(born October 19, 1962) is a retired American professional boxer. He is a former Undisputed World Champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname “The Real Deal.” He is the only four-time World Heavyweight Champion, winning the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles in 1990, the WBA and IBF titles in 1993, and the WBA title in 1996 and 2000.
After winning the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics, Holyfield debuted as a professional at the age of 21. Holyfield moved to the cruiserweight division in 1985 and won his first title the following year, when he defeatedDwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA Cruiserweight belt. He then went on to defeat Ricky Parkey and Carlos De Leon to win theLineal, IBF and WBC titles, becoming the Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion. Holyfield moved up to heavyweight in 1988, defeating Buster Douglas for the The Ring, Lineal, WBC, WBA and IBF titles in 1990. He went on to regain the Heavyweight title on three further occasions and holds notable victories over fighters such as George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, Mike Tyson (x2), Michael Moorer, John Ruiz, Michael Dokes and Hasim Rahman.
Holyfield moved up to heavyweight in 1988, winning his first six fights, all by stoppage. On October 25, 1990, Holyfield knocked out Heavyweight Champion James “Buster” Douglas to claim the WBC, WBA, IBF & The Ring Heavyweight titles. He retained the Heavyweight crown three times, which included victories over former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before suffering his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe on November 13, 1992. Holyfield regained the title in a rematch one year later, beating Bowe by majority decision for the WBA and IBF titles. Holyfield later lost the titles to Michael Moorer on April 22, 1994 by majority decision.
Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994, only to return a year later. On November 9, 1996, he went on to defeat Mike Tyson by eleventh round technical knockout to win the WBA title, in what was named fight of the year and upset of the year for 1996 by The Ringmagazine.became the first Heavyweight since Muhammad Ali to win the World title three times. Seven months later, Holyfield won the 1997 rematch against Tyson, when the latter was disqualified in round three for biting off part of Holyfield’s ear. During his reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer, when he stopped him in eight rounds to win the IBF belt.
In 1999, he faced Lennox Lewis in a split draw, but was defeated in a rematch eight months later. The following year, he won a unanimous decision over John Ruiz for the vacant WBA Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first boxer to win a version of the heavyweight title four times. Holyfield lost a rematch with Ruiz seven months later and faced him for the third time in a draw.
Holyfield retired in 2014 and has a professional record of 44 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest. He is ranked #77 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.is ranked as the Greatest Cruiserweight of all time by The Boxing Scene
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