Games & medals
Los Angeles 1984 1984
|#=3||Boxing||Light-Heavyweight (≤81 kilograms)|
Evander HOLYFIELD biography
Evander Holyfield competed as a light-heavyweight at the 1984 Olympics, winning a controversial bronze medal. In the semi-finals he was competing against New Zealander Kevin Barry, and was controlling the fight. Near the end of the second round, Holyfield hammered Barry’s ribs with a right, and then unloaded with a left hook that floored Barry. The official, a Yugoslav named Gligorije Novičić, waved Holyfield to a neutral corner and then counted out Barry. He then turned to Holyfield and disqualified him for a purported late hit, saying he had told him to break prior to the left hook. Films did seem to confirm this, but even Barry told Holyfield that “You won the fight fair and square.” The pro-American crowd went crazy, and Novičić had to receive a police escort to exit the arena. Barry had won, but could not fight in the finals because he had been knocked out and amateur rules prohibited a knocked out boxer from fighting for 28 days.
After the Olympics Holyfield turned professional and would have one of the greatest ever professional careers. In 1985 he won the WBA cruiserweight title by defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi. He soon became the undisputed cruiserweight champion and in 1988 moved up to heavyweight, defeating Buster Douglas and would then become the undisputed heavyweight champion. Holyfield fought two memorable bouts against Mike Tyson, with the second fight in 1997 mostly known because, during a clinch, Tyson bit off a portion of Holyfield’s right ear, which caused him to be disqualified.
Holyfield is the only person to have been world heavyweight champion four times, winning the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles in 1990, the WBA and IBF titles in 1993 and the WBA title in 1996 and 2000. During his career he had notable victories over George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, Mike Tyson (twice), Michael Moorer, John Ruiz, Michael Dokes and Hasim Rahman. Holyfield finished his career in 2012 with a record of 44 wins (29 by KO) and 10 losses. Holyfield eventually retired in 2014 and was rumored to have made over $250 million (US) during his career.