Evander Holyfield (born October 19, 1962) is a professional boxer from the United States. He is a former World Undisputed Champion in both cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname "The Real Deal". After winning the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics, he 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 defeated Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA World Cruiserweight belt. He would then go on to defeat Ricky Parkey and Carlos De Leon to win the IBF and WBC titles, becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion. Holyfield moved up to Heavyweight in 1988, defeating Buster Douglas for the WBA, WBC and IBF titles in 1990.
Evander Holyfield holds other notable victories over fighters such as; George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, Mike Tyson, Michael Moorer, John Ruiz and Hasim Rahman. Holyfield is the only 4-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.
Holyfield was forced to retired 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 Ring magazine. Evander Holyfield 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 would lose a rematch with Ruiz seven months later and would face him for the third time in a draw.
Holyfield's rematch with Tyson took place on June 28, 1997. Known as "The Bite Fight," it would go into the annals of boxing as one of the most bizarre fights in history. The infamous incident occurred in the third round, when Tyson bit Holyfield on one of his ears and had two points deducted. Referee Mills Lane decided to disqualify Tyson initially, but after Holyfield and the ringside doctor intervened and said Holyfield could continue, he relented and allowed the fight to go on. However, Tyson went on to bite Holyfield again, this time on the other ear. Tyson, with his teeth, tore off the top of his ear, known as the helix, and spit the flesh out on the ring.
Evander Holyfield on the Coat
Holyfield is still an active Boxer as of 2011 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. Evander Holyfield is ranked as the Greatest Cruiserweight of all time by The Boxing Scene. and is concidered one of the Greatest Heavyweights of all time by many.