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March 15: On This Date in Sports

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You never know how much you truly will miss something until its gone.

Television shows, movies, music of the time come and go but sports is always there. Depending on the season of the year, it is an expectation, normality that basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc. will be in our lives. The coronavirus has changed all of that. Even in spaces of terror, sports were present in our lives and helped us get through. Now the threat of disease has swept over the world and with it, we’ve lost our games, we’ve lost the moments that sports has created for us at this time of year. No playoff stretch in the NBA, no opening day for the MLB, and probably the biggest hurt of all, no March Madness in the absence of men’s and women’s conference and national championship tournaments.

How do we cope? What fills that void will we are sitting in our homes waiting for the epidemic to pass or out trying to find toilet paper?

Seriously people, what’s the deal with the toilet paper?

In the absence of live sports, networks have begun to replay events from this season. Its only a matter of time before we start seeing the classics from years past. Same goes for social media where countless individuals and outlets are posting, sharing favorite moments and events. Nostalgia in sports is on an all time high as we get through this space with no live sports… Well, expect for UFC and WWE. Some have taken to video games to watch simulations of canceled games or continue in their own one-player or team seasons to past the time. (Personally, in need of a break from NBA 2K, I’m looking forward to the release of MLB: The Show this week.)

I got the idea to look up notable events by the day and watch. After one day, I thought it would be a good idea to share my picks each day with the PSE staff and our readers.

Today, I’m watching the March 15, 1985 International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Title fight between champion Larry Holmes and challenger David Bey. The fight is available in the header or check it out on YouTube.

Holmes was a 4-1 betting favorite. Bey earned his title shot by beating Greg Page by a 12-round unanimous decision to win the USBA title on August 31, 1984. The fight took place at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Holmes defeated Bey by TKO at 2 minutes, 58 seconds in the 10th of 15 scheduled rounds.

From Sports Illustrated:

For four rounds, Holmes patiently let his eager rival roll the dice. Bey went for it all early, the one big punch that would make him a winner in the city of losers. Late in the second round, with Holmes mesmerized by the right-hand freight trains thundering past his head, Bey rocked the champion with a short snapping hook. A shudder surged through Holmes’ 223-pound body. A second hook caught him high on the chest. “He got my attention,” Holmes would say later. “But you know me, when I get hurt, I just say, ‘Hey, let’s dance some.'”

Bey’s moment had passed. When he finally caught up to Holmes, he was met by clear eyes and a head-snapping jab.

After four rounds, Eddie Futch, who has been around boxing almost as long as sweat has, had solved Bey’s awkward wild style. As Holmes sat in his corner, his little trainer leaned over and said: “Quit countering. Get off first: then, when he counters, you counter his counter. You can’t give him room. He needs it to punch. You got to go to him. Snap that jab. Stay on top of him.”

In the fifth, Holmes turned it into an honest fistfight, and Bey began backing away, pawing with the left hand while gluing his right glove against his chin. Holmes turned back the clock: his jab became the expected jackhammer: his right cross was strong and cruel. The champion’s expression was intense.

In the eighth, Holmes snapped off two jabs, took a small step to his right and exploded a straight right to the side of Bey’s head. A quick hook caught Bey in the back of the head as he was falling. Bey got up, only to run into a savage onslaught that drove him across the ring and dropped him to his left knee, his left arm hooked around one of the ropes. Bey took a second count of eight, but as Holmes moved in, the bell stopped him.

Holmes battered his confused quarry in the ninth, and in the 10th, he came out hard, figuring Bey had earned his $130,000. With 30 seconds to go, he drove Bey into a corner, again made that little step and crossed with a hard right. All but out, Bey staggered backward across the ring, only to be trapped in the far corner, where Holmes hammered him at will until Referee Padilla wisely stepped in.

Larry Holmes Biography

Larry Holmes Official Boxing Record

Larry Holmes Website

Other March 15th notable events:

  • 1912: Cy Young retires from baseball with 511 wins
  • 1958: Cincinnati Royals great Oscar Robertson scores a NBA midwest region-record 56-point game
  • 1962: Wilt Chamberlain is the first player to score 4,000 points in an NBA season
  • 1988: NFL’s St Louis Cardinals officially move to Phoenix

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