As we count down to the biggest fight in history this week’s where are they now will look at the old marque division the heavyweights. Having 4 different versions of the world title means that we have had numerous champions at any one time. The era I will focus on is the 90’s and have a look at some of the champions during that decade and what they are up to now.
Mike Tyson: The youngest ever undisputed heavyweight champion in 1987. He first lost his titles in 1990 in one of the biggest shocks in boxing history when he lost to James “Buster” Douglas. Regained the WBC and WBA titles in 1996 only to lose the WBA title to Evander Holyfield in 1997. Tyson retired in 2005 but did some exhibition bouts in 2006 to earn some money. Since then he has gone on to star in the Hangover film and also a one man show called Mike Tyson: Undisputed truth. This is a show where Mike openly about his professional and personal life. In 2011 Tyson was inducted into the boxing hall of fame.
James “Buster” Douglas: The first man to beat Mike Tyson in 1990 to win the titles. In his 1st defence he lost to Evander Holyfield. He retired in 1999 having never won the title again. Having beaten the booze and other demons in his life Douglas now trains his son.
Evander Holyfield: The only 4 time heavyweight champion of the world. Holyfield began his career as a cruiserweight after the Olympics in 1984 and became undisputed champion in that division before moving up in weight. He beat Buster Douglas in 1990 to win the heavyweight title for the 1st time. He officially retired in 2014 after failing to secure a heavyweight title fight. He has made numerous appearances on reality TV shows and now is an advisor to Zhang Zhilei.
Ray Mercer: Won the title in 1991 when he knocked out the undefeated Francesco Damiani. Mercer never lost his title in the ring as he vacated in favour of fighting Larry Holmes who he lost to.
Mercer has also been involved with kick boxing and MMA in his time.
Mercer now devotes his time to a non-profit organisation which helps to support youngsters through education and sport.
Michael Moorer: Has held the heavyweight world title on 3 separate occasions. In 1992 he won the WBO version which was not an authentic title at the time he won authentic titles in 1994 against Evander Holyfield and became the first ever southpaw heavyweight champion. Later in the year in his first defence he lost to 45 year old George Foreman. Moorer regained a version of the titles in 1996.
Moorer retired in 2008.
He went on to work at the wildcard gym and work for a non-profit organisation which helps to support youngsters through education and sport. He would also like to open his own gym in Florida.
Riddick Bowe: A former 2 time heavyweight champion. He was undisputed champion in 1992 and WBO champion in 1995. Retired in 1996 but did make a return in 2004 but has been inactive since 2008. He is part of the 2015 International boxing hall of fame class.
In 2013 Bowe fought in a Muay Thai fight which was stopped inside 2 rounds having been knocked down 5 times.
Bowe has recently turned to coaching.
Lennox Lewis: The last undisputed champion and 3 time heavyweight world champion. 1992 saw him named WBC champion after Bowe vacate the title. He lost this to Oliver McCall in 1994 only to regain in a rematch. In 1999 he became undisputed champion when he defeated Evander Holyfield in their 2nd fight, having drawn the first. In 2001 he lost the title again to Hasim Rahman before again beating Rahman in a rematch. His last match was in 2003 when Vitali Klitschko had to retire after 6 rounds due to a severely cut eye.
Lewis now lives in Miami, and most recently was asked to advise British heavyweight David Price after a loss to Tony Thompson.
Tommy Morrison: Beat George Foreman for the vacant WBO title in 1993. He lost the title later in the year to unknown Michael Bentt in 1 round. He retired in 1996 having contracted HIV. He appeared in in the 1990 film Rocky V as Tommy Gunn. Morrison died in 2013.
Michael Bentt: Won a version of the title in 1993 when he knocked out Tommy Morrison in 1 round. He lost the title in his first defence against Herbie Hide in 1994. After this loss Bentt had to retire due to injuries to the brain which he suffered in the fight.
Bentt went on to study radio and TV and has appeared in films such as Ali playing Sonny Liston.
Bentt has also directed off-broadway production ‘Kid Shamrock’ and served as a faculty member and Co-teacher at the ‘Anna Deavere Smith Project: Empathy and Acting’ at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Herbie Hide: A 2 time heavyweight champion winning the belt in 1994 and 1997. He last fought in 2010.
In 2013 he was sentenced to 22months in prison for selling cocaine.
Oliver McCall: Beat Lennox Lewis in 1994 for the WBC title, losing it to Frank Bruno in 1995. McCall is still an active fighter with his last fight in 2014 a win making his record 57-13. He will turn 50 this April.
George Foreman: A 2 time world champion. He won his first title in 1973 beating Joe Frazier only to lose the title against Muhammad Ali in “The Rumble in the Jungle”. George won his second title in 1994 aged 45 knocking out Michael Moorer. Foreman retired in 1997.
He is also famous for his fat-reducing grill.
George now does an inspirational tour which allows George to deliver his Christian testimony’s to live audiences.
Bruce Seldon: Won the WBA version in 1995 beating Tony Tucker. He lost the title in his second defence against Mike Tyson. He retired in 2009. He currently trains his super middleweight son.
Frank Bruno: One of Britain’s best loved boxers finally won the world title in 1995 beating Oliver McCall. He went on to defend against Mike Tyson losing in 3 rounds and retiring after that fight.
In 2003 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has gone on to speak at conferences to do with mental health issues.
Henry Akinwande: Beat Jeremy Williams for the vacant WBO title in 1996. He vacated the title to challenge Lennox Lewis for the WBC title. His last fight was in 2008 but he has never officially confirmed his retirement.
Vitali Klitschko: Won the WBO title in 1996 against Herbie Hide. Lost the title in 2000 to Chris Byrd having suffered a shoulder injury. Won the WBC title in 2004 and 2008 after coming back out of retirement. He retired again in 2012 as WBC title holder. The WBC announced him as champion emeritus, meaning he can fight for the WBC belt without having any other fights. Vitali now supports his brother whilst making a career in politics in his home country of Ukraine.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Andrew Huddlestone