Who Was the First Man to Knockout Evander Holyfield?

Published 09/11/2021, 7:40 AM EDT


‘The Real Deal’ Evander Holyfield was never an easy opponent to stand against in the boxing ring. He was fierce, heavy-handed, and technically sound, which collectively turned him into one of the most prolific champions of his time. However, every giant has fallen before someone and the American star was no exception.

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Boasting off 44 wins-10-losses, and 2 draws, Holyfield’s professional career saw him get involved in 31 knockout affairs, 29 of those came in his favor, but ‘The Real Deal’ was stopped twice. Although it didn’t put any dent in his legacy, fans continue to talk about Holyfield’s losses on certain occasions.

Furthermore, the maiden KO of his career had evoked several people to hunt down more about the fight, which remains intact even to this day. While 58-year-old Holyfield is now eyeing a return to the ring against Vitor Belfort on September 11, he might look back at his first KO loss to avoid a few in-ring flaws.

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The first time Holyfield got knocked out, it shocked many fans. However, Riddick Bowe had all the prowess and features that earned him the accolade. Here’s a recap of that fight in 1995 where Riddick Bowe became the first man to KO Evander Holyfield.

The knockout loss of Evander Holyfield

After vanquishing Ray Mercer in May, Holyfield decided to close off his rivalry with Bowe that was standing 1-1. Hence, the trilogy fight, nicknamed ‘Final Chapter’, happened in November. Although it was a non-title clash, the heated rivalry between the two grabbed global attention. However, it wasn’t a lopsided affair and went down as one of the closest trilogy fights, that is, until the KO blow.

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‘The Real’ brought his lion-heart to the fore and battled a vicious Riddick Bowe. But unlike the first two fights, the third meeting fell short of 12-rounds and ended with Bowe knocking out Evander Holyfield in round eight. After trading haymakers in the first four, Evander Holyfield became the first man to knock down Riddick Bowe in the fifth round. It was a stunner.

Nevertheless, ‘Big Daddy’ regained his momentum and knocked down Holyfield twice in round eight, responding to The Real Deal’s barrage of punches with a counter right.

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Do you think Vitor Belfort can knock out Evander Holyfield in the Triller PPV and emulate Riddick Bowe?

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Raj Sarkar

2425 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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