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Trainer Richie Giachetti, who was known for leading Larry Holmes to the heavyweight title and a lengthy run atop the division, died Wednesday at 76.
Giachetti, who also worked with Mike Tyson for several fights, including his notable 1997 rematch with Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas, also served as Holmes' manager.
In a 1978 profile of Giachetti, the New York Times wrote, "Giachetti is a tough man. He's been shot and stabbed, he's been tailed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nobody fools with the manager and trainer of the man who calls himself the baddest heavyweight in the world. Some people believe Larry Holmes wouldn't stand a chance against Richie Giachetti in a barroom brawl."
Giachetti partnered with Hall of Fame promoter J. Russell Peltz and actor Sylvester Stallone on a series of shows in the 1980s that were televised on ABC and on various cable networks. Peltz promoted the fights, mostly at the Sands in Atlantic City, N.J., and Giachetti was in charge of procuring the talent.
Peltz told Yahoo Sports the two became friends and that he found Giachetti to be different than most people imagined. Giachetti was close to legendary promoter Don King. Some thought he was perhaps too close. But Peltz said Giachetti was his own man.
Giachetti proved his independence in 1982 when he sued King and Holmes in a Cleveland court for breach of contract.
"A lot of people had negative thoughts about him and felt he was just a stool for King," Peltz said. "But he wasn't. He did great work with Larry. He would tell me stories of the times when he first was with Larry and Larry was coming up. They'd sleep in some pathetic hotel rooms, and had a lot of struggles, as Larry was making his way."
Giachetti, who was born in Uniontown, Pa., near Pittsburgh and had an identical twin named John, also trained many other elite fighters, such as Aaron Pryor.
But he was best known for his work with Holmes, who won the title in 1978 in an epic match with Ken Norton and held it until 1985. Holmes' signature punch was a jab, but Giachetti didn't want to take credit for it.
"Look, I'm no Svengali," he told the Times. "Sure, my uncle taught me all about the jab, but the reason Larry's jab is the best there is is not because I taught him. Hell no. He had a jab to start with."