George W. Holden (February 27, 1948 August 22, 1973) was a professional heavyweight boxer, born in Medford, Massachusetts.
Holden was described by Howie Carr as a small-time hoodlum and boxer who became involved in organized crime. He was described in the sports column pages as "The Medford Irisher" and was a small time thug during his professional boxing career who became known to authorities. Little is known about his personal life except that he trained with future boxers Anthony Veranis, Tommy Sullivan, Americo Sacramone, Edward G. Connors and Joe DeNucci.
George fought his first professional boxing match against Tony Lampton on August 24, 1967 in Portland, Maine and his last match on April 13, 1972 against Jimmy McDermott, also in Portland, Maine. He was sponsored by the Everlast sporting goods company. Of his 43 professional fights, he won 13 (one by knockout), lost 26, and drew three. During his professional boxing career, he weighed between 168 and 186 pounds.
On July 26, 1971 when fighting Bob Benoit in Boston, Massachusetts, Benoit picked up a lop-sided decision over Holden heading the live portion of the closed circuit Muhammad Ali-Jimmy Ellis fight at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Benoit scored practically at will and frequently had Holden hurt, but allowed him to get up off the hook.
In his April 13, 1972 match against Jimmy McDermott, Holden entered the ring heavily intoxicated and was indefinitely suspended from professional boxing, ending his career. His final fight against McDermott was declared a no-contest.
On August 23, 1973, Holden's body was found washed up along the shoreline of the Mystic River in Charlestown, Massachusetts. His body was discovered along the shoreline between Terminal and Medford Streets. Police reported that he had been murdered with a small-caliber handgun by a single, gangland execution gunshot to the head. His murder was never solved, and no suspects were identified. According to city officials, Holden's murder was the 82nd homicide in the city of Boston in 1973. A number of his fellow competitors met a similar fate, including Anthony Veranis and Rocco DiSiglio, both murdered in 1966; Edward G. Connors, murdered in 1975; and Americo Sacramone, murdered in 1976.