Oliver McCall

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Oliver McCall
Statistics
Real name Oliver McCall
Nickname(s) The Atomic Bull
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Reach 82 in (208 cm)[1]
Nationality  United States
Born (1965-04-21) April 21, 1965 (age 49)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 72
Wins 57
Wins by KO 37
Losses 13
Draws 0
No contests 2

Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall (born April 21, 1965) is an American professional Heavyweight boxer best known for winning the WBC heavyweight title in 1994 after scoring an upset knockout victory over Lennox Lewis, in London, England. He defended his title against Larry Holmes before losing it to another Briton, Frank Bruno, at Wembley Stadium in 1995. He had an infamous in-ring meltdown during his 1997 rematch with Lewis.

In a long rollercoaster career that has been blighted by drug addiction and almost constant legal troubles, McCall has served as the chief sparring partner for a peak Mike Tyson, then later came into his own as a professional, defeating Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Bruce Seldon, Jesse Ferguson, Francesco Damiani, Oleg Maskaev, Henry Akinwande, Przemyslaw Saleta, Sinan Samil Sam, and Fres Oquendo. By his own admission, McCall has never been knocked down as an amateur, professional, or during sparring. He is still an active professional at the age of 49.

Amateur career[edit]

McCall had a strong amateur career prior to turning pro, twice a winner of the Chicago Golden Gloves.

Professional career[edit]

Known as "The Atomic Bull", McCall turned pro in 1985 and slowly worked his way up the heavyweight ranks. He beat Jesse Ferguson and future heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon and lost a very close decision to Tony Tucker before landing the shot against Lewis in 1994. After a close first round McCall came out aggressively in the second and landed his signature counter right hand as Lewis moved forward. Lewis dropped to the canvas and got up before the count of ten, but he was unsteady on his feet, forcing the referee to wave a stop to the fight.

McCall's win over Lewis marked Don King's return to power in the heavyweight division, since none of his stable of fighters had been able to win the heavyweight title since Mike Tyson lost it in 1990. He successfully defended the title in a bout against 45 year old ex-champ Larry Holmes in Las Vegas winning 115-112 115-114 and 114-113 on the score cards, before returning to London to face Frank Bruno in 1995.

During a press conference before the fight McCall claimed he was going to get revenge for America after Gerald McClellan had been rendered brain damaged after a fight with Nigel Benn a few months earlier. He had claimed that he was going to hurt Bruno and that the only thing Bruno would be able to do was throw illegal rabbit punches.

The fight took place at the old Wembley stadium. Bruno started off well, working behind the jab and landing some big right hands. McCall seemed uninterested in fighting and lagged far behind on the score cards going into the latter rounds. By round 9 Bruno had built up a big lead on the score cards and looked comfortably in charge. McCall finally sparked into life in round 10 perhaps realizing that he was behind on the score cards. McCall landed several big punches over the final 3 rounds and had Bruno in trouble several times but Bruno managed to hold on and win the title by a unanimous decision.

McCall returned to the ring 6 months after losing his title when he beat future WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev in less than 3 minutes with a sneaky right hand. A month later McCall beat James Stanton in 6 rounds.

Lewis vs. McCall II[edit]

Lewis and McCall squared off again on February 7, 1997, in Las Vegas. In a bizarre fight, McCall refused to fight in the fourth and fifth rounds, beginning to cry and eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight and award Lewis the victory.[2] The referee for the fight, Mills Lane, stated in an interview after the match, "In the third round, he got in close, and then seemed frustrated, and then he just backed off and put his arms down. . . . I thought he was playing possum but then I saw his lips started to quiver and I thought, 'My God, is he crying?'" Lane stopped the fight when McCall had refused to defend himself for several rounds.

In 2001 at the age of 36 he resurrected his career with a tenth round knockout of Henry Akinwande, at the time one of the most avoided contenders in the world, on a high profile Lennox Lewis undercard in Las Vegas. McCall was ranked number 4 in the world off this performance, but was arrested shortly afterwards and imprisoned for over a year, losing his ranking.

