Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz (1st meeting)
2000-08-12 : Evander Holyfield 221 lbs beat John Ruiz 224 lbs by UD in round 12 of 12
- Location: Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Richard Steele
- Judge: Duane Ford 114-113
- Judge: Dave Moretti 114-113
- Judge: Fernando Viso 116-112
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (Vacant title)
- Weights: Holyfield 221 lbs, Ruiz 224 lbs
With a unanimous decision tonight over John Ruiz, Evander Holyfield has done something that nobody, not even Muhammad Ali, has ever accomplished. He has won the heavyweight championship for the fourth time.
It certainly was not easy, however, and it came in a decision disputed by some who saw it.
Ruiz, an unheralded fighter from Chelsea, Mass., was aggressive throughout their World Boxing Association title fight, landing many effective jabs. Except for late in the third round, he was never really in any serious trouble from Holyfield. Even then, Ruiz managed to stay on his feet and certainly seemed to have recovered by the beginning of the next round.
Still, Judges Duane Ford and Dave Moretti gave the fight to Holyfield, 114-113, while Judge Fernando Viso ruled that Holyfield won, 116-112.
"It was highway robbery without a gun," Ruiz said. "I won the fight and he knows I won the fight."
The vacant crown, which Lennox Lewis had been stripped of, now belongs to Holyfield, who has a record of 37-4-1. Ruiz, a 4-1 underdog who was seeking to become the first Latino to win a heavyweight championship, showed the kind of grit and determination likely to land him more chances in the future.
Lewis, who still holds the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation championships, was stripped of the W.B.A. belt by a federal judge because he had breached a contract that he had signed with the promoter Don King that he would defend his title against the top-ranked contender, which was Ruiz. Instead, Lewis fought Michael Grant, knocking him out in the second round on April 29 in New York. (New York Times August 13, 2000)
Lewis vs. Holyfield II
| WBA Heavyweight Title Fight
Holyfield vs. Ruiz II