After fifty-two bouts, forty-seven wins, two hundred and seventy one rounds, six titles and seventeen years as a professional banger former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer 47-4-1 (37 KO’s) has decided to hang up the gloves. But the thirty-eight year old southpaw isn’t exactly done with the fight world.
After turning pro in 1988 with a first round knock out over Adrian Riggs, the light heavyweight went on an all out mission to destroy all in his path. The young pugilist went on a twenty-six knock out win streak winning the WBO light heavyweight title and successfully defending the strap a total of nine times before moving up to heavyweight in 1991.
As a heavyweight the hard hitter continued his destruction of the competition and in his thirteenth heavyweight bout the southpaw faced off against the ‘Holy Warrior’ Evander Holyfield. After being floored in the second round Michael got off the canvas and weathered the storm to gain the majority decision and in the process earned the WBA and the IBF heavyweight titles. But what was around the corner for the champion no boxing fan could fathom.
After thirty-five straight victories with thirty knockouts and two heavyweight titles the twenty-six year old was ahead on all score cards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but his reign was over at 2:03 in the tenth round when he found himself on the canvas after tasting a heavy right hand from a forty-five year old George Foreman. Six months after his first defeat Moorer got back in business with winning four straight and once again strapping on the IBF heavyweight title beating two undefeated heavyweights Frans Botha and Vaughn Bean before stepping back in the square in a highly anticipated rematch against Evander Holyfield. Dropped to the floor a total of five times Moorer lost his second fight of his career to Holyfield in round eight and then went on a three year hiatus from the sport.
Stepping back in the ring in 2000 and since that point Moorer won eight bouts, lost two with one draw and earned the vacant WBC Continental Americas and the vacant WBA North American heavyweight titles. In his last bout on December of ’04 Moorer stopped the rugged Vassiliy Jirov in nine rounds, but that was the last action the former champ would ever see as a fighter. After contemplating retirement and returning to the ring and then bidding a final farewell after former trainer Teddy Atlas instructed him to do on national television Michael has traded in the gloves for the mitts and is training the undefeated heavyweight prospect JD Chapman.
After years of banging it out in the professionals and earning wins over Jeff Thompson, Evander Holyfield, Francois Botha and competing in an unforgettable bout against George Foreman the former champ doesn’t have any regrets, and the new life as a trainer suits him just fine. Doghouse got to sit down with the former champ recently in Arkansas after covering a fight Moorer’s fighter JD Chapman competed on and got his thoughts on his career and his new life as a trainer, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off give us your thoughts on your fighters performance tonight.
Michael Moorer: Well I knew JD could go out there and knock the guy out because in training I told JD all the time that he has height, reach and size and he has the power. JD has such a right hand, his right hand is like wow, oh man it is bad.
BH: You have been in the business a long time and pretty much seen everything, so when you look at JD what do you see that separates him from the other prospects in this division?
MM: Well I am grooming him, he has a boxing trainer that knows what he is talking about, and once he has that he is able to put everything together and he listens, and when somebody listens they are able to accomplish anything.
BH: How has it been being out of the ring and training do you miss fighting?
MM: No I don’t miss fighting, I still got my wits about me and there are a lot of people who do it and get beat up, and I don’t want to be one of them, I have children to raise.
BH: You had a stellar career; you had a lot of ups.
MM: (Breaks into question) I had a lot of downs too, it is no secret.
BH: Well, when you look back what are some of your high points in your career that stand out more than others?
MM: There are a few that stand out, when I beat Frans Botha, Alex Stewart, Evander Holyfield, just even fighting George Foreman. You have a winner and a loser and that doesn’t bother me, I am man enough to accept that.
BH: What advice would you give to a young fighter?
MM: It is really hard to say because there are a lot of different styles of people that don’t want to listen, and a lot who would listen. I started when I was ten but I listened and I got to be heavyweight champion of the world, the epitome of the game.
BH: How would you define your career?
MM: It is over with; I am in the history books.
BH: How do you want to be remembered by the fans?
MM: That I was a bad man.
BH: Is there anything you want to say in closing of this interview?
MM: Thank you to all my supporters who supported me over the years and boxing has been very good to me and hopefully in return I was good to boxing.
I would like to thank Michael Moorer for his time and thoughts; your time was greatly appreciated.
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