Boxing legend Larry Holmes is NOT trying to hold back his race ... insisting Metta World Peace was WRONG when he painted him as someone who's dragging down black people.
Holmes is responding to a pretty intense cyber-rant by the NBA star -- in which Metta said Larry was "bringing down" the black community by criticizing Floyd Mayweather's flashy spending habits.
"Metta Peace should know a little bit about me before he makes statements," Holmes tells TMZ Sports ... "I don't wish anybody no bad luck, I only wish him the best."
As for Floyd ... Holmes says "I would like for him to be able to talk about this 25, 50 years from now, as one of the richest fighters in boxing history ... and I think he can do that."
Boxing Champ Larry Holmes
I'm Not Bringing Down Black People
1/28/2014 5:07 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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