Evander Holyfield vs. Dwight Muhammad Qawi (2nd meeting)
1987-12-05 : Dwight Muhammad Qawi 190 lbs lost to Evander Holyfield 187 lbs by KO at 2:30 in round 4 of 15
- Location: Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
- Referee: Randy Neumann
- Judge: Eugene Grant 27-30
- Judge: Phil Newman 28-29
- Judge: Frank Cairo 28-29
- International Boxing Federation Cruiserweight Title (3rd defense by Holyfield)
- See also: Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs. Evander Holyfield (1st meeting)
- Holyfield entered the fight as the WBA and IBF cruiserweight champion. Qawi entered as the No. 1-rated IBF cruiserweight contender.
- The WBA did not sanction the fight. If Qawi had won, the WBA title would have been declared vacant.
- Holyfield landed 107 of 206 punches (52%). Qawi landed 40 of 138 (29%).
Holyfield Knocks Out Qawi in 4th
By Phil Berger, The New York Times, December 6, 1987
ATLANTIC CITY, Dec. 5— When Evander Holyfield came into the ring tonight, Dwight Muhammad Qawi mocked him with a leering smile.
But once the bell rang, Holyfield wiped the smile off his opponent's face.
Holyfield successfully defended his International Boxing Federation cruiserweight title when he knocked out Qawi at 2:30 of the fourth round of a scheduled 15-round bout.
The end came when Holyfield decked Qawi twice. He knocked Qawi down the first time with a left hook. Qawi dropped to the seat of his trunks. But he was up quickly at the count of 3 and took the mandatory 8-count from Referee Randy Neumann.
There was still plenty of fight in Qawi. As Holyfield worked him against the ropes, Qawi was looking to drive him off with big punches of his own.
Qawi started a left hook, but Holyfield beat him to the punch with a right hand. The punch landed flush on Qawi's jaw.
Qawi dropped face-first to the canvas and then rolled into a sitting position. As Qawi's corner shouted for him to get up, Qawi shook his head to indicate he couldn't. Neumann counted him out. Holyfield was impressive as he outfought Qawi at long range and even at close quarters, where Qawi is accustomed to success.
"When he moved in," Holyfield said, "I could see I was stronger and that I could slip his punches and hit him with uppercuts."
Holyfield hit him with uppercuts, with left hooks and straight right hands. He was quicker and stronger than he was in July 1986, when he took the World Boxing Association junior heavyweight (a.k.a. cruiserweight) title from Qawi on a 15-round split decision.
Holyfield is still the W.B.A. champion but that title was not at stake tonight.
"I felt I'm a better fighter coming into this fight," Holyfield said. "Since 1986, I've had four fights."
Those four fights included three successful title defenses earlier this year: against Henry Tillman on Feb. 14 (knockout, 7 rounds), Rickey Parkey on May 14 (knockout, 3) and Ossie Ocasio on Aug. 15 (knockout, 11).
In a bout earlier tonight, Mark Breland won a 10-round unanimous decision from Javier Suazo. It was the first match for Breland since Aug. 22, when he lost his W.B.A. welterweight title to Marlon Starling.
With his victory tonight, Breland's record went to 19-1 with 12 knockouts. Suazo's record is now 18-4-1 with 8 knockouts.
Qawi, who will be 35 years old next month, announced through an adviser, Rock Newman, that he was retiring.
At a news conference afterward, Newman said: "Dwight said that his legs were not there tonight, that Holyfield is a very, very good champion, and that he was even stronger than Dwight thought he would be."
With his victory, Holyfield now must choose between continuing in the cruiserweight (190-pound limit) division a while longer or campaigning as a heavyweight.
Of course, Holyfield will need to add weight to his 6-foot-1-inch frame to handle today's large-sized heavyweight. Earlier this week, Shelly Finkel, a consultant to Holyfield, said he did not expect that would be a problem for the fighter.
"With his frame," said Finkel, "Evander should have no problem building up to 215 pounds. He's not like Spinks, who couldn't weigh much more than 200 pounds - and that's pushing it."
Holyfield weighed 187 pounds when he fought Qawi tonight.
After winning a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Holyfield turned professional in November 1984.
Of the 1984 Olympians, Holyfield made the most accelerated progress as a pro. In only his eighth bout, he was impressive in knocking out Anthony Davis, who was a ranked cruiserweight, in 5 rounds.
That was in December 1985. Seven months later, in only his 12th fight, he took the title from Qawi.
With the victory tonight, Holyfield's record is 17-0 with 13 knockouts. Qawi's record dropped to 28-5-1 with 17 knockouts.