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23 years ago

Evander Holyfield vs John Ruiz II

Evander Holyfield vs John Ruiz 2

Date: 3rd March 2001

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Title: WBA World Heavyweight Title

Promoter: Don King Productions

Tv: SET PPV & Kingvision PPV

Evander Holyfield
( 37 - 4 - 1 )
Weight: 217 lbs

John Ruiz
( 36 - 4 - 0 )
Weight: 227 lbs


The second meeting between Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz, billed as "The Last Word," took place on March 3, 2001, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout marked a significant moment in boxing history, as John Ruiz defeated Evander Holyfield unanimously, with the judges scoring the fight 116-110, 115-111, and 114-111 in favour of Ruiz. This victory crowned Ruiz as the first Latino heavyweight champion, a monumental achievement in the sport.

Ruiz's upset over Holyfield dramatically shifted the landscape of the heavyweight division. Ruiz showcased a relentless attacking style throughout the fight, landing numerous effective jabs and controlling the pace against the 38-year-old Holyfield. Despite being knocked down by an uppercut from Ruiz early in the 11th round, Holyfield displayed his trademark resilience but could not overcome the challenger's aggression and strategy.

The fight was not without its controversies, including a pivotal moment in the tenth round when Holyfield landed a low blow on Ruiz, resulting in a point deduction for the champion. This incident momentarily shifted the momentum in Ruiz's favour, a turn of events that Ruiz capitalised on in the subsequent rounds.

The judges' unanimous decision in favour of Ruiz was met with mixed reactions, reflecting the closely contested nature of the bout. Despite the dispute over the decision, Ruiz's victory was a defining moment in his career, establishing him as a critical player in the heavyweight division and setting the stage for future battles, including potential matchups with Lennox Lewis or Mike Tyson.

Having earned $5 million for the fight, Holyfield faced questions about his future in the sport, particularly given the physical toll of his long and storied career. Conversely, Ruiz, with a $1.5 million payday, emerged with a significant financial boost and increased standing in the boxing world, underscored by his historic achievement as the first Latino heavyweight champion.


Evander Holyfield vs John Ruiz 2 on YouTube


Evander Holyfield vs John Ruiz 2



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