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36 years ago

Evander Holyfield vs Ricky Parkey

Evander Holyfield vs Ricky Parkey

Date: 15th May 1987

Venue: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Title: WBA & IBF World Cruiserweight Titles

Promoter: Main Events

Tv: Showtime

Evander Holyfield
( 14 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 188 lbs

Ricky Parkey
( 20 - 4 - 0 )
Weight: 187½ lbs

Evander Holyfield's unification bout against IBF cruiserweight champion Rickey Parkey was marked by anticipation and controversy, culminating in a decisive victory for Holyfield at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. 

The event, promoted by Main Events and broadcast on Showtime, added drama to the cruiserweight division, with Holyfield defending his WBA title and Parkey his IBF crown. Questions regarding the WBA's sanctioning dominated the pre-fight narrative. This was due to conflicts with the Nevada Athletic Commission over previous judging disputes and recognition issues related to South African fighters. Eventually, the WBA relented, allowing the fight to proceed with their title on the line despite initial resistance.

Holyfield, with a record of 14-0, all by knockouts, displayed a dominant performance against Parkey from the opening bell. Holyfield's right hand, remarkably accurate this night, found its mark repeatedly, compromising Parkey's usually reliable defence against such attacks. The first round saw Holyfield landing precise jabs and right crosses, staggering Parkey but still needing to secure a knockdown.

Parkey, attempting to retaliate with hooks and right hands, failed to deter Holyfield, who continued to close the distance effectively. By the second round, Holyfield intensified his assault, cornering Parkey and landing a series of punishing blows. However, Parkey managed to endure, demonstrating resilience under pressure.

The decisive moment came in the third round when Holyfield's relentless attack sent Parkey reeling to the canvas. Although Parkey rose and signalled his readiness to continue, Holyfield's subsequent flurry of punches proved overwhelming, leading referee Davey Pearl to halt the bout at 2:44 of the round following another knockdown.

Holyfield's victory elevated his record to 15-0 and solidified his status in the cruiserweight division, while Parkey's record moved to 18-5. The fight's aftermath fuelled discussions about Holyfield's potential move to the heavyweight division. Holyfield and his team first intend to dominate the cruiserweight ranks before considering a transition. 

Evander Holyfield vs Ricky Parkey on YouTube

Evander Holyfield vs Ricky Parkey

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