Michael Moorer

Heavyweight Champion: 1994

Many boxers have made the step up from light-heavyweight, seeking the greater honours and bigger purses on offer in the heavyweight division. Michael Moorer did that, but he went one better: he also relinquished titles with one of the minor boxing organisations so that he could embark on the glory trail with one of the more prestigious bodies. Moorer became the newly-instituted World Boxing Organisation’s first light-heavyweight champion in December 1988, when he stopped Ramzi Hassan.

Over the next three years he successfully defended the title eight times, then relinquished it so that he could compete at heavyweight level. Initially, he remained within the WBO fold. This organisation ignored the claims of the likes of Tyson and Holyfield, and the crown passed through the hands of a succession of second-rank heavyweights. Moorer became the WBO heavyweight champion in May 1992 with a fifth-round victory over Bert Cooper. However, he soon reached the conclusion that he was too big a fish swimming in too small a pool. In 1993, he gave that title up, too. His decision was vindicated in April the following year, when he was given the chance to win the WBA and IBF belts. Standing in his way was the incumbent, Evander Holyfield. After his inspired comeback victory over Riddick Bowe, Holyfield gave a somewhat lacklustre performance that day in Las Vegas. The fight went the full 12 rounds, with Moorer getting a majority decision. Moorer had become the first southpaw heavyweight champion in history. Unfortunately for him, his reign was also to be one of the shortest. On November 5, 1994, less than seven months after his surprise win over Holyfield, Moorer himself was on the receiving end of a shock decision. His opponent was a 45-year-old preacher by the name of George Foreman.

Michael Moorer

Born: Brooklyn, New York, USA. November 12 1967 World Heavyweight Champion:1992-1994 1996-1997 (IBF) World Light-Heavyweight Champion:1988-1991 Record: Won 39 (31 Kos) Lost 2

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