Evander Holyfield

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Name: Evander Holyfield
Alias: The Real Deal
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Birthplace: Atmore, Alabama, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 189cm
Reach: 198cm
Promoter: Record
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Amateur Achievements

Holyfield at the 1984 Olympics
  • Record: 160-14 with 75 KOs
  • 1983 U.S. National Championships Bronze Medalist (178 lbs) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Results:
  • 1983 Pan American Games Silver Medalist (178 lbs) in Caracas, Venezuela. Results:
    • Rodolfo Marin (Puerto Rico) W 3 (5-0)
    • Carlos Salazar (Venezuela) RSC 2
    • Pablo Romero (Cuba) L 3 (1-4)
  • 1984 National Golden Gloves Gold Medalist (178 lbs) in St. Louis, Missouri. Results:
    • Sherman Griffin RSC 2
    • Jerry Goff RSC 1
    • Arthur Weathers RSC 2
  • 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials Bronze Medalist (178 lbs) in Fort Worth, Texas. Results:
  • 1984 U.S. Olympic Box-Offs Winner (178 lbs) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Results:
    • Ricky Womack W 3 (4-1)
    • Ricky Womack W 3 (4-1)
  • 1984 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist (178 lbs) in Los Angeles, California. Results:
    • Taju Akay (Ghana) RSCH 3
    • Ismail Khalil Salman (Iraq) RSCH 2
    • Sylvanus Okello (Kenya) W KO 1
    • Kevin Barry (New Zealand) L DQ 2

Olympic Disqualification

Holyfield vs. Kevin Barry at the 1984 Olympics

Holyfield was disqualified in his light heavyweight semifinal bout with Kevin Barry of New Zealand for hitting after the break.

Near the end of the second round, with Barry grabbing him around the neck with his left arm, Holyfield pulled back and—just as Yugoslavian referee Gligorije Novicic yelled "Stop!"—slammed a right to the body and a left hook to the head. Barry crumbled to the canvas. He regained his feet, but was very wobbly. Novicic stopped the fight and disqualified Holyfield for hitting on the break. Holyfield, who was dominating the bout, said he didn't hear the referee.

Because he was stopped by a head blow, Barry was medically ineligible to fight for 28 days. As a result, Anton Josipovic of Yugoslavia, who defeated Mustapha Moussa of Algeria in the other semifinal, was awarded the gold medal on a walkover.

The U.S. filed a protest. The protest was based on three points:

(1) The punch was started before the referee yelled "stop," thus making it a legal punch.
(2) The noise level of the crowd was so high that it was doubtful whether Holyfield could have heard the referee at all.
(3) Barry was in the process of being warned for holding when the incident occurred. And there was a possiblity that the warning would be cause for disqualifying Barry.

The protest was rejected by the International Amateur Boxing Association. "There is no doubt in the minds of the protest committee," said Colonel Don Hull, the president of AIBA. "They reviewed the film and it is clear that there was a violation and that an illegal blow incapacitated. The referee enforced the rules."

Loring Baker, head of the United States Amateur Boxing Federation, said the referee should have stopped the bout earlier because Barry was flagrantly holding. "Had the referee done his job properly, the fight would have been stopped before the foul occurred," Baker said.

"Novicic blew it," said John Holaus, one of four American officials who worked the competition. "He was going from cautions to warnings and then back to cautions. It's against the rules. Once you issue a warning, you can't go back to cautions. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

Professional Achievements

Holyfield vs. Buster Douglas in 1990
Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe in 1993
Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson in 1996

World Titles:

  • Holyfield is the only fighter to win a portion of the World Heavyweight Championship four times.
  • WBA Cruiserweight Champion (1986-1988)
    Won the title with a fifteen-round split decision against Dwight Muhammad Qawi.
  • IBF Cruiserweight Champion (1987-1988)
    Won the title with a third-round TKO of Ricky Parkey.
  • WBC Cruiserweight Champion (1988)
    Won the title with an eighth-round TKO of Carlos DeLeon. Became the first Undisputed World Cruiserweight Champion.
    Vacated the WBA/WBC/IBF championship to move up to heavyweight.
  • WBC/WBA/IBF Heavyweight Champion (1990-1992)
    Won the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship with a third-round KO of James "Buster" Douglas.
    Lost the title to Riddick Bowe by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
  • WBA/IBF Heavyweight Champion (1993-1994)
    Won the title with a twelve-round majority decision against Riddick Bowe.
    Lost the title to Michael Moorer by a twelve-round majority decision.
  • WBA Heavyweight Champion (1996-1999)
    Won the title with an eleventh-round TKO of Mike Tyson.
  • IBF Heavyweight Champion (1997-1999)
    Won the title with an eighth-round TKO of Michael Moorer.
    Lost the WBA/IBF championship to Lennox Lewis by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
  • WBA Heavyweight Champion (2000-2001)
    Won the vacant title with a twelve-round unanimous decision against John Ruiz.
    Lost the title to John Ruiz by a twelve-round unanimous decision.

Minor & Regional Titles:

  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship (1989-1990)
    Won the title with a tenth-round TKO of Michael Dokes.
    Vacated the title when he won the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship.
  • USBA Heavyweight Championship (2006)
    Won the vacant title with a twelve-round unanimous decision against Fres Oquendo.
    Vacated the title.
  • WBF Heavyweight Championship (2010-2011)
    Won the title with an eighth-round TKO of Francois Botha.
    Vacated the title.