In December 2004 he lost a close points decision to fellow contender DaVarryl Williamson on a high profile Don King undercard from New York, and in 2005 he traveled to Germany for an eliminator to skillful and well regarded Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez, and was outpointed over ten rounds. However this loss was removed from McCall's record as Gomez later failed a drug test.

Aiming for another shot at the title[edit]

Despite his legal troubles, Oliver's career has since continued. He began his next run at a title with a first round TKO of Kenny Craven in June 2006.

McCall defeated Darroll Wilson in a fourth-round TKO in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 9, 2006, for the WBC Fecarbox Championship.

On December 9, 2006, McCall defeated Yanqui Diaz via seventh-round KO in Hollywood, Florida.

On 16 June 2007, McCall defeated Sinan Samil Sam for the WBC International Heavyweight Championship by unanimous decision in Ankara, Turkey. This guaranteed him a shot at the WBC Heavyweight Championship (currently held by Vitali Klitschko). However, McCall took a fight with slick Cuban fighter Juan Carlos Gomez, a fight which McCall lost. As a result, Gomez took his place as the WBC's next mandatory challenger.

The long inactive McCall defeated Australian John Hopoate by 2nd round TKO on the May 22, 2009, for the vacant IBA intercontinental heavyweight belt. McCall dominated the fight and knocked Hopoate down twice.

He defended his IBA continental belt against Franklin Lawrence by a ten round unanimous decision on August 21, 2009, at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.

On October 23, 2009, he defended his IBA continental title again by a ten round unanimous decision against 6'8" Lance Whitaker.

McCall's next opponent was Timur Ibragimov. The two fought at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida. Ibragimov was a fringe contender with an impressive 27-2-1 record, however he hadn't fought anyone at McCall's level before. The former world champion lost the bout by unanimous decision, with the scores of 117-111 twice and 119-109. It was McCall's first loss since his comeback in 2009.

Legal troubles[edit]

Although never knocked down as a professional boxer, McCall's career has been mottled by several stints in drug rehabilitation facilities[3] and arrests for disorderly behavior. He has attempted numerous comebacks, though the efforts have repeatedly been frustrated by run-ins with the law.

In January 2006 he was arrested by police in Nashville, Tennessee, who say they had to use a Taser on McCall after he tried running away from officers trying to arrest him for trespassing in a public housing development.[4]

Police told reporters that McCall had in his possession a glass pipe and a five-dollar bill containing a small amount of cocaine. They say the 40-year-old McCall later spat at an officer and threatened to kill him.[5]

He was held on $299,000 bond and charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest, assaulting police officers, threatening to kill an officer, and being a fugitive from justice on charges in his home state of Virginia. He was released on May 8, 2006.

On the weekend before his scheduled fight with Zuri Lawrence at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in nearby Hollywood, Florida, McCall was arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia in Fort Lauderdale, preventing him from fighting. He was ultimately sentenced to probation. McCall was able to get another big fight, this time against Fres Oquendo, scheduled for December 7, 2010. McCall won in a split decision over the favored Oquendo.

On December 9, 2010, two days after his latest victory, McCall was again arrested in Fort Lauderdale for possession of cannabis and a violation of a municipal ordinance, causing him to violate the terms of his probation stemming from the February cocaine charge. As a result of the probation violation, McCall was facing six years in Florida State Prison. McCall's attorney, Roger P. Foley, was able to have him reinstated on his previous probationary term, modified to include a drug and psychological evaluation followed by any necessary treatment. Oliver McCall and Attorney RP Foley coincidentally have formed a strong friendship and have been found training together in Plantation, Florida. The same attorney, Roger P. Foley, has become a strength and conditioning coach for McCall. On December 16, 2011, Lawyer Foley was successful in having McCall's probation terminated. McCall has been alcohol and drug free for all of 2011 and his legal issues are finally behind him.

Personal[edit]

McCall was raised on the South Side of Chicago, and is married with four daughters and three sons. One daughter, Jeneva McCall, was a three-time NCAA champion and four-time 1st team All-American in track at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. One son, Mika'il McCall, is a sophomore running back for Southern Illinois University Carbondale, after playing his freshman year at the University of Iowa. McCall has one other son, Elijah McCall is currently a professional boxer as well.

