Michael Moorer

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Michael Moorer

Name: Michael Moorer
Alias: Double M
Birth Name: Michael Lee Moorer
Born: 1967-11-12
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Hometown: Monessen, Pennsylvania, USA
Stance: Southpaw
Height: 6′ 2″   /   188cm
Reach: 78″   /   198cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Adam Meyer
Trainers: Emanuel Steward (1988-92), Tony Ayala (vs. Billy Wright), George Benton and Lou Duva (1993), Teddy Atlas (1993-97), Freddie Roach (1997), Isiah Clark and Benny Collins
Photo # 1



Michael Moorer was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in the gritty western Pennsylvania mill town of Monessen, Pennsylvania. From a broken family, he grew up fatherless and at an early age, played football like most kids in the town. At age 11, his grandfather Henry Smith became his mentor and father figure and began taking Michael to the local boxing gym where he showed promise. Naturally right handed Moorer fought in the southpaw stance. As his amateur career progressed, he relocated to Detroit and began training with Emanuel Steward at the Kronk Gym. Michael said of his time a the gym, "When you fought inside the gym, you gained a lot of notoriety, recognition on what you did in the ring. And I kicked a lot of ass in there." In 1987 and yet to fight as a professional, Moorer became the main sparring partner for Darnell Knox in his upcoming title fight against Michael Nunn. By Steward?s account, Knox was overmatched against Moorer in sparring. In fact, Steward asserted that Knox proved to be easy pickings for Nunn partially because Knox was depleted from the beatings he took from Moorer.

Moorer began his professional career in 1988 and won his first 24 fights by knockout. In Decemeber of 1988 after just eleven professional bouts, he defeated Ramzi Hassan (25-4) to become the inaugural WBO Light Heavyweight Champion, a title he would defend nine times. In 1991, no longer wanting to struggle with making weight he moved to the heavyweight division. Despite at times appearing to battle with his conditioning and after suffering the first knockdown of his professional career to Everett Martin (17-12-1), Moorer received his first heavyweight title shot on May 15th, 1992. In the bout, he won a slugfest against Bert Cooper for the WBO Heavyweight Title and became the first southpaw world heavyweight champion in boxing history. Moorer's tutelage under Steward, however ended following the fight. Steward felt that Moorer had mentally changed after moving to heavyweight and no longer adhered to training. Moorer contended that Steward became less available and spent too much time training and managing other fighters. For his next bout against Billy Wright, Moorer worked with Tony Ayala. He then joined the Duva's in 1993 and was trained primarily by George Benton, under which he went (3-0) with 2 KOs. Seeking to return to his aggressive style, he joined with Teddy Atlas in October of '93. In 1994, Moorer won the lineal heavyweight with a close and debated twelve round majority decision over Evander Holyfield. Seven months later, Moorer suffered the first defeat of his professional career and lost his titles to then 45-year-old and underdog George Foreman (72-4).

Michael Moorer & Teddy Atlas

Following the loss, Moorer briefly retired but Atlas encouraged him to continue and they sought unsuccessfully to land a rematch with Foreman. In June of 1996, Moorer regained his status as a world champion defeating Axel Schulz (24-2-1) for the vacant IBF Heavyweight Title. He would twice defend the title winning against a pair of unbeatens in Francois Botha and Vaughn Bean. Following the Bean fight and citing Moorer's lack of focus, Teddy Atlas moved on. In his next fight, Freddie Roach was in Moorer's corner when he attempted to unify the IBF and WBA belts in a rematch with Evander Holyfield in November 1997. In the bout, Moorer showed heart and despite being knocked down five times continued to get to his feet and compete before it was stopped on advice of the ringside physician following the 8th Round.

After the loss, Moorer took a three year break from the ring; his first significant time away since his youth. During that time, his grandfather unsuccessfully attempted to sue him for a percentage of past earnings, he began drinking heavily and reached 270 pounds. Deciding he wanted to make a comeback, he quit drinking completely. He returned on in November of 2000 at 247 pounds and knocked out journeyman Lorenzo Boyd (30-48) in the 4th. He gradually lost weight and put together a few wins. He was dominating Dale Crowe before the bout was declared a technical draw on an accidental butt. A few wins later, he was quietly reemerging as a possible player in the division. His gaining momentum ended though when he met David Tua (40-3) in August of 2002 on HBO. A right hook and left hand behind the ear sent Moorer down, out and halfway out of the ring in the opening round. Despite the loss, Moorer continued to fight. He put together three wins against nondescript opposition, but weighed a career high 251 pounds in losing an embarrassing ten round decision to Eliseo Castillo during the summer of 2004. He returned, likely thought to be just as much an opponent as a threat, against Vassiliy Jirov (33-2) for the vacant NABF Heavyweight Title and WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title. Despite trailing heavily, Moorer landed a straight left hand in the 9th that sent Jirov down and caused the referee to stop the bout. Following the win he again retired. He began working as a trainer for John (JD) Chapman in 2005 before decided to return to fighting in late 2006. He won five consecutive bouts and ended his 20-year professional career with a 1st Round knockout against Shelby Gross (16-3). His final record was 52-4-1 (40 KOs). In 2009, he began working as assistant trainer with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. [1] [2] [3]

World Titles

  • WBO Light Heavyweight Champion (1988-1991) vacated title to fight as a heavyweight
  • WBO Heavyweight Champion (1992)
  • WBA & IBF Heavyweight Champion (1994)
  • IBF Heavyweight Champion (1996-97)

Regional Titles

  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion (2004)
  • WBA North American Heavyweight Champion (2004)

Amateur Achievements

  • Amateur Record: 48-16
  • 1986 Light Middleweight Bronze Medalist at the Goodwill Games
  • 1986 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Champion


  • Named The Ring magazine Prospect of the Year in 1988.
  • Moorer was undefeated as a light heavyweight: 22 fights, all knockout victories, including nine defenses of the WBO Light Heavyweight Title.
  • Moorer was the first southpaw to ever capture the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • After retiring as a boxer, Moorer began a career as a trainer. Among his pupils were "Minnesota Ice" Joey Abell. After two years out of the ring, Moorer launched a comeback.

Preceded by:
Inaugural Champion
WBO Light Heavyweight Champion
1988 Dec 3 – 1991 May 9
Succeeded by:
Leeonzer Barber
Preceded by:
Ray Mercer
WBO Heavyweight Champion
1992 May 15 – 1993 Feb 3
Succeeded by:
Tommy Morrison
Preceded by:
Evander Holyfield
IBF Heavyweight Champion
WBA Heavyweight Champion

1994 Apr 22 – 1994 Nov 5
Succeeded by:
George Foreman
Preceded by:
George Foreman
IBF Heavyweight Champion
1996 Jun 22 – 1997 Nov 8
Succeeded by:
Evander Holyfield