International Boxing Hall of Fame Record

Professional Record

Championship Record

Awards & Recognition



  • During the seventh round of Holyfield's second fight with Riddick Bowe, a man on a motorized paraglider flew into the outdoor arena at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and attempted to land in the ring. He crashed into the ring ropes and his chute got caught in the ring lights. The man, who called himself Fan Man, was pulled from the ropes and beaten unconscious by Bowe's security. He was briefly hospitalized and then arrested. After a 21-minute delay, the fight resumed. Holyfield won by a majority decision to regain the WBA/IBF Heavyweight Championship.
  • After losing to Michael Moorer in Las Vegas on April 22, 1994, Holyfield was diagnosed with a heart ailment. He was told he had a "diastolic dysfunction of the left ventricle." As a result, he announced his retirement. In June 1994, Holyfield said he was cured by faith healer Benny Hinn and planned to return to boxing. At the insistence of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he went through a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic in November 1994 and was given a clean bill of health. Holyfield was told he had been misdiagnosed because he was over-medicated and over-hydrated in the treatment he received after the Moorer fight. In February 1995, Nevada boxing officials voted to lift his medical suspension. He returned to the ring on May 20, 1995, and defeated Ray Mercer by a ten-round unanimous decision.
  • Holyfield fought Riddick Bowe for the third and final time on November 4, 1995. Holyfield, who later said he was suffering from Hepatitis A, appeared to be completely exhausted by the fifth round. With about a minute left in the fifth round, HBO commentator George Foreman stood up and called for the fight to be stopped. "This man is going to end up in a pine box," Foreman said. "He's got heart trouble." Holyfield dropped Bowe early in the sixth round, but was unable to finish him. Bowe came back to stop Holyfield two rounds later.
  • Holyfield was first scheduled to fight Mike Tyson for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship on June 18, 1990, but those plans were spoiled by James (Buster) Douglas, who knocked out Tyson on February 11, 1990. Holyfield won the title from Douglas and was scheduled to defend it against Tyson on November 8, 1991, but the fight was canceled after Tyson suffered a rib injury during training. Before the fight could be rescheduled, Tyson was convicted of rape and sent to prison. Holyfield finally fought Tyson on November 9, 1996, and stopped him in the eleventh round to win the WBA Heavyweight Championship.
  • During the third round of his rematch with Mike Tyson on June 28, 1997, Holyfield was bitten twice by Tyson. After he bit a one-inch chunk out of Holyfield's right ear, referee Mills Lane called time and deducted two points from Tyson. When the fight resumed, Tyson bit Holyfield's left ear. When Lane saw the bite marks on Holyfield's left ear after the third round, he disqualified Tyson.
  • Holyfield lost to Larry Donald by a lopsided twelve-round unanimous decision in New York City on November 13, 2004. It was his third straight defeat. After the fight, the New York State Athletic Commission medically suspended Holyfield for poor performance. Although Holyfield passed a battery of tests, the commission voted to suspend Holyfield's license indefinitely in August 2005, but lifted the medical suspension that prevented him from fighting in other states.
  • On August 29, 2006, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency officials in Alabama raided a compounding pharmacy (a pharmacy that makes its own drugs generically) called Applied Pharmacy Services. Among the documents seized were records stating that, in June 2004, a patient named “Evan Fields” picked up three vials of testosterone and related injection supplies from a doctor in Columbus, Georgia. That same month, Fields received five vials of Saizen (a human growth hormone). In September 2004, according to the documents, Fields underwent treatment for hypogonadism (a condition that results when the sex glands produce little or no hormones). The date of birth, home address, and telephone number listed for Evan Fields in Applied Pharmacy’s records were identical to those of Evander Holyfield. When these facts were made public, Holyfield issued a statement that read in part, “I have never taken an illegal or banned performance enhancing drug of any kind. The use of such substances runs counter to everything I believe about sports and my place in the athletic world.”
  • Holyfield's last shot at a major title occurred when he fought WBA Heavyweight Champion Nikolay Valuev on December 20, 2008, in Zurich, Switzerland. At the age of 46, Holyfield was trying to become the oldest fighter ever to win a portion of the World Heavyweight Championship. He lost by a controversial twelve-round majority decision. Chris Mannix of SI.com wrote that Holyfield "absolutely, positively won the fight."
  • On June 26, 2014, three years and a month since his last fight, Holyfield officially announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 51.

Preceded by:
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
WBA Cruiserweight Champion
1986 Jul 12 – 1988
Succeeded by:
Taoufik Belbouli
Preceded by:
Ricky Parkey
IBF Cruiserweight Champion
1987 May 15 – 1988
Succeeded by:
Glenn McCrory
Preceded by:
Carlos DeLeon
WBC Cruiserweight Champion
1988 Apr 9 – 1988
Succeeded by:
Carlos DeLeon
Preceded by:
James (Buster) Douglas
WBC Heavyweight Champion
WBA Heavyweight Champion
IBF Heavyweight Champion

1990 Oct 25 – 1992 Nov 13
Succeeded by:
Riddick Bowe
Preceded by:
Riddick Bowe
WBA Heavyweight Champion
IBF Heavyweight Champion

1993 Nov 6 – 1994 Apr 22
Succeeded by:
Michael Moorer
Preceded by:
Mike Tyson
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1996 Nov 9 – 1999 Nov 13
Succeeded by:
Lennox Lewis
Preceded by:
Michael Moorer
IBF Heavyweight Champion
1997 Nov 8 – 1999 Nov 13
Succeeded by:
Lennox Lewis
Preceded by:
Lennox Lewis
WBA Heavyweight Champion
2000 Aug 12 – 2001 Mar 3
Succeeded by:
John Ruiz