The explosive, heavy-handed sluggers will join a veritable Who’s Who of the biggest, baddest and most notorious prizefighters in recent history that have appeared in compelling, often historical heavyweight fights on the network.
Heavyweights who have fought on SHOWTIME include, among others, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Vitali Klitschko,Wladimir Klitschko, Larry Holmes, Pinklon Thomas, Gerry Cooney, Oliver McCall, Buster Douglas, Razor Ruddock, Michael Dokes, John Ruiz, Tony Tucker, Frans Botha, Chris Byrd, Greg Page, Lamon Brewster, David Tua, Andrew Golota and Bruce Seldon.
Many of the aforementioned fighters competed in an era when heavyweight was boxing’s glory division, when the saying “as the heavyweights go, so goes boxing” was never more meaningful or valid. Champions rarely ducked challengers and title belts often exchanged hands. The fighters of yesteryear, as colorful as they were crowd-pleasing, often made for thrilling, unforgettable fights.
On paper, Stiverne-Wilder figures to be as explosive as it gets; both possess dynamite in each mitt. So which fighter’s bone-crushing power is superior? Who can stand up to whose punch?
Those are the type of questions that make this must-see matchup so captivating. This isn’t merely a real, legitimate fight but a real, legitimate heavyweight world championship fight.
Heavyweight Highlights, Stats and Facts: A look back at some of the most noteworthy and memorable fights on SHOWTIME, some of which initially appeared on (SHOWTIME) PPV:
- There have been 26 heavyweight world championship fights on SHOWTIME. Tyson was involved in four of them, twice against Holyfield, who was in a total of six. Overall, Holyfield appeared on 18 SHOWTIME telecasts, two more than Tyson
- Holyfield’s debut in the division – a fifth-round knockout over James “Quick” Tillis on July 16, 1988 – marked the first time a heavyweight fight was shown on the network
- In the first heavyweight world title fight on SHOWTIME, Holyfield became undisputed champion with a third-round TKO over Douglas on Oct. 25, 1990. Vitali Klitschko-Samuel Peter was the most recent heavyweight world title fight
- December 1988 – Holyfield improved to 2-0 as a heavyweight with a seventh-round TKO