Moorer Michael Moorer


Born: Nov. 12, 1967, Brooklyn, NY

Height: 6'2" Weight: 224

FIGHTS: 38 WINS: 37 LOSSES: 1 DRAWS: 0 KOs: 30

After flying through the light-heavyweight division from 1988 to 1991, Michael Moorer made the move to the heavyweight division with one thing in mind: to become the first southpaw to capture the world heavyweight championship. On April 22, 1994 he accomplished that goal by defeating two-time world champion Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight crowns.

What Moorer thought should be a prosperous ride at the top of the heavyweight division suddenly turned ominous when a thunderous right hand from 45-year old George Foreman sent Moorer down and out in his first title defense. From the time Moorer began boxing, he dreamed of being champion of the world. Knowing what it was like to be there, he wanted to return.

On June 22, 1996, facing Axel Schulz for the vacant IBF title in Germany, Moorer got another chance to capture a heavyweight title. Moorer started out strong, using his jab to keep Schulz at bay, while popping him with overhand lefts to open a wide lead. Although Schulz picked up the pace in the later rounds, Moorer had amounted a large enough lead to win the decision, and reclaim a portion of the heavyweight crown he so greatly desired.

Moorer burst onto the boxing scene as an amateur from the small town of Monessen, Pa. at the age of 13. His grandfather, Henry Smith, a former middleweight began taking Michael to the gym. While Smith was training, Moorer would jump into the ring and "strut his stuff," boasts Smith. Smith's assessment of Moorer proved to be right on the button.

Moorer turned pro on March 4, 1988 against Adrian Riggs, and although that first bout was brief (TKO 1), it was long enough to showcase the devastating punching power he possessed. But even then, no one could imagine he would be world champion by the end of the year.

On Dec. 3, 1988, less than nine months after turning pro, Moorer gained recognition by winning the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light heavyweight title with his defeat of Ramzi Hassan on national television. In doing so, he ran his record to a perfect 12-for-12 (12 fights, 12 knockouts).

The next year, 1989, proved to be more of the same for the articulate Moorer. In six bouts, all title defenses, no opponent made it to the final bell. By the end of 1990, Moorer's knockout streak was very much alive and well. All 22 of his opponents received a "KOBY" on their ring records. But as Moorer became older, it was clear he would not make the 175-pound light-heavyweight limit.

Moorer's long-awaited heavyweight debut came in April, 1991 and although he was fighting bigger men, the results were the same. With knockout victories over top-10 rated Alex Stewart and tough-chinned Levi Billups, his consecutive knockout steak hit 26.

On Feb. 1, 1992, the streak finally came to an end. Moorer administered a giant-size beating on 6-foot-10 Mike White. Although he had White down in the first and the 10th rounds, the ending bell saw White on his feet, with Moorer gaining his 27th straight victory.

Wins over Everett "Big Foot" Martin, Billy Wright and Bert Cooper for the WBO heavyweight crown followed in 1992.

Early in 1993, Moorer relinquished the WBO title to make a serious run at the world heavyweight crown. In February, Moorer out-pointed former world champion James "Bonecrusher" Smith, and then followed with third-round TKOs over Frankie Swindell and James Pritchard in April and June, respectively. In December, 1993, in Reno, Moorer scored a 10-round unanimous decision over world-ranked Mike Evans. The four wins ran his career record to 34-0, with 30 KOs, and elevated him to the No. 1 contender spot in the IBF and WBA rankings.

The Holyfield fight was made and the rest was up to Moorer. Under the tutelage of trainer Teddy Atlas, Moorer embarked on a rigorous eight-week training regimen, to combat the always well-conditioned Holyfield.

Moorer's conditioning and sheer power were evident from the opening bell as he and the champion traded combinations. As the bout progressed, Moorer was giving Holyfield a boxing lesson. An incredibly strong and accurate jab, along with ferocious body work and terrific defense, enabled the challenger to pile up points and take the title.

He would hold the belt for eight months before agreeing to give the aged-veteran Foreman a shot in November, 1994, at the MGM Grand. Moorer controlled the first eight rounds with a snapping jab, and was leading comfortably when Foreman landed a overhand right that knocked the champion out.

Moorer rebounded seven months later, with a decision victory over Melvin Foster in Sacramento, Calif. Legal battles, and an injured hand kept Moorer on the shelf for more than a year before facing Schulz.

The 6-foot-2, 27-year old Moorer was born in Brooklyn, trained in Monessen, and now resides in Detroit. He is managed by California-based John Davimos. Moorer has one son.