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37 years ago

Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs Evander Holyfield

Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs Evander Holyfield

Date: 12th July 1986

Venue: The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia

Title: WBA World Cruiserweight Title

Promoter: Jim Abernathy Sports

Tv: ABC Wide World of Sports

Dwight Muhammad Qawi
( 26 - 2 - 1 )
Weight: 189¾ lbs

Evander Holyfield
( 11 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 186 lbs


In a pivotal clash that has since become a staple in boxing lore, Evander Holyfield faced Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the World Boxing Association Cruiserweight Title on July 12, 1986, at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. This bout, dubbed "Pandemonium," pitted an up-and-coming Holyfield against the experienced Qawi in a fight to test Holyfield's mettle and set him on a path to boxing greatness.

Holyfield, a bronze medalist from the 1984 Olympics, was venturing into just his 12th professional fight with an undefeated record of 11-0. He was facing Qawi, a former light heavyweight champion who had successfully transitioned to the cruiserweight division to capture the WBA title. Qawi's journey to this fight included a knockout victory over Piet Crous to claim the cruiserweight crown and a successful defence against Leon Spinks.

The fight was a gruelling, competitive affair that lasted fifteen rounds, marking it as one of the final great fifteen-round title bouts in boxing history. Both fighters exhibited tremendous skill and determination, with Holyfield managing to outwork and outland Qawi despite no knockdowns occurring during the match. The judges' scorecards reflected the fight's intensity and competitiveness, with Harold Lederman and Neffie Quintana scoring the bout in favour of Holyfield, while Gordon Volkman saw Qawi as the victor. Ultimately, Holyfield emerged victorious via split decision, earning his first world title and setting the stage for his illustrious career.

This match earned Holyfield a $100,000 payday and solidified his position as a force to be reckoned with in the cruiserweight division. It propelled him towards his goal of unifying the cruiserweight titles, a feat he would achieve before moving up to the heavyweight division, where he would find even greater success.

The bout was lauded for its intensity and significance, earning accolades from The Ring Magazine as the best cruiserweight fight of the 1980s and ranking as the 46th greatest title fight of all time in 1996. Holyfield vs. Qawi remains a seminal moment in boxing history, showcasing the heart, skill, and perseverance that define the sport's greatest champions.


Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs Evander Holyfield on YouTube


Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs Evander Holyfield



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