Professional boxing record[edit]

57 Wins (37 KOs), 13 Losses (1 TKO), 2 No Contests[6]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 57-13
2 NC
Poland Marcin Rekowski SD 8 01/02/2014 Poland Hala Gwardia Opole, Opole, Poland
Loss 56-13
2 NC
Poland Krzysztof Zimnoch UD 8 18/05/2013 Poland Arena Legionowo, Legionowo, Poland
Loss 56-12
2 NC
Italy Francesco Pianeta UD 10 16/05/2012 Germany Brandenburg Halle, Frankfurt, Brandenburg, Germany
Win 56-11
2 NC
United States Damian Wills UD 10 20/08/2011 United States Houston Athletic Fencing Center, Houston, Texas, United States Won vacant WBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title.
Loss 55-11
2 NC
United States Cedric Boswell UD 10 18/03/2011 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States For vacant NABA heavyweight title.
Win 55-10
2 NC
United States Fres Oquendo SD 12 07/12/2010 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental
heavyweight title.
Loss 54-10
2 NC
Uzbekistan Timur Ibragimov UD 12 15/06/2010 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States For vacant NABA heavyweight title.
Win 54–9
2 NC
United States Lance Whitaker UD 10 23/10/2009 United States The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 53–9
2 NC
United States Franklin Lawrence UD 10 21/08/2009 United States The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 52–9
2 NC
Australia John Hopoate TKO 2 (10) 22/05/2009 United States The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 51–9
2 NC
Cuba Juan Carlos Gómez UD 12 19/10/2007 Germany Estrel Convention Center, Neukölln, Berlin, Germany Lost WBC International heavyweight title.
WBC heavyweight title Eliminator.
Win 51–8
2 NC
Turkey Sinan Şamil Sam UD 12 16/06/2007 Turkey Atatürk Sport Salonu, Ankara, Turkey Won WBC International heavyweight title.
WBC heavyweight title Eliminator.
Win 50–8
2 NC
United States Marion Wilson UD 8 24/02/2007 United States ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, Virginia, United States
Win 49–8
2 NC
Cuba Yanqui Díaz KO 7 (10) 09/12/2006 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 48–8
2 NC
United States Darroll Wilson TKO 4 (12) 03/09/2006 United States Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, United States Won vacant WBC FECARBOX heavyweight title.
Win 47–8
2 NC
United States Kenny Craven TKO 1 (10) 30/06/2006 United States Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 46–8
2 NC
United States Wallace McDaniel TKO 3 (8) 27/05/2006 United States The Plex, North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
NC 45–8
2 NC
Cuba Juan Carlos Gómez NC 10 15/10/2005 Germany Mehrzweckhalle Süd, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Gomez originally won by UD but the result was changed to a NC as he failed drug test.
Win 45–8
1 NC
Poland Przemysław Saleta TKO 4 (10) 13/08/2005 United States United Center, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 44–8
1 NC
United States Kelvin Hale UD 8 10/05/2005 United States Kennel Club, Sarasota, Florida, United States
Win 43–8
1 NC
United States Cornelius Ellis UD 8 16/04/2005 United States M.C. Benton Jr. Convention Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Win 42–8
1 NC
United States Marion Wilson DQ 6 (8) 05/02/2005 United States Washington State Convention Center, Washington, D.C., United States
Loss 41–8
1 NC
United States DaVarryl Williamson UD 10 13/11/2004 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States
Win 41–7
1 NC
United States Vernon Woodward TKO 3 (8) 25/09/2004 United States Fire Lake Casino, Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States
Win 40–7
1 NC
United States Dennis McKinney TKO 3 (?) 24/04/2003 United States The Plex, North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Win 39–7
1 NC
United Kingdom Henry Akinwande KO 10 (10) 17/11/2001 United States Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 38–7
1 NC
United States Matt Green TKO 1 (?) 29/09/2001 United States Martinsville, Virginia, United States
Win 37–7
1 NC
United States Sedreck Fields SD 10 11/08/2000 United States Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 36–7
1 NC
United States Marcus McIntyre KO 3 (10) 25/05/2001 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United States
Win 35–7
1 NC
United States Ric Lainhart TKO 1 (10) 12/02/2001 United States Davidson Theater, Pembroke Pines, Florida, United States
Win 34–7
1 NC
United States Will Hinton TKO 1 (10) 18/12/1999 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United States
NC 33–7
1 NC
United States Samson Cohen NC 2 (?) 25/09/1999 United States Bassett High School, Bassett, Virginia, United States
