Michael Moorer

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Michael Moorer1.JPG

Name: Michael Moorer
Alias: Double M
Birth Name: Michael Lee Moorer
Hometown: Monessen, Pennsylvania, USA
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Stance: Southpaw
Height: 188cm
Reach: 198cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Managers: John Davimos, Adam Meyer
Trainers: Emanuel Steward (1988-92), Tony Ayala (1992 - vs. Billy Wright), George Benton and Lou Duva (1993), Teddy Atlas (1993-97), Freddie Roach (1997), Isiah Clark and Benny Collins
Michael Moorer Gallery

Professional Record

Championship Record

  • Has defeated 15 opponents (12 by KO) in World Title fights.
    • 5 opponents (2 by KO) in World Heavyweight Title fights.
    • 10 opponents (10 by KO) in World Light Heavyweight Title fights.
  • Has a record of 15-2 (12 KOs) in World Title fights.
  • Has a record of 4-2 (2 KOs) against former or current world titleists.


Michael Moorer was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in the gritty western Pennsylvania mill town of Monessen, Pennsylvania. Like most kids in the town, he started playing football at an early age. Moorer came from a broken home and grew up fatherless. His grandfather, Henry Smith, became his mentor and father figure. At age 11, Smith began taking Michael to the local boxing gym, where he showed promise. As his amateur career progressed, he relocated to Detroit and began training with Emanuel Steward at the Kronk Gym. Michael said of his time at 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, while he was still an amateur, Moorer (a natural right-hander who fought southpaw) became the main sparring partner for Darnell Knox in his upcoming NABF title fight against southpaw 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. On December 3, 1988, after just eleven professional bouts, he knocked out Ramzi Hassan (25-4) in five rounds to become the inaugural WBO Light Heavyweight Champion. He defended the title nine times, winning all nine by knockout. In 1991, no longer wanting to struggle to make weight, he moved to the heavyweight division. He won his first four fights at heavyweight by knockout, then went the ten-round distance in back-to-back fights, winning unanimous decisions against Mike White (26-10-1)and Everett Martin (17-12-1). Against Martin, Moorer was dropped for the first time in his career. On May 15, 1992, Moorer knocked out Bert Cooper (27-8) in five rounds to win the vacant WBO Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first southpaw world heavyweight champion in boxing history. Both fighters were floored twice in the slugfest. Moorer's tutelage under Steward ended following the Cooper 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, which was a knockout win against Billy Wright (12-1), Moorer worked with Tony Ayala Sr.. He then joined the Duvas' camp in 1993. Trained primarily by George Benton, Moorer went 3-0 with 2 KOs. Seeking to return to his aggressive style, he joined with Teddy Atlas in October 1993. On April 22, 1994, Moorer won the lineal and WBA/IBF Heavyweight Championships with a close and debated twelve-round majority decision over Evander Holyfield (30-1). Seven months later, on November 5, 1994, Moorer suffered the first defeat of his professional career, losing his titles to 45-year-old underdog George Foreman (72-4).

Michael Moorer & Teddy Atlas

Following the loss, Moorer briefly retired, but Atlas encouraged him to continue. They sought unsuccessfully to land a rematch with Foreman. On June 22, 1996, Moorer regained his status as a world champion, defeating Axel Schulz (21-2-1) for the vacant IBF Heavyweight Championship. He would twice defend the title, winning against Francois Botha (35-0) and Vaughn Bean (27-0). Following the Bean fight, Teddy Atlas, citing Moorer's lack of focus, moved on. Moorer then hired Freddie Roach as his new trainer. His first fight with Roach was a rematch with Evander Holyfield (34-3) to unify the IBF and WBA titles on November 8, 1997. Moorer was knocked down five times, but showed a lot of heart by continuing to get to his feet. The fight was stopped on the advice of the ringside physician following the eighth round.

After the loss, Moorer took a three year break from the ring: his first significant time away from the sport since his youth. During that time, his grandfather unsuccessfully attempted to sue him for a percentage of past earnings, he began drinking heavily, and ballooned to 270 pounds. Deciding he wanted to make a comeback, he quit drinking completely. He returned on November 17, 2000 at 247 pounds and knocked out journeyman Lorenzo Boyd (30-48) in the fourth round. He gradually lost weight and put together a few wins. He was dominating Dale Crowe (22-4) on July 27, 2001 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 when David Tua (40-3) knocked him out in thirty seconds on August 17, 2002 on HBO. A right hook and left hand behind the ear sent Moorer down and halfway out of the ring. 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 unanimous decision to Eliseo Castillo (17-0-1) on July 3, 2004. He returned, likely thought to be just as much an opponent as a threat, against Vassiliy Jirov (33-2) for the vacant NABA and WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championships on December 9, 2004. Well behind on points, Moorer landed a straight left hand in the ninth round that sent Jirov down and caused the referee to stop the bout. Following the win, Moorer again retired. He began working as a trainer for John (JD) Chapman in 2005 before he decided to return to fighting in late 2006. He won five consecutive bouts and ended his 20-year professional career with a first-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]

World Titles

  • WBO Light Heavyweight Champion (1988-1991) vacated the title to fight as a heavyweight
  • WBO Heavyweight Champion (1992) vacated the title to get rated by the WBA, WBC and IBF
  • WBA & IBF Heavyweight Champion (1994)
  • IBF Heavyweight Champion (1996-97)

Regional Titles

  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion (2004)
  • NABA 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 Championship.
  • Moorer was the first southpaw to ever capture the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • After retiring as a boxer in 2004, 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. He won five straight fights before retiring for good in 2008.

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
WBA Heavyweight Champion
IBF 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