The Real Deal Part Four: Warrior's Return

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield Vs Alex Stewart II

After his first defeat to Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield contemplated retirement saying “I don’t want to box for a very long time.” He did, however return to the ring on 26th June 1993 against Alex Stewart.

Holyfield struggled with Stewart the last time they met, but under new trainer Emauel Steward, Holyfield tipped the scales at his heaviest ever. The contest wasn't as exciting as their previous meeting and Holyfield won the bout by scores of 119-109 and two cards of 118-110.

Alex Stewart won his next seven contests in a three year period. He was stopped in the eighth round by Craig Petersen in November 1996. His career petered out losing to Oleg Maskaev, Phil Jackson and Lance Whitaker. His final bout took place in June 1999 where he was stopped in the second round by the Cuban Jorge Luis Gonzalez, leaving the sport with a 43-10 (40 KO's) resume. Stewart died on 16th November 2016, aged fifty-two.

The victory set up a rematch with Bowe, who only held the WBA and IBF titles as he threw the WBC belt in the bin, rather than defend it against top contender Lennox Lewis. Bowe was making defence number three after blowing away Michael Dokes and Jesse Ferguson and was favourite to do the same with Holyfield.

The challenger came in at a career high of 217 pounds (98.43 kg), whilst Bowe scaled in at a huge 246 pounds (111.58 kg). The champion's odds dropped from 5-1 to 2.5-1 after the weigh in.

Bowe started fast and nailed the challenger with his right. The champion took the centre of the ring as he looked to end things quickly. Holyfield didn't let him have it his own way and fired in some fast punches of his own as the round came to a close.

Holyfield bossing the bigger man

Bowe started well with the jab again in the second round, but it was Holyfield who was looking to land the bigger punches. It was looking like the crowd in attendance would get anither exciting contest.

Holyfield's tactics of being mobile and staying just of harms way was being effectively employed, but he just couldn't get out of the way of the jab. The champion complained again about Holyfield's use of the head.

The challenger started the next round on his toes, but initiated an assault that had Bowe taking some meaty left hooks and right hands. Both men didn't hear the bell and had to be separated by the referee and their corner men. Bowe sustained a cut over the left eye.

Holyfield managed to back up the bigger man in the fifth round. Bowe had blood running down his face and his defences were much looser than the previous rounds. Towards the end of the frame Holyfield landed a big right that shook the champion up. As the bell went Bowe looked in all kinds of trouble.