1980sBoxingCruiserweight Title FightsCruiserweightsEvander HolyfieldHBOLarry MerchantSugar Ray Leonard

Boxing – 1988 – 12 Round Undisputed Light Heavyweight Title – Evander Holyfield VS Carlos DeLeon


This 12 round Undisputed Cruiserweight Title Fight was between two boxing legends during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)….Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield vs Carlos “Sugar” de Leon…..as Holyfield became the ONLY boxer to date in history to reign as the undisputed world Cruiserweight and Heavyweight champion,,,,plus The Real Deal is also the 1st heavyweight since Muhammad Ali to win the world title on three seperate occasions …..and Sugar de Leon remains today as the only boxer in history to win their undisputed world champion title (for de Leon, the cruiserweight division) on four different occasions….which means our viewers get to watch two boxing legends go to war in the ring.

Carlos “Sugar” de León is a Puerto Rican former boxer who made history by becoming the first Cruiserweight to win the world title twice….and then he kept breaking his own record for as the undisputed Cruiserweight world champion by regaining it on two more occasions…..as Sugar had joined the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali in becoming one of the few boxers ever to win one division’s World championship at least three times.  

In this April 9, 1988 world cruiserweight title unification bout at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with WBA / WBC world champion Evander Holyfield….Carlos de Leon lost by TKO in the eighth round….as seen in this video below….after which Holyfield soon left the division to pursue the world Heavyweight championship….and De León was left with an open door to break his own record and win the title for a record fourth time….so, he went to London and beat the WBC’s # 2 challenger, Sammy Reeson, by a KO in the 9th round, breaking his own record and crowning himself world Cruiserweight champion once again. This time, he held on to the title for two years, until losing it to Massimiliano Duran in Italy by an 11-round disqualification.

Evander Holyfield, on the other hand, began 1986 with a KO in three rounds over former world cruiserweight challenger Chisanda Mutti….then proceeded to beat Jessy Shelby and Terry Mims before being given a world title try by the WBA Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi. In what was called by The Ring as “the best cruiserweight bout of the 1980s”….Holyfield became world champion by defeating Qawi by a narrow 15 round split decision. He culminated 1986 with a trip to Paris, France, where he beat Mike Brothers by a knockout in three, in a non-title bout….then in 1987, he defended his title against former Olympic teammate and Gold medal winner Henry Tillman….who had beaten Iron Mike Tyson twice as an amateur. He retained his belt with a 7th round KO…. then went on to unify his WBA belt with the IBF belt held by Ricky Parkey, knocking Parkey out in three rounds….as each of these fights can be found in the Imasportsphile boxing library. For his next bout, he returned to France, where he retained the title with an eleven-round KO against former world champion Ossie Ocasio….and for his last fight of 1987….he beat Qawi by a KO in only four rounds in a rematch. 

1988 was another productive year for Holyfield….when he started by becoming the first universally recognized World Cruiserweight Champion after defeating the Lineal, IBF & WBC Champion Carlos De León at Las Vegas….so, click below to watch two boxing legends go face to face in this historic boxing match.

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