IBF President Daryl Peoples and IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker visited former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes at his restaurant, Champ’s Corner Bar & Grill, in Easton, Pennsylvania to present him with a commemorative world title belt.
During the visit Holmes explained that his original belt was never returned when he lost his title to Michael Spinks on April 19, 1986. His publicist, Jay Newman, contacted the organization inquiring whether the belt could be replaced. Larry Holmes was presented with the current version of the world title belt engraved to commemorate the date he fought for the organization’s title.
In December of 1983, the highly regarded world heavyweight champion, decided he wanted to fight for the USBA-I title (the original acronym of the IBF at the time) and the organization recognized him as the champion in that division. Larry Holmes fought James “Bonecrusher” Smith to defend his USBA-I heavyweight title on November 11, 1984. This opportunity brought with it a higher measure of credibility and recognition in the worldwide boxing arena for the USBA-I.
“I’m glad that we were able to present Larry Holmes with this new belt. He was our first heavyweight world champion and is a legend in the sport. Having him as our champion helped to quickly catapult the organization to the world stage,” stated Peoples. Holmes stated he would place his new IBF belt on the top shelf of a special display case which houses his other belts at his restaurant.