Larry Holmes to Perform in One-Man Show on Friday

The Easton Assassin, former heavyweight boxing champ Larry Holmes, appears at Harrah's in Chester. Yeah, it's a Damon Feldman event.

Larry Holmes is doing a Don King impression, but he sounds more like The Count from Sesame Street. He’s on a stage at Chickie’s and Pete’s, promoting his one-man show. Holmes, the former heavyweight champ who won the first 48 fights of his career, will perform his one-man show this Friday at Harrah’s in Chester.

Holmes, known as the Easton Assassin (after his hometown), was doing a Don King impression to show off the kinds of stories he tells in his show. He was talking about coming out of retirement in 1988 to face Mike Tyson in Atlantic City. According to Holmes, it all started with a knock on the door late at night.

“At 9:30, 10 o’clock, somebody knocked on the door — boom, boom, boom,” he said. “I say to my wife, ‘You check it.” She says, ‘No, you check it.’ So I go to the door, and Don King’s there, with his hair sticking up like this. ‘Ha, ha, ha.’ I said, ‘What are you doing down here this time of night?’ He says, ‘I brought you a contract to fight Mike Tyson.’ I said, ‘Don, don’t you know I gave it up?’… he says, ‘The contract is for $3.1 million.’ I said, ‘Where do I sign?'”

Holmes has always been a bit of a Renaissance man. He’s played with his band, Marmalade, in the Easton and Lehigh Valley areas for years. He once had a TV show, What the Heck Were They Thinking, where he and co-host Mike Mittman would reflect on past glories and opine on topics of the day. He’s owned several restaurants, including (most recently) Champ’s Corner, a restaurant that is actually on Larry Holmes Drive. He also spent $7.5 million constructing two buildings in Easton in the late 80s and early 90s. He’s operated businesses in Easton since the 1980s.

If Holmes’ one-man show is anything like his performance at yesterday’s press conference, it’s completely all over the place — but quite charming. Holmes’ comments were wide-ranging:

  • On the timing of the noon press conference: “One of the things you have to stop doing is getting me up so damn early in the morning.” (Holmes got up at 6 a.m. for a spot on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia.)
  • On Wladimir Klitschko, world heavyweight boxing champion: “He ain’t talented; he’s just a big guy with some power.”
  • On his finances: “”I’ve got plenty of money, but I’m always happy to make more.”
  • On Easton, Pennsylvania: “It’s a great little town… that’s going to be my home for the rest of my life.”
  • On Public speaking: “I don’t speak that well because I got drunk last night. But I don’t fight any more, so it’s OK.”
  • On whether he’ll sing, as promised by promoter Damon Feldman: “No, I’m not gonna sing!” (It’s unclear if he was joking.)
  • On Feldman: “I’m going to do for him what I did for Don King.”

Feldman is promoting Larry’s one-man show as part of a “World Xtreme Entertainment” card at the Harrah’s casino in Chester. Feldman is a longtime celebrity boxing promoter in Delco. He was once convicted of fixing celebrity fights. (He got probation.) He attempted to promote a George Zimmerman vs. DMX fight last year, but canceled it after an outcry. (Don Steinberg wrote about Feldman for this magazine in 2009.)

Holmes is by far the biggest celebrity appearing at Friday’s show. The main event features Jeff Mayweather, who boxed in the 1990s and is best known for getting knocked out by Oscar De La Hoya in the future champ’s fifth fight, and Jeff Long, who is using the fight to promote Dragon Box, a media center that runs the open-source XBMC and promises free movies and pay per view boxing/wrestling/UFC events.

So the biggest/only star here is Holmes, who is pretty funny. He still has a nice jab, too.

Holmes’ one man show, and the Feldman-produced card, is at 8 p.m. on Friday night at Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester. Tickets are available at the door.