Evvander Holyfield started out professionally as a light heavyweight with a televised win in six rounds over Lionel Byarm at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 1984….then on January 20, 1985, he won another six-round decision over Eric Winbush in Atlantic City, New Jersey….and on March 13, he knocked out Fred Brown in the first round in Norfolk, Virginia….and on April 20, he knocked out Mark Rivera in two rounds in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Both he and his next opponent, Tyrone Booze….moved up to the cruiserweight division for their fight on July 20, 1985, in Norfolk, Virginia…..as Holyfield won an eight-round decision over Booze….then he went on to knock out Rick Myers in the first round on August 29. On October 30 in Atlantic City he knocked out opponent Jeff Meachem in five rounds….and his last fight for 1985 was against Anthony Davis on December 21 in Virginia Beach, Virginia….which he won by knocking out Davis in the fourth round.
He began 1986 with a knockout in three rounds over former world cruiserweight challenger Chisanda Mutti….and proceeded to beat Jessy Shelby and Terry Mims….then he was given a world title try by the WBA Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi….a fight that this video herewith precedes before he fought Qawi…..which was called by The Ring as the best cruiserweight bout of the 1980’s…. when Evander Holyfield became world champion by defeating Qawi by a narrow 15 round split decision.