[FIGHT BIO] Michael Moorer | The First Southpaw Champion

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Who Is Michael Moorer?

Michael Moorer was a professional boxer born in Brooklyn.

He was raised in Monessen, Pennsylvania by his single mother.

Introduced to boxing by his grandfather at the age of 11, Moorer eventually moved to Detroit, Michigan to train with The Godfather of Detroit Boxing, Emanuel Steward (Kronk Gym).

Moorer had a dominant amateur career, finishing with a record of 48 – 16.

He had an explosive professional debut in March of 1988 when he knocked out Adrian Riggs in the first round.

After knocking out all 11 of his opponents on his way to the top, Moorer managed to dispatch Ramzi Hassan within 5 rounds with an impressive KO for the WBO light heavyweight title.

Moorer spent the next 2 years (1989 and 1990) defending his title nine times, eventually moving up to heavyweight in 1991.

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Michael Moorer

He fought Bert Cooper for the vacant WBO heavyweight championship in 1992, after mowing down all his competition in his first year at heavyweight.

Between 1992 and 1993, Moorer left Emanuel Steward to join the team at Lou Duva’s for 3 of his fights being coached by Georgie Benton.

Finally, moving over to Teddy Atlas at the end of 1993.

Moorer became the first southpaw heavyweight champion after beating Evander Holyfield by majority decision in April of 1994.

He lost his titles to George Foreman in November of ’94, with a shocking knockout that made Foreman the oldest fighter to win the world heavyweight title at the age of 45.

In June of 1996, Moorer reclaimed the IBF heavyweight title after beating Axel Schulz by split-decision in Berlin.

With this, Michael Moorer became a three-time heavyweight champion having held:

  1. WBO in 1992
  2. WBA/IBF in 1994
  3. IBF from 1996 to 1997

Moorer eventually left Teddy Atlas in 1997 after beating Vaughn Bean to defend his heavyweight title, deciding to work with Freddy Roach instead.

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What Happened To Michael Moorer?

Moorer began drinking heavily after retiring for 3 years in ’97, eventually weighing as much as 270 pounds. He had some success after coming out of retirement in 2000 before losing to David Tua in 2002 with a devastating 30 second KO in the first round. He won his last fight in 2008 against Shelby Gross by KO.

He actually retired for a second time in 2002 after his loss to David Tua, but came out of retirement in 2003 to beat Otis Tisdale.

Moorer stayed active for a few years before finally retiring for good from professional boxing in ’08.

How Much Is Michael Moorer Worth?

Estimates of Michael Moorer’s net worth vary widely, from about $5 million all the way up to $50 million. However, in a 2020 interview with iFL TV, Moorer stated that he was broke and talked about the fact that most boxers were because of the pay structure in boxing.

Moorer explains how much he actually made after deductions.

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How Good Was Michael Moorer?

Michael Moorer was an exceptional boxer. His impressive professional career boasts only 4 losses in all 57 of his fights. What’s more impressive is that 40 (77%) of his 52 wins were by KO/TKO. Moorer is known as one of the most underrated boxers, never reaching the level of notoriety that Holyfield and Foreman enjoyed.

Having worked with coaching royalty like Georgie Benton, Teddy Atlas, and Freddy Roach – Moorer had only the best of the best in his corner.

Keep reading to see some of Moorer’s most memorable bouts.

Did Michael Moorer Take A Dive?

Some think Moorer’s loss to George Foreman in 1994 was a dive because the final punch looked too soft to knock him out. However, the KO was real as Moorer himself said it was the hard right-hand before the final blow by Foreman that knocked him out on his feet, the final shot just guided him to the canvas.

If Moorer had won he would’ve been up for a fight with Tyson, Lewes, Bowie, or even a defense against Holmes which would’ve been good paydays.

It’s unlikely that Moorer took a dive, especially with those opportunities on the line.

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Michael Moorer Today?

Since retiring from boxing in 2008, Moorer has become a licensed armed private security officer and has been a private investigator for over a decade. He still teaches boxing and even helped to coach Manny Pacquiao as Chief Assistant to Freddie Roach at The Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.

Known as one of the most violent and badass boxers to ever live, Michael Moorer counts himself lucky to finish his boxing career with his health intact.

He lives with his wife Bobbie Moorer and his four children in Florida, USA.

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Who Beat Michael Moorer?

Moorer only lost 4 fights his entire career spanning 57 bouts over a period of 20 years. His only losses were to boxing legends, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, David Tua, and Eliseo Castillo. He also had a draw with Dale Crowe in 2001, ending with a cut to Crowe’s right eye from a headbutt in the 5th round.