Win 33–7 United States Samson Cohen KO 1 (?) 24/02/1998 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 32–7 United States Abdul Muhaymin UD 10 03/02/1998 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 31–7 United States Mike Acklie KO 1 (?) 06/01/1998 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 30–7 United States Mike DeVito TKO 2 (8) 16/12/1997 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 29–7 United States Brian Yates TKO 8 (10) 04/11/1997 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Loss 28–7 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis TKO 5 (12) 07/02/1997 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For vacant WBC heavyweight title.
Win 28–6 United States James Stanton TKO 6 (10) 23/03/1996 United States Miami Arena, Miami, Florida, United States
Win 27–6 Russia Oleg Maskaev TKO 1 (10) 24/02/1996 United States Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia, United States
Loss 26–6 United Kingdom Frank Bruno UD 12 02/09/1995 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom Lost WBC heavyweight title.
Win 26–5 United States Larry Holmes UD 12 08/04/1995 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained WBC heavyweight title.
Win 25–5 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis TKO 2 (12) 24/09/1994 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England, United Kingdom Won WBC heavyweight title.
Win 24–5 United States Dan Murphy TKO 1 (?) 26/02/1994 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom
Win 23–5 United States Art Card KO 1 (?) 18/12/1993 Mexico Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Win 22–5 Italy Francesco Damiani TKO 8 (10) 23/04/1993 United States The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win 21–5 United States Mike Dixon TKO 2 (?) 30/01/1993 United States The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win 20–5 United States Lawrence Carter KO 3 (10) 30/01/1993 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 19–5 United States Tony Tucker SD 12 26/06/1992 United States CSU Convention Centre, Cleveland, Ohio, United States For NABF heavyweight title.
Win 19–4 United States Mike Rouse TKO 4 (10) 15/02/1992 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 18–4 United States Jesse Ferguson UD 10 08/08/1991 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 17–4 United States Danny Wofford TKO 5 (?) 08/06/1991 United States Civic Center, Salem, Virginia, United States
Win 16–4 United States Bruce Seldon TKO 9 (10) 18/04/1991 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 15–4 United States Orlin Norris SD 10 17/11/1990 United States Lee County Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Win 15–3 United States Lionel Butler SD 10 16/07/1990 United States Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 14–3 United States Buster Douglas UD 10 21/07/1989 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 14–2 United States Bruce Johnson KO 1 (10) 01/10/1988 United States International Amphitheatre, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 13–2 United States Wesley Smith TKO 2 (10) 16/09/1988 United States Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Win 12–2 United States David Jaco UD 10 30/06/1988 United States Pavilion Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Loss 11–2 United States Mike Hunter UD 10 22/01/1988 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 11–1 United States Kim Adams TKO 2 (8) 30/08/1987 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 10–1 United States Richard Scott KO 2 (8) 11/08/1987 United States UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 9–1 United States Tim Morrison KO 1 (6) 30/05/1987 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 8–1 United States Fred Whitaker UD 6 21/03/1987 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 7–1 United States Al Evans UD 6 16/12/1986 United States Condesa Del Mar, Alsip, Illinois, United States
Win 6–1 United States Bashir Wadud UD 6 25/10/1986 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 5–1 United States Larry Roberson TKO 1 (4) 13/09/1986 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 4–1 United States James Churn KO 1 (4) 14/08/1986 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 3–1 United States Kimmuel Odum MD 4 14/08/1986 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 2–1 United States Felix Shorter TKO 2 (4) 18/01/1986 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Loss 1–1 United States Joey Christjohn UD 4 06/12/1985 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 1–0 United States Lou Bailey TKO 1 (4) 02/11/1985 United States Odeum, Villa Park, Illinois, United States Professional debut.

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Lennox Lewis
WBC Heavyweight Championship
September 24, 1994 – September 2, 1995
Succeeded by
Frank Bruno