Mike Weaver (boxer)

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Mike Weaver
Real nameMichael Dwayne Weaver
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
Born (1951-06-13) June 13, 1951 (age 70)
Gatesville, Texas, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights60
Wins by KO28

Michael Dwayne Weaver (born June 13, 1951) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1972 to 2000, and held the WBA heavyweight title from 1980 to 1982.


Weaver was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 1971, and went to Vietnam. During this time he started amateur boxing and training, and notably fought Duane Bobick, a future Navy amateur star. In a fight where both men were down, Weaver was outpointed.

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

By 1972 Weaver was living and training in California, and took up professional boxing. In his early career, Weaver was considered a journeyman opponent. He was frequently brought in on short notice and overmatched against more experienced and developed contenders, and used as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, who famously nicknamed him "Hercules" due to his top developed muscle definition.

However, after a few losses early on to tough fringe contenders like Howard Smith and even to journeyman Larry Frazier, Weaver showed signs of improvement. He fought both Bobick brothers, losing a debatable 10 round decicison to Rodney, and being stopped on a cut in the 7th to old amateur rival Duane but after decking him.

In 1976 Weaver beat well regarded veteran Jody Ballard, and in 1978 lost two close decisions. First to contender Stan Ward for the California State Heavyweight title, and then to Leroy Jones for the NABF heavyweight title.

Heavyweight contender[edit]

In late 1978 Weaver got a new team and manager and reeled off five straight knockouts, two of which came over top ranked opponents. In October 1978 he came off the floor to knock out hard hitting Colombian Bernardo Mercado in 5, and in January 1979 knocked out hulking old foe Stan Ward in 9 to win the USBA heavyweight title.

WBC heavyweight title challenge against Larry Holmes[edit]

These wins helped get him a high-profile world title fight with reigning and undefeated WBC champion Larry Holmes in New York's Madison Square Garden in June 1979. New cable channel HBO bought the rights to the fight as Weaver was so lowly-regarded the fight was seen as a mismatch and the networks didn't want anything to do with it (Weaver was 20-8 to Holmes' 30-0).

But Weaver proved far better than expected, however, and gave Holmes a really tough battle. Finally Holmes would rally with that great champion reserve by decking Weaver with sharp uppercut in the 11th and stopping him on his feet in the 12th.

USBA heavyweight title contest[edit]

Although Weaver had lost, his surprise showing had made him a deserved high-profile name. Later in the year he was back, retaining his USBA belt with a 12-round decision over Scott LeDoux whom he outboxed rather than slugged with. Using his jab a lot gaining complimentary reviews generally.

WBA heavyweight champion[edit]

In March 1980 fought John Tate for the WBA title, in Tate's backyard of Knoxville, Tennessee. Tate was an amateur star from the 1976 Olympic team. As a pro he had put together a 20-0 record and won the vacant WBA title by decisioning South African Gerrie Coetzee over fifteen rounds, in front of 86,000 hostile fans in Pretoria, South Africa.

Weaver vs. Tate produced one of the divisions finest knockouts ever. The taller Tate dominated Weaver for all the first 10 rounds. But then with sheer determination a battered Weaver suddenly turned it around, pushing Tate backward. But he'd left it too late, according to the commentators, as only 5 rounds remained and Tate was expected to resume his lead. However, with only 40 seconds left in the 15th round, Weaver caught Tate bouncing off the ropes towards him with a devastating left hook. It dropped Tate to the canvas out cold for well over a minute. Press pictures showed Tate sound asleep whilst Weaver did a handstand alongside to celebrate.

In October 1980 Weaver made his first defense, traveling to Sun City, South Africa, to fight Gerrie Coetzee. Weaver was hurt and nearly knocked down in the 8th round but rallied down the stretch and knocked Coetzee out in the 13th round. Coetzee, a good boxer/puncher, had never previously been down, amateur or pro.

In 1981 Weaver outpointed the spoiler James "Quick" Tillis over 15 rounds in Chicago to retain his title after a year's inactivity.

Losing the title to Michael Dokes; controversy[edit]

After another year's inactivity, Weaver took on highly regarded Michael Dokes in Las Vegas, December 10, 1982. Dokes came out fast and dropped Weaver inside the opening minute. As Weaver covered up on the ropes and Dokes missed a few swings, referee Joey Curtis stopped the fight after 1:03 had passed and awarded Dokes the victory by technical knockout. This caused controversy due to the timing of the stoppage, and many in the arena accused the fight of being fixed.

