbean was not up to the task of 10 rounds, however, falling to a man 17 years his elder.

Elsewhere, South Africa's Francois Botha knocked American fighter Clifford Etienne down twice en route to a draw in their 10-round heavyweight fight in New Orleans.

One judge scored the fight 95-93 for Botha, and the other two scored it 94-94.

Botha hurt Etienne with a left uppercut and knocked him down late in the fifth round.

Etienne regrouped early in the sixth, but Botha knocked him down again late in the round.

Etienne had Botha in trouble in the corner late in the eighth and knocked him down after the bell, which the referee could not hear because of crowd noise.

See also:

25 Jul 02 | Boxing
18 Jul 02 | Funny Old Game
14 Jan 02 | Ali at 60
Links to more Boxing stories are at the foot of the page.


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