Mike Weaver (boxer)

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. He is widely regarded as one of the Best Heavyweight Boxers of the 1980s beating Heavyweight Champions such as Gerrie Coetzee, John Tate.[1][2][3][4]

Mike Weaver
Mike Weaver circa 1980.jpg
Mike Dwayne Weaver (c. 1980)
Real nameMichael Dwayne Weaver
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
Born (1951-06-13) June 13, 1951 (age 71)
Gatesville, Texas, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights60
Wins by KO28


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.

Professional careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

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.

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 contenderEdit

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 HolmesEdit

These wins helped get him a high-profile world title fight against 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, in a brutal contest, Weaver proved far better than expected, however, and gave Holmes a really tough battle. Holmes would rally by decking Weaver with a sharp uppercut in the 11th and in the 12th, Holmes pounded Weaver with powerful rights until the referee stopped the fight.

USBA heavyweight title contestEdit

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 championEdit

In March 1980, Weaver 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; controversyEdit

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.[5] (ESPN later ranked this the #7 worst bad call by a referee in a fight, doing so in 2008.[6])

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 careerEdit

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 recordEdit

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 Larry Holmes TKO 6 (10), 0:45 Nov 17, 2000 Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
59 Loss 41–17–1 Melvin Foster TKO 9 (10) Aug 8, 1998 Spirit Lake, North Dakota, U.S.
58 Win 41–16–1 Derrick Ryals UD 10 Mar 27, 1996 Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
57 Win 40–16–1 George O'Mara UD 12 Jun 21, 1995 Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, California, U.S. Retained NBA heavyweight title
56 Win 39–16–1 Bill Corrigan RTD 2 (12), 3:00 Sep 17, 1994 Pavilhão do Colégio D. Bosco, Macau, SAR Won vacant NBA heavyweight title
55 Win 38–16–1 Ladislao Mijangos KO 2 (12), 1:50 Jun 6, 1994 Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S. Won vacant International Boxing Authority heavyweight title
54 Win 37–16–1 Bert Cooper UD 10 Feb 27, 1993 Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China NBA heavyweight title
53 Win 36–16–1 Mike Gans KO 5 (10) Nov 17, 1992 Bakersfield, California, U.S.
52 Loss 35–16–1 Lennox Lewis KO 6 (10), 1:05 Jul 12, 1991 Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
51 Win 35–15–1 Dion Burgess TKO 5 (10), 2:58 Jul 18, 1990 Varsity Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
50 Loss 34–15–1 James Smith UD 12 Apr 4, 1990 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Lost WBA Americas heavyweight title
49 Win 34–14–1 Philipp Brown SD 12 Jul 27, 1989 Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBA Americas heavyweight title
48 Win 33–14–1 Lionel Washington TKO 1 (12), 1:48 May 1, 1989 Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. For vacant WBA Americas heavyweight title
47 Win 32–14–1 Bobby Crabtree KO 3 (10), 2:58 Jan 31, 1989 Country Club, Reseda, California, U.S.
46 Loss 31–14–1 Johnny DuPlooy KO 2 (10) Apr 30, 1988 Superbowl, Sun City, Bophuthatswana
45 Win 31–13–1 Johnny DuPlooy RTD 6 (10) Nov 28, 1987 Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
44 Win 30–13–1 James Pritchard TKO 6 (10), 2:30 Aug 24, 1987 Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
43 Win 29–13–1 David Jaco KO 2 (10) Jul 29, 1987 Yaounde, Cameroon
42 Loss 28–13–1 Donovan Ruddock SD 10 Aug 23, 1986 Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
41 Loss 28–12–1 James Smith TKO 1 (10), 2:29 Apr 5, 1986 Coliseum, Colonie, New York, U.S.
40 Win 28–11–1 Carl Williams TKO 2 (10), 2:37 Feb 16, 1986 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, U.S.
39 Loss 27–11–1 Pinklon Thomas KO 8 (12), 1:42 Jun 15, 1985 Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. For WBC heavyweight title
38 Win 27–10–1 Tony Anthony DQ 1 (10), 3:00 Nov 9, 1984 Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Anthony disqualified for hitting after the bell
37 Win 26–10–1 Billy Joe Thomas TKO 7 (10), 1:16 Aug 31, 1984 Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
36 Win 25–10–1 Stan Ward TKO 9 (15) Sep 30, 1983 The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
35 Draw 24–10–1 Michael Dokes MD 15 May 20, 1983 Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBA heavyweight title