However, four weeks earlier, the fatal fight between Ray Mancini and Duk Koo Kim at Caesars' Palace had taken place where Kim died as a result of a brain injury. On the morning of the fight, Nevada State Athletic Commission officials warned all officials participating in the card to protect the health of the boxers in order to avoid another potential fight-related fatality, which Curtis responded, "Everybody has Duk Koo Kim in the back of his mind," referring to the November 13 fight, as Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, a doctor who had performed brain surgery in a futile attempt to save Kim, attended the meeting.[1] (ESPN later ranked this the #7 worst bad call by a referee in a fight, doing so in 2008.[2])

Weaver was given a rematch with Dokes on May 20, 1983, which ended in a 15-round majority draw; judge Jerry Roth gave Dokes a four-point victory while judges Harold Lederman and Larry Hazzard had it even.

Further title challenges and later career[edit]

In June 1985 Weaver took on Pinklon Thomas, who then held the WBC title. Weaver lost by eighth-round knockout. This would be Weaver's last title challenge although a notable 2nd-round KO of Carl "The Truth" Williams a skilled boxer would follow the defeat to Thomas. Weaver continued to fight for another 15 years. His career ended at the age of 49 with a sixth-round KO rematch loss to Larry Holmes.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
60 fights 41 wins 18 losses
By knockout 28 12
By decision 12 6
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
60 Loss 41–18–1 United States Larry Holmes TKO 6 (10), 0:45 Nov 17, 2000 United States Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
59 Loss 41–17–1 United States Melvin Foster TKO 9 (10) Aug 8, 1998 United States Spirit Lake, North Dakota, U.S.
58 Win 41–16–1 United States Derrick Ryals UD 10 Mar 27, 1996 United States Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
57 Win 40–16–1 United States George O'Mara UD 12 Jun 21, 1995 United States Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, California, U.S. Retained NBA heavyweight title
56 Win 39–16–1 United States Bill Corrigan RTD 2 (12), 3:00 Sep 17, 1994 Macau Pavilhão do Colégio D. Bosco, Macau, SAR Won vacant NBA heavyweight title
55 Win 38–16–1 Mexico Ladislao Mijangos KO 2 (12), 1:50 Jun 6, 1994 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S. Won vacant International Boxing Authority heavyweight title
54 Win 37–16–1 United States Bert Cooper UD 10 Feb 27, 1993 China Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China NBA heavyweight title
53 Win 36–16–1 United States Mike Gans KO 5 (10) Nov 17, 1992 United States Bakersfield, California, U.S.
52 Loss 35–16–1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis KO 6 (10), 1:05 Jul 12, 1991 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
51 Win 35–15–1 United States Dion Burgess TKO 5 (10), 2:58 Jul 18, 1990 Canada Varsity Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
50 Loss 34–15–1 United States James Smith UD 12 Apr 4, 1990 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Lost WBA Americas heavyweight title
49 Win 34–14–1 United States Philipp Brown SD 12 Jul 27, 1989 United States Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBA Americas heavyweight title
48 Win 33–14–1 United States Lionel Washington TKO 1 (12), 1:48 May 1, 1989 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. For vacant WBA Americas heavyweight title
47 Win 32–14–1 United States Bobby Crabtree KO 3 (10), 2:58 Jan 31, 1989 United States Country Club, Reseda, California, U.S.
46 Loss 31–14–1 South Africa Johnny DuPlooy KO 2 (10) Apr 30, 1988 Bophuthatswana Superbowl, Sun City, Bophuthatswana
45 Win 31–13–1 South Africa Johnny DuPlooy RTD 6 (10) Nov 28, 1987 South Africa Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
44 Win 30–13–1 United States James Pritchard TKO 6 (10), 2:30 Aug 24, 1987 United States Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
43 Win 29–13–1 United States David Jaco KO 2 (10) Jul 29, 1987 Cameroon Yaounde, Cameroon
42 Loss 28–13–1 Canada Donovan Ruddock SD 10 Aug 23, 1986 United States Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
41 Loss 28–12–1 United States James Smith TKO 1 (10), 2:29 Apr 5, 1986 United States Coliseum, Colonie, New York, U.S.
40 Win 28–11–1 United States Carl Williams TKO 2 (10), 2:37 Feb 16, 1986 United States Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, U.S.
39 Loss 27–11–1 United States Pinklon Thomas TKO 8 (12), 1:42 Jun 15, 1985 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. For WBC heavyweight title
38 Win 27–10–1 United States Tony Anthony DQ 1 (10), 3:00 Nov 9, 1984 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Anthony disqualified for hitting after the bell
37 Win 26–10–1 United States Billy Joe Thomas TKO 7 (10), 1:16 Aug 31, 1984 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
36 Win 25–10–1 United States Stan Ward TKO 9 (15) Sep 30, 1983 United States The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
35 Draw 24–10–1 United States Michael Dokes MD 15 May 20, 1983 United States Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBA heavyweight title
