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Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz, billed as "Justice", was a professional boxing match contested on August 12, 2000 for the WBA Heavyweight Championship.

DateAugust 12, 2000
VenueParis Las Vegas in Paradise, Nevada
Title(s) on the lineWBA Heavyweight Championship
Tale of the tape
Boxer United States Evander Holyfield United States John Ruiz
Nickname "The Real Deal" "The Quietman"
Hometown Atlanta, Georgia Chelsea, Massachusetts
Pre-fight record 36–4–1 36–3
Height 6' 2" 6' 2½"
Weight 221 224
Style Orthodox Orthodox
Recognition WBA
No. 2 Ranked Heavyweight
No. 1 Ranked Heavyweight
Holyfield defeated Ruiz via Unanimous decision


After Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield at the second attempt to become the undisputed heavyweight champion, the WBA ordered Lewis to face its top contender John Ruiz, where as Lewis wanted to first defend his titles against WBC and IBF number two contender Michael Grant. The WBA and Lewis agreed that he would fight Grant first followed by Ruiz. Ruiz's promoter Don King challenged the decision in court and a clause was found in Lewis' contract that stated the winner of the Holyfield–Lewis fight would first defend his titles against the WBA's number one contender. Because of this, Lewis was stripped of his WBA title.[1] The WBA chose Holyfield to face Ruiz for the vacant WBA Heavyweight title.

The fightEdit

Ruiz was aggressive throughout the fight landing many effective jabs, and except for late in the third round, he was never really in any serious trouble from Holyfield.

Judges Duane Ford and Dave Moretti scored the fight 114-113, while Judge Fernando Viso scored it 116-112 giving Evander Holyfield victory by unanimous decision to become the first boxer in history to be the World Heavyweight Champion four times.


The decision was controversial as many observers and boxing reporters felt that the underdog Ruiz had done enough to win. In interviews after the fight Ruiz said "It was highway robbery without a gun,... I won the fight and he knows I won the fight...I had control of the fight. I am very surprised by the judges' decision. I don't know what fight they saw." [2] Showtime commentators described the decision as "absurd" and "ridiculous".


Due to this controversial decision, an immediate rematch was ordered to take place in early 2001


Confirmed bouts:[3]

Winner Loser Weight division/title belt(s) disputed Result
  Beibis Mendoza   Rosendo Álvarez vacant WBA World light flyweight title 7th round DQ.
Non-TV bouts
  Daniel Seda   Oscar León vacant WBA Fedelatin featherweight title 8th round TKO.
  Richie Melito   Thomas Williams Heavyweight (10 rounds) 1st round KO.
  Christy Martin   Dianna Lewis Welterweight (10 rounds) Unanimous Decision.
  Carlos Quintana   Miguel Avila Welterweight (10 rounds) 1st round TKO.
  Jeffrey Hill   Shakir Ashanti Super Welterweight (6 rounds) 4th round TKO.
  Siarhei Liakhovich   Tracy Wilson Heavyweight (4 rounds) 1st round KO.


Country Broadcaster
  United States Showtime


  1. ^ Hard-Hitting Federal Judge Strips Lewis of WBA Title, L.A. Times article, 2000-04–13, Retrieved on 2013-08-10
  2. ^
  3. ^ "BoxRec - event".
Preceded by
vs. Lennox Lewis
Evander Holyfield' bouts
August 12, 2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by
vs. Thomas Williams
John Ruiz's bouts
August 12, 2000