34 Loss 24–10 Michael Dokes TKO 1 (15), 1:03 Dec 10, 1982 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBA heavyweight title
33 Win 24–9 James Tillis UD 15 Oct 3, 1981 Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, U.S. Retained WBA heavyweight title
32 Win 23–9 Gerrie Coetzee TKO 13 (15), 1:49 Oct 25, 1980 Superbowl, Sun City, Bophuthatswana Retained WBA heavyweight title
31 Win 22–9 John Tate KO 15 (15), 2:15 Mar 31, 1980 Stokely Athletic Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S. Won WBA heavyweight title
30 Win 21–9 Scott LeDoux UD 12 Nov 24, 1979 Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S. Retained USBA heavyweight title
29 Win 20–9 Harry Terrell KO 4 (10), 2:14 Sep 22, 1979 Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
28 Loss 19–9 Larry Holmes TKO 12 (15), 0:44 Jun 22, 1979 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. For WBC heavyweight title
27 Win 19–8 Oliver Philipps KO 4 (10), 1:52 Mar 2, 1979 Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
26 Win 18–8 Stan Ward RTD 9 (12), 0:01 Jan 18, 1979 Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Won inaugural USBA heavyweight title
25 Win 17–8 Abdul Khan KO 2 (10), 2:33 Dec 5, 1978 Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
24 Win 16–8 Bernardo Mercado TKO 5 (10) Oct 22, 1978 Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Won vacant Nevada heavyweight title
23 Win 15–8 Mike Creel KO 2 (10), 1:44 Sep 17, 1978 Sahara, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
22 Loss 14–8 Leroy Jones UD 12 Aug 19, 1978 Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. For vacant NABF heavyweight title
21 Loss 14–7 Stan Ward UD 12 Jan 24, 1978 Sacramento, California, U.S. For vacant California heavyweight title
20 Win 14–6 Pedro Lovell UD 10 Nov 15, 1977 Convention Center, Anaheim, California, U.S.
19 Win 13–6 Dave Martinez KO 1 (10) Sep 13, 1977 Sports Arena, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
18 Win 12–6 Bill Sharkey MD 10 Apr 1, 1977 Beacon Theatre, New York City, New York, U.S.
17 Win 11–6 Dwain Bonds KO 8 (10), 2:58 Jan 19, 1977 Sahara Hotel and Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 10–6 Fonomanu Young Sekona KO 6 (10) Nov 4, 1976 Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, California, U.S.
15 Win 9–6 Jody Ballard MD 10 Jul 14, 1976 The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
14 Win 8–6 Tony Doyle TKO 9 (10), 2:13 Jun 27, 1975 Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
13 Win 7–6 Mani Vaka PTS 10 Aug 24, 1974 Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
12 Loss 6–6 Duane Bobick TKO 7 (10) Jul 26, 1974 Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
11 Win 6–5 Orville Qualls KO 2 (8), 0:57 May 31, 1974 Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
10 Loss 5–5 Rodney Bobick UD 10 Mar 22, 1974 Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
9 Win 5–4 Ellis McKinley PTS 6 Feb 21, 1974 Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
8 Loss 4–4 Larry Frazier KO 2 (6), 2:15 Dec 11, 1973 Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
7 Win 4–3 Bob Swoopes KO 1 (6) Nov 9, 1973 San Diego, California, U.S.
6 Win 3–3 Tony Pulu KO 2 (6) Oct 11, 1973 Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
5 Win 2–3 Lyn Martin KO 1 (6), 1:30 Sep 10, 1973 The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
4 Loss 1–3 Billy Ryan TKO 2 (4), 1:55 Feb 28, 1973 Warnors Theatre, Fresno, California, U.S.
3 Win 1–2 Carlos Lopez PTS 5 Feb 2, 1973 San Bernardino Arena, San Bernardino, California, U.S.
2 Loss 0–2 Howard Smith PTS 5 Oct 31, 1972 Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, California, U.S.
1 Loss 0–1 Howard Smith KO 3 (4) Sep 14, 1972 Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.


  1. ^ "The Top Ranked Heavyweight Boxers of the 1980s". ainsworthsports.com. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  2. ^ Goodpaster, Mike (2023-05-19). "Legendary Heavyweights: Top 10 Legendary Fighters of the 1980s". The Grueling Truth. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  3. ^ "Boxing Rankings - Top 500 All-Time Heavyweights". SportsRatings: Boxing/MMA. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  4. ^ "Mike Weaver: Record & Stats". www.martialbot.com. 2023-05-12. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  5. ^ Katz, Michael (1982-12-12). "Referee Defends His Decision". New York Times. No. 1982–12–12. NYT. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  6. ^ "Cortez not the first referee to drop the ball in a big fight". ESPN.com.

External linksEdit

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 WBA heavyweight champion
March 31, 1980 – December 10, 1982
Succeeded by