Michael Moorer vs. Evander Holyfield (2nd meeting)

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Michael Moorer 223 lbs lost to Evander Holyfield 214 lbs by RTD at 3:00 in round 8 of 12


  • Holyfield was a 12 to 5 betting favorite. [1]
  • This was Moorer's first and only fight with trainer Freddie Roach.
  • After losing this fight, Moorer didn't box again for three years.

Holyfield Stops Moorer in 8, Adding a 2d Heavyweight Title
By Timothy W. Smith, the New York Times, November 9, 1997

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Nov. 8— Evander Holyfield threw everything he had at Michael Moorer tonight, knocking him down five times, but Moorer kept getting up for more. But after two straight knockdowns in the eighth round, the ring doctor, Flip Homansky, was not as concerned about Moorer's heart as he was about his head, and Homansky advised Referee Mitch Halpern to stop the bout with Moorer sitting on the stool in his corner ready to come out for the ninth round.

So in a brutal display of power and control, Holyfield (35-3) stopped Moorer (39-2) on a technical knockout in the eighth round, retaining his World Boxing Association heavyweight title and claiming Moorer's International Boxing Federation championship. He is now one step closer to unifying the heavyweight championship. The third heavyweight title, the World Boxing Council's, is held by Lennox Lewis.

"He showed he had courage and heart," Holyfield said. "He came to win. The uppercut was working. Mike was sticking that jab and I wanted to stay to my game plan. I couldn't get frustrated."

Moorer said he could have continued fighting. "There was no three-knockdown rule. I was ready to keep on fighting. I was going to keep on getting up," Moorer said. "I'm disappointed that the doctor stopped the fight. I felt good, because I knew that Holyfield was going to come in. I beat him the first time, he beat me the second time, let's do it the third time." Homansky said that Moorer was not sharp and focused after the eighth round, and that is why he stopped the fight.

Holyfield entered the ring at the Thomas and Mack Center to the cheers of the 13,200 in attendance, dancing to gospel music, which was very appropriate since the fight, being broadcast by Showtime Event Television pay per view, didn't start until about 1 o'clock Sunday morning in the east.

Moorer, who weighed in at 223 pounds, appeared more pudgy around the middle than he did on Thursday at the weigh-in. Holyfield had trouble with Moorer's southpaw style in the last fight. But he seemed to handle it fine in the opening rounds. He kept moving Moorer to the left to keep him from getting off that right jab. Holyfield opened the fight the more aggressive boxer, taking the fight to Moorer. But near the end of the first round Moorer staggered Holyfield with a right hand under the chin.

A small cut was opened over Holyfield's right eye in the third round and it seemed to incense Holyfield, who snapped Moorer's head back with a sharp right hand near the end of the round. Holyfield began a vicious assault to Moorer's body in the fourth round, at one point landing three straight rights to Moorer's ribs and side that seem to take some of the wind of Moorer.

Holyfield dropped Moorer to the canvas in the fifth round with a left hook and a straight right that caught Moorer right on the chin. Moorer got up at the count of eight and the round soon came to an end, allowing Moorer to survive. In the seventh round Moorer again displayed a warrior's heart when he got up from two knockdowns. Holyfield knocked him down with two right uppercuts.

Then, in the eighth, Holyfield twice knocked down Moorer with explosive combinations. After the first one, Moorer waved his hands toward Holyfield, as if to implore him to bring on more punishment. Moorer got up right before the bell.

However, even if Moorer hadn't had enough, the ring doctors thought he had. On the advice of the lead ring doctor, Homansky, Halpern stopped the assault before the start of the ninth round, with Moorer sitting on the stool in his corner.

This fight against Moorer was something of a semi-circle for Holyfield in his quest to regain the status of the undisputed heavyweight champion. Holyfield once held all three belts, winning the undisputed championship on a third round knockout of Buster Douglas on Oct. 25, 1990. Then the titles splintered.

So, tonight Holyfield closed two-thirds of the circle and if he can meet and defeat Lewis in a unification bout, he can complete the circle and become a two-time undisputed heavyweight champion. [2]