Evander Holyfield (Champion) TKO 7 Bert Cooper
Date: November 23, 1991
The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Referee: Mills Lane
Scoring Thru 6 Rounds:
58-54 – Holyfield
59-54 – Holyfield
59-53 – Holyfield
World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title
International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Title
HBO World Championship Boxing
Holyfield vs Cooper Facts & Stats
- Holyfield vs Cooper is regarded as a classic
November 23, 1991 was supposed to be Holyfield vs Tyson but Iron Mike withdrew due to a rib injury. Many speculated Team Tyson, including the fighter, was concerned about his rape trial. Mike would be found guilty 8 weeks later.
- Originally scheduled for a $30 Million payday for fighting Tyson, Holyfield settled for $6 Million against Bert Cooper
- A short-notice replacement (7-10 days), Cooper earned $750,000 for the fight
- The bout took place in Atlanta, GA, Holyfield’s hometown. The crowd was very pro-Holyfield as a result
- Holyfield vs Cooper was not sanctioned by the WBC as Bert Cooper was unrated by the organization. He was, however, ranked No. 12 by the IBF.
- Holyfield scored a knockdown from a body shot in Round 1 and it appeared the route was on…. Until Copper rocked the champion in Round 3, almost scoring the knockout.
- Evander suffered the first knockdown of his career in Round 3
- Cooper had a cut above his right eye and was bleeding from the mouth in Round 5.
- Evander gave a literal “clinic” on uppercuts in this bout
- Despite losing, Bert Copper was a hot commodity after this bout due to his surprising performance on short notice.
- In his next bout, Cooper would face Michael Moorer for the fringe WBO Heavyweight Title in a PPV bout. After being floored early on, Moorer would knockout Bert in another classic slugfest