Holyfield, Evander, 1962–, American boxer, b. Atmore, Ala. Favored to win the 1984 Olympic heavyweight title, but victim of a controversial disqualification, he turned professional and became cruiserweight world champion in 1988. In 1990 he defeated Buster Douglas to win the world heavyweight title. Losing it to Riddick Bowe in 1993, he beat Bowe in 1993, only to lose the title to Michael Moorer in 1994. After retiring briefly, he defeated Mike Tyson in 1995 to regain the title, then kept it following a notorious 1997 rematch in which Tyson was disqualified for biting off part of Holyfield's ear. He fought Lennox Lewis to a draw in a controversial decision in 1999, then lost a rematch later the same year. After Lewis lost his World Boxing Association (WBA) title in a court decision, Holyfield regained (2000) that title in a fight with contender John Ruiz. The next year, however, Ruiz defeated him in a rematch and retained the title in a controversial draw. Holyfield subsequently mounted several unsuccessful comeback attempts, but in 2010 he knocked out Francois Botha to win the less prestigious World Boxing Foundation (WBF) heavyweight title.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies