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43 Fascinating Facts About Evander Holyfield - The World Heavyweight Champion

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Evander Holyfield is an American former professional boxer famous by his nickname "The Real Deal." Here are 43 facts about the champion:

Professional boxer Evander Holyfield attends Univision Deportes 2015 at Univision Studios on December 20, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo : Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Univision Deportes) Professional boxer Evander Holyfield attends Univision Deportes 2015 at Univision Studios on December 20, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
  1. He held the undisputed world championship in both cruiserweight and heavyweight division. He is called fondly as “The Real Deal” and “The Warrior.”
  2. He was born on October 19, 1962 in Atmore, Alabama. He is the youngest of nine children.
  3. He won his first title at the age of 7 in the Boys Club boxing tournament, after the family moved to Atlanta.
  4. He qualified for the Junior Olympic at the age of 13 and by his 15th year, he became the Southeastern Regional Champion and won the Best Boxer Award.
  5. He developed his height and physique late in his life. He was only 5 ft 8 in and 147 pounds after his graduation and by the age of 21 years, he grew to 6 ft and weighed 178 pounds. He added another 2½ in, later in twenties.
    Team USA's Evander Holyfield walks in the rink during an amateur boxing match.
    (Photo : Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Team USA's Evander Holyfield walks in the rink during an amateur boxing match.
  6. Holyfield won silver medal in the “1983 Pan American Games” in Caracas, Venezuela representing US in his 20th year. He lost to world champion Pablo Romero of Cuba.
  7. In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, he was disqualified in the semi-finals of Light Heavyweight after he was found to have punched Kevin Barry of New Zealand after referee stopped the fight. However, he was awarded Bronze medal for reaching semi-finals.
  8. He turned professional in the Light Heavyweight division on November 15, 1984 and won his first fight against Lionel Byarm in six rounds. Before turning professional, he had won 160 bouts, 76 of these by knockout.
  9. In 1985, he won three more fights by April. He defeated Eric Winbush in Atlanta City and Fred Brown in Norfolk, Virginia in the first round by knockout. On April 20, he knocked out Mark Rivera in two rounds at Corpus Christi, Texas.
  10. Holyfield moved to Cruiserweight division and won his first fight against Tyrone Booze on July20, 1985. He won his next fight by knockout in the first round against Rick Myers on August 29. He rounded up the year winning two more fights against Anthony Davis and Jeff Meachem.
    Evander Holyfield attends Little Dreams Foundation Press Conference at LBar in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on March 4, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida.
    (Photo : Ralph Notaro/Getty Images) Evander Holyfield attends Little Dreams Foundation Press Conference at LBar in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on March 4, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida.
  11. In 1986, in a build up to WBA title, he defeated former world cruiserweight challenger Chisanda Mutti in three rounds by knockout. On July 12, the same year, he challenged WBA Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi. He was crowned WBA Champion after winning the 15 round fight by a narrow margin. It was billed as the best cruiserweight fight of 1980s.
  12. On February 14, 1987, he defended his WBA title against Henry Tillman in seven rounds knockout. He also crowned himself with IBF title by defeating Ricky Parkey in three rounds at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas on May 15, 1987.
  13. The 1988 was a memorable year as he won the WBC crown on April 09. He was universally acknowledged cruiserweight champion by defeating Carlos de Leon in the eighth round.
  14. For a second time he moved up the division to Heavyweight. His first fight was against James ‘Quick’ Tillis on July 16, defeating him in five rounds by knockout at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Tillis had gone the distance with Tyson, the current champion.
  15. His fight on March 11, 1989 against Michael Dokes was considered as the best heavyweight bout of the 1980s by Ring Magazine. He won by knockout in the tenth round.
    Cruiserweight, Evander Holyfield (L) in action, throwing punch vs Lionel Byarm (R) during professional debut at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 11/15/1984
    (Photo : George Tiedemann/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) Cruiserweight, Evander Holyfield (L) in action, throwing punch vs Lionel Byarm (R) during professional debut at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 11/15/1984
  16. As per Ring Magazine, by 1990 he was the number 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title for two years. He had won six fights in the heavyweight division by then.
  17. On October 25, 1990, Holyfield challenged a new heavyweight champion Buster Douglas, who had defeated Tyson. He was in great shape and Douglas was no match to him. In the third round Holyfield landed a lightning straight punch to sent Douglas for the count. He was the new World Heavyweight Champion.
  18. On April 19, 1991, he defended his title against George Foreman, the former champion. The fight was billed as “Battle for the Ages” due to difference in age and weight. Foreman was 42 years weighing 257 pounds against Holyfield’s 28 years and 208 pounds.
  19. On November 23, 1991, his title defense against Bert Cooper in Atlanta was no cakewalk. Holyfield was surprised by Cooper’s good right hand that sent him to 8 standing count. He won the bout after referee stopped the fight in the seventh round.
  20. In his fight on June 19, 1992 against Larry Holmes, it was for the first time, Holyfield received the scar of his career. He won the unanimous fight not before Holmes opened a gash over his right eye by his elbow.

  21. On November 13, 1992 he faced his first professional loss against Riddick Bowe in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bowe was the silver medalist in the 1988 Olympic and younger, bigger and stronger. He was knocked out in the 11th round, with Ring Magazine voting their 10th round as “Round of the Year.”
  22. He regained his title from Riddick Bowe on November 06, 1993 with close 12 round majority decision. He was named as ABC’s Wide World of Sports’ Athlete of the Year 1993.
  23. His fight against Bowe came to be known as ‘Fan Man Fight.’ In the middle of seventh round a man in a parachute landed on the ropes of the ring and the match was interrupted for over twenty minutes.
  24. He took on Michael Moorer, the former WBO Light Heavyweight champion on April 22, 1994 for his second loss. He lost the 12 round majority decision. He was diagnosed with a heart condition and announced his retirement from boxing.
  25. Holyfield believed in faith healer Benny Hinn and went to his crusade in Philadelphia regularly. He believed his heart was healed by Hinn and donated $265,000 to his cause, only to learn later that it was a case of morphine pumped in to his heart.
    Evander Holyfield attends the 'Chasing Tyson' New York Premiere at The Paley Center for Media on October 28, 2015 in New York City.
    (Photo : Brook Christopher/Getty Images) Evander Holyfield attends the 'Chasing Tyson' New York Premiere at The Paley Center for Media on October 28, 2015 in New York City.
  26. He returned to ring in 1995 with a ten round win over Ray Mercer, the former Olympic gold medalist. He was the first man to knockdown Mercer.
  27. On November 9, 1996, Holyfield made history by defeating Mike Tyson in an 11th round technical knockout, to win the WBA Heavyweight title. The fight was not recognized.
  28. Holyfield’s rematch with Tyson is one of the bizarre fights in history. On June 28, 1997, his fight with Tyson was held at Las Vegas, Nevada. In the third round Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear and had two points deducted. Tyson once again tore off a portion of Holyfield’s other ear and he was disqualified. The fight is known as “The Bite Fight.”
  29. On November 8, 1997, he fought Michael Moorer for the IBF crown. Moorer was knocked to canvas five times and the fight was stopped by referee on the advice of physician.
  30. Winning his mandatory defense against Vaughan Bean on September 19, 1998, raised many questions. The champion was not awful, but he was not awesome, either.
    Evander Holyfield of the USA in the ring during the semi-final of the Light Heavyweight boxing event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena during the 1984 Summer Olympics, 9th August 1984. The match ended in controversy after referee Gligorije Novicic of Yugoslavia disqualified Holyfield for hitting after the break.
    (Photo : Bob Thomas/Getty Images) Evander Holyfield of the USA in the ring during the semi-final of the Light Heavyweight boxing event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena during the 1984 Summer Olympics, 9th August 1984. The match ended in controversy after referee Gligorije Novicic of Yugoslavia disqualified Holyfield for hitting after the break.
  31. On March 13, 1999, he fought the unification match with WBC World Champion, Lennox Lewis. Although it appeared Lewis was leading on points, it was declared draw after twelve rounds. Rematch was won by Lewis on points.
  32. Lewis being stripped of the WBA title, Holyfield fought John Ruiz for the title on August 12, 2000. He won the unanimous 12 round bout, to become World Heavyweight Champion for the fourth time. He is the first boxer to do so.
  33. Holyfield staged a comeback in 2000 after losing the rematch with Lewis. He won against Hasim Rahman, as he could not continue due to eye swelling. He lost to Chris Byrd on points.
  34. In August 2005, it was reported that New York State Athletic Commission had banned Holyfield from boxing in New York due to diminishing skills and age factor. He had lost his match against James Tony in 2003 and to Larry Donald in 2004.
  35. He was criticized for his ongoing comeback, but he was adamant. On August 18, 2006 he defeated Jeremy Bates in the second round after referee stopped the fight. He landed roughly twenty punches consecutively.

  36. On February 28, 2007, he was anonymously linked to Applied Pharmacy Service, which was under investigation for supplying athletes with illegal steroid and human growth hormone. He denied this allegation and would be pursuing his own investigation.
  37. On October 13, 2007, Holyfield took on Sultan Ibragimov for the WBO title. Although with neither fighter truly dominant, the end result was unanimous decision for Ibragimov in 12 rounds.
  38. On December 20, 2008, he fought WBA Heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev for pay cheque of $600,000 the lowest amount he has ever received for a championship fight. Valuev defeated Holyfield by a highly controversial majority decision. The WBA did their investigation into the decision.
  39. After lot of speculation about the venue and date of his match against South African boxer Francois Botha, it was decided on April 10, 2010 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In the seventh round he stunned Botha and knocked him down in the eighth round. Referee stopped the fight for Holyfield to be crowned World Boxing Federation Heavyweight Champion.
    Professional boxer Evander Holyfield attends Roc Nation Sports, Golden Boy Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions And Canelo Promotions Present Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez At The Mandalay Bay Events Center Live On HBO Pay-Per-View at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 21, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    (Photo : Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation Sports) Professional boxer Evander Holyfield attends Roc Nation Sports, Golden Boy Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions And Canelo Promotions Present Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez At The Mandalay Bay Events Center Live On HBO Pay-Per-View at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 21, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  40. In a bid to win the WBC title, he fought Sherman ‘The Tank’ Williams on November 2010 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. He had a cut in the left eye in the second round and could not see. The bout was ruled no contest.
  41. After making his intention of retirement in October 2012, Holyfield seems to change his mind and considers himself as a serious contender. However in June 2014, he finally announced his retirement. He is a boxing adviser to heavyweight prospect Zhang Zhilei.
  42. He has been divorced thrice and has eleven children from six different women. He is the younger brother of actor Bernard Holyfield.
  43. On July 1, 2008 he was forced to move out of his palatial 109 room mansion in Atlanta and it was sold at an auction for $7.5 million.

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