Remembering July 12th 1986 Holyfield vs. Qawi
Jul 13 2018 1:16 AM

Remembering July 12th 1986 Holyfield vs. Qawi – After his defeat by Michael Spinks in March 1983 in a bout for the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Championship, Dwight Muhammad Qawi had been set for a rematch with Spinks in September 1984, however after Qawi was injured three weeks before the fight and had to pull out. He then decided to move up to the new Cruiserweight division and in July 1985 he knocked out Piet Crous to win the WBA cruiserweight title. After making one successful defence against former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks (brother of Michael) he agreed to face Holyfield.

1984 Olympic bronze medalist Evander Holyfield began his pro career fighting in the Light Heavyweight division before setting himself the goal of unifing the Cruiserweight division as a prelude to becoming a Heavyweight.

Holyfield vs. Qawi

There were no knockdowns, but the fight was close and competitive with Holyfield outworking and outlanding Qawi. Two judges, Harold Lederman and Neffie Quintana scored the bout for Holyfield 144-140 & 147-138, while the third judge Gordon Volkman scored it for Qawi 143-141 giving Holyfield a split decision victory and his first world title. The bout would be named as the best cruiserweight fight of the 1980s by Ring Magazine as well as “One of the last great fifteen round title bouts”.

1986 Holyfield

Remembering July 12th 1986 Holyfield vs. Qawi / Check out more boxing news and features at The Sweet Science.