34 Loss 24–10 United States Michael Dokes TKO 1 (15), 1:03 Dec 10, 1982 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBA heavyweight title
33 Win 24–9 United States James Tillis UD 15 Oct 3, 1981 United States Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, U.S. Retained WBA heavyweight title
32 Win 23–9 South Africa Gerrie Coetzee TKO 13 (15), 1:49 Oct 25, 1980 Bophuthatswana Superbowl, Sun City, Bophuthatswana Retained WBA heavyweight title
31 Win 22–9 United States John Tate KO 15 (15), 2:15 Mar 31, 1980 United States Stokely Athletic Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S. Won WBA heavyweight title
30 Win 21–9 United States Scott LeDoux UD 12 Nov 24, 1979 United States Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S. Retained USBA heavyweight title
29 Win 20–9 United States Harry Terrell KO 4 (10), 2:14 Sep 22, 1979 United States Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
28 Loss 19–9 United States Larry Holmes TKO 12 (15), 0:44 Jun 22, 1979 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. For WBC heavyweight title
27 Win 19–8 United States Oliver Philipps KO 4 (10), 1:52 Mar 2, 1979 United States Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
26 Win 18–8 United States Stan Ward RTD 9 (12), 0:01 Jan 18, 1979 United States Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant USBA heavyweight title
25 Win 17–8 United States Abdul Khan KO 2 (10), 2:33 Dec 5, 1978 United States Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
24 Win 16–8 Colombia Bernardo Mercado TKO 5 (10) Oct 22, 1978 United States Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant Nevada heavyweight title
23 Win 15–8 United States Mike Creel KO 2 (10), 1:44 Sep 17, 1978 United States Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
22 Loss 14–8 United States Leroy Jones UD 12 Aug 19, 1978 United States Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. For vacant NABF heavyweight title
21 Loss 14–7 United States Stan Ward UD 12 Jan 24, 1978 United States Sacramento, California, U.S. For vacant California heavyweight title
20 Win 14–6 United States Pedro Lovell UD 10 Nov 15, 1977 United States Convention Center, Anaheim, California, U.S.
19 Win 13–6 United States Dave Martinez KO 1 (10) Sep 13, 1977 United States Sports Arena, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
18 Win 12–6 United States Bill Sharkey MD 10 Apr 1, 1977 United States Beacon Theatre, New York City, New York, U.S.
17 Win 11–6 United States Dwain Bonds KO 8 (10), 2:58 Jan 19, 1977 United States Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 10–6 Tonga Fonomanu Young Sekona KO 6 (10) Nov 4, 1976 United States Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, California, U.S.
15 Win 9–6 United States Jody Ballard MD 10 Jul 14, 1976 United States The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
14 Win 8–6 United States Tony Doyle TKO 9 (10), 2:13 Jun 27, 1975 United States Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
13 Win 7–6 Tonga Mani Vaka PTS 10 Aug 24, 1974 United States Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
12 Loss 6–6 United States Duane Bobick TKO 7 (10) Jul 26, 1974 United States Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
11 Win 6–5 United States Orville Qualls KO 2 (8), 0:57 May 31, 1974 United States Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
10 Loss 5–5 United States Rodney Bobick UD 10 Mar 22, 1974 United States Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
9 Win 5–4 United States Ellis McKinley PTS 6 Feb 21, 1974 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
8 Loss 4–4 United States Larry Frazier KO 2 (6), 2:15 Dec 11, 1973 United States Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
7 Win 4–3 United States Bob Swoopes KO 1 (6) Nov 9, 1973 United States San Diego, California, U.S.
6 Win 3–3 Tonga Tony Pulu KO 2 (6) Oct 11, 1973 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
5 Win 2–3 United States Lyn Martin KO 1 (6), 1:30 Sep 10, 1973 United States The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
4 Loss 1–3 United States Billy Ryan TKO 2 (4), 1:55 Feb 28, 1973 United States Warnors Theatre, Fresno, California, U.S.
3 Win 1–2 United States Carlos Lopez PTS 5 Feb 2, 1973 United States San Bernardino Arena, San Bernardino, California, U.S.
2 Loss 0–2 United States Howard Smith PTS 5 Oct 31, 1972 United States Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, California, U.S.
1 Loss 0–1 United States Howard Smith KO 3 (4) Sep 14, 1972 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.


  1. ^ Katz, Michael (1982-12-12). "Referee Defends His Decision". New York Times (1982–12–12). NYT. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  2. ^ "Cortez not the first referee to drop the ball in a big fight". ESPN.com.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Earnie Shavers
Nevada heavyweight champion
October 22, 1978 – 1981
Title next held by
Leroy Caldwell
New title USBA heavyweight champion
January 18, 1979 – March 1980
Title next held by
Greg Page
World boxing titles
Preceded by
John Tate
WBA heavyweight champion
March 31, 1980 – December 10, 1982
Succeeded by
Michael Dokes