Evander Holyfield career timeline

Originally Published: July 5, 2007
By Bert Randolph Sugar | Boxing Historian

Evander Holyfield
"The Real Deal"
  • Born: Oct. 19, 1962, Atmore, Ala
  • Nickname: "The Real Deal"
  • Youngest of nine siblings
  • Mother moved family to Atlanta, where Evander started boxing at age eight
  • DQ'd in one amateur tourney after biting opponent
  • Won silver medal in 1983 Pan-Am Games
  • Won '84 National Golden Gloves, scoring KO in each win
  • DQ'd in'84 Olympics for hitting opponent on break, won bronze
  • Pro debut: Nov. 15, 1984, 6-round decision over Lionel Byarm at Madison Square Garden, NY
  • Won WBA Cruiserweight (Jr. heavy) title in just 11th pro bout, beating Dwight Muhammad Qawi, 7/12/86
  • Added IBF Cruiserweight title with third-round TKO over Rickey Parkey, 5/15/87
  • Unified Cruiserweight title with 8th-round TKO of WBC titleholder Carlos DeLeon, 4/9/88
  • Moved up to heavyweight with 5-round KO of James "Quick" Tillis, 7/16/88
  • Won WBC Continental Americas heavy-weight title with 10-round TKO of former heavyweight champ Michael Dokes, 3/11/89
  • KO'd Buster Douglas in three to win world heavyweight title, 10/1/90
  • Defeated George Foreman, 4/19/91, in one of the most widely viewed PPV fights, 4/19/91, to defend title
  • Successfully defended versus Bert Cooper and Larry Holmes before losing title to Riddick Bowe, 11/13/92, in The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year"
  • Recaptured heavyweight title in rematch vs. Bowe, 11/6/93, in bout best remembered for 21-minute interruption by "Fan Man"
  • Lost belt to Michael Moorer, 4/22/94
  • Lost "rubber match" to Bowe, 11/4/95, stopped for 1st time in career in 8th round
  • Won WBA title, 11/9/96, in huge upset, stopping Mike Tyson in 11th round
  • Won return bout against Tyson, 6/28/97, on third-round DQ after Tyson bit off piece of Holyfield's ear
  • Defeated Moorer in return bout, stopping IBF champ in 8, 11/8/97
  • Received "gift" draw in bout with Lennox Lewis, 3/13/99
  • Defeated by Lewis in return bout, 11/13/99
  • Went 1-1-1 in three bouts with John Ruiz
  • Stopped by James Toney, 10/4/2003 and lost in lackluster performance to Larry Donald, 11/13/2004, in last fight of career
  • Complete record: 52 bouts, 42 wins, 8 losses, 2 draws, 27 knockouts.

    From "Boxing's Greatest Fights,"
    copyright 2006, Lyons Press