Let’s look at these fights in more detail:

Michael Moorer Vs George Foreman

Moorer and Foreman fought on November 5th, 1994 in Nevada with the Heavyweight title on the line.

Most of the fight was controlled by Moorer, injuring Foreman quite badly with one eye basically swollen shut at the end of round seven.

The fight went on to the 10th round with Moorer winning 7 of the 9 rounds.

Knowing there was only one round left, his cornerman Angelo Dundee (Muhammad Ali’s legendary trainer) told him the only way to win was by knocking Moorer out.

After injuring Moorer with a blow to the body early in the round, Foreman managed to slow him down.

Foreman used this to his advantage and started landing combinations, wearing Moorer down.

One right-hand cross had Moorer knocked out on his feet, leaving Foreman only a light follow-up combination which put Moorer on the ground.

George Foreman became a 45-year Heavyweight Champion, holding the record for the oldest to do so.

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Michael Moorer Vs Evander Holyfield 2

The second war between Michael Moorer and Evander Holyfield took place on November 8th, 1997 in Nevada.

The fight started quite evenly between the two fighters with both exchanging punches.

An incident in the 3rd round when the fighters bumped heads cut Holyfield open above his right eye.

The fight continued after a short break to fix Holyfield’s eye, with Moorer targetting the same spot with his powerful right jab.

Round 5 saw Holyfield come back with heavy shots of his own dropping Moorer to the canvas with only 24 seconds left of the round.

Moorer managed to get back up and recovered.

After his near knockout in the 5th round, Moorer was determined to come back and managed a very good 6th round.

Holyfield answered back in the 7th with strong combinations, sending Moorer to the ground multiple times.

Round 8 came and Moorer got knocked down again for the 4th time, but managed to recover.

After being knocked to the ground a final time with only 3 seconds remaining in the round, Moorer was saved by the bell.

Before the 9th round could start, Flip Homansky (ringside physician) examined Moorer and decided he wasn’t able to keep fighting.

Holyfield won by TKO to become the Heavyweight champion.

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Michael Moorer Vs David Tua

Moorer fought Tua at the Taj Mahal on the 17th of August, 2002.

The fight was scheduled for 10 rounds but it ended in the first 30 seconds.

Tua came rushing out of his corner as soon as the bell rang, immediately getting Moorer’s back to ropes and started pounding him with heavy shots to the body and face.

David Tua dropped him with a solid right hook to the head, collapsing Moorer between the ropes and ending the fight by knockout.

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Michael Moorer Vs Eliseo Castillo

Moorer fought Eliseo Castillo on July 3rd, 2004 in Miami, Florida.

The fight went all the way to the scheduled 10th round.

It was a hard fight with both fighters handing out heavy shots, but Castillo was in better shape and controlled the fight until the end.

Castillo won the fight by unanimous decision and remained undefeated with a record of 18-0.

Other Notable Fights

Michael Moorer Vs Bert Cooper

The war between Moorer and Cooper happened on the 15th of May, 1992.

Cooper started the fight off with heavy shots, charging at Moorer like a steam train and knocking him down in the first 41 seconds.

Moorer recovered and fought back with a combination of his own, knocking Cooper down with only 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining in the first round.

Cooper punished Moorer in the 2nd with his back against the ropes, before going into the third round where Moorer got knocked down again.

Cooper cut his eye badly in the 4th round but managed to wear Moorer down with his power punch combinations.

The 5th round saw Cooper looking more tired and vulnerable, so Moorer took the advantage and hit Cooper with a beautiful right uppercut that sent him to the ground once more.

Cooper managed to get back to his feet but was clearly not able to fight any further.

Referee Joe O’Neill called the fight and Moorer became the Heavyweight champion by TKO.

Michael Moorer Vs Evander Holyfield

This fight took place on April 22, 1994, at Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada.

They were battling for the Heavyweight Championship.

The fight was scheduled for 12 rounds, and the pair fought through all 12.

A brutal back-and-forth with Holyfield knocking Moorer down with a left hook in the 2nd round and only 20 seconds remaining.

Moorer managed to stand up and recover, winning the fight by majority decision in a controversial scoring where most expected a draw.

With the win, Moorer became the WBA, IBF, and Lineal Heavyweight Champion.

Michael Moorer Vs Francois Botha

This 12 round fight happened in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 11th, 1996.

Botha entered the fight as the #1 Heavyweight contender taking on the 5-1 favorite, Michael Moorer.

Francois came out firing, but Moorer put Botha under heavy pressure.

Late into the 3rd round, Moorer attacked with a good combination making Botha stumble.

Botha came out of round 3 with a cut above his right eye.

The slugfest continued with both fighters throwing punches, in what Moorer has described as one of his favorite and most memorable fights.

Controlling most of the fight, Moorer knocked Botha down twice in the 11th round.

As the 12th round started the referee called off the contest because Botha wasn’t able to defend himself anymore.

Moorer won the fight by TKO.

Michael Moorer Vs Vaughn Bean

Moorer faced Vaughn Bean on the 29th of March, 1997 at the Hilton in Las Vegas.

They fought through all 12 scheduled rounds, with a very even bought between the two.

Moorer landed more shots than Bean and controlled the fight more significantly.

Moorer won by majority decision and remained the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Michael Moorer’s Profile

BornNovember 12th 1967
NationalityUSA
DivisionLight Heavyweight
and Heavyweight
Height6′ 2″ (188cm)
Weight171 – 251lbs
(78 – 114kg)
Reach78″ (198cm)
DebutMarch 4th 1988

Professional Boxing Career Stats

WhenOpponentResult
March 4th, 1988Adrian RiggsWin (TKO)
March 25th, 1988Bill LeeWin (TKO)
April 29th, 1988Brett ZwierzynskiWin (KO)
May 10th, 1988Dennis FikesWin (TKO)
June 6th, 1988Keith McMurrayWin (TKO)
June 6th, 1988LaVelle StanleyWin (TKO)
August 6th, 1988Terrence WalkerWin (RTD)
August 12th, 1988Jordan KeepersWin (TKO)
October 7th, 1988Jorge SueroWin (TKO)
October 17th, 1988Carl WilliamsWin (TKO)
November 4th, 1988Glenn KennedyWin (KO)
December 3rd, 1988Ramzi HassanWin (TKO)
January 14th, 1989Victor ClaudioWin (TKO)
February 19th, 1989Frankie SwindellWin (TKO)
April 22nd, 1989Freddie DelgadoWin (TKO)
June 25th, 1989Leslie StewartWin (TKO)
November 16th, 1989Jeff ThompsonWin (KO)
December 22nd, 1989Mike SedilloWin (TKO)
February 3rd, 1990Marcellus AllenWin (RTD)
April 28th, 1990Mario MeloWin (KO)
August 21st, 1990Jim MacDonaldWin (TKO)
December 15th, 1990Danny StonewalkerWin (TKO)
April 19th, 1991Terry DavisWin (TKO)
June 25th, 1991Levi BillupsWin (TKO)
July 27th, 1991Alex StewartWin (TKO)
November 23rd, 1991Bobby CrabtreeWin (RTD)
February 1st, 1992Mike WhiteWin (UD)
March 17th, 1992Everett MartinWin (UD)
May 15th, 1992Bert CooperWin (TKO)
November 13th, 1992Billy WrightWin (TKO)
February 27th, 1993James SmithWin (UD)
April 27th, 1993Frankie SwindellWin (TKO)
June 22nd, 1993James PritchardWin (TKO)
December 4th, 1993Mike EvansWin (UD)
April 22nd, 1994Evander HolyfieldWin (MD)
November 5th, 1994George ForemanLoss (KO)
May 13th, 1995Melvin FosterWin (UD)
June 22nd, 1996Axel SchulzWin (SD)
November 9th, 1996Frans BothaWin (TKO)
March 29th, 1997Vaughn BeanWin (MD)
November 8th, 1997Evander HolyfieldLoss (RTD)
November 17th, 2000Lorenzo BoydWin (TKO)
January 12th, 2001Terrence LewisWin (TKO)
July 27th, 2001Dale CroweDraw (TD)
December 9th, 2001Terry PorterWin (TKO)
February 16th, 2002Robert DavisWin (UD)
August 17th, 2002David TuaLoss (KO)
March 29th, 2003Otis TisdaleWin (UD)
August 23rd, 2003Rogerio LoboWin (KO)
January 17th, 2004Jose Arimatea da SilvaWin (RTD)
July 3rd, 2004Eliseo CastilloLoss (UD)
December 9th, 2004Vassiliy JirovWin (TKO)
December 9th, 2006Cliff CouserWin (KO)
March 16th, 2007Sedreck FieldsWin (UD)
August 16th, 2007Rich BoruffWin (TKO)
October 31st, 2007Roderick WillisWin (SD)
February 8th, 2008Shelby GrossWin (KO)

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Sources

Wikipedia

BoxRec

The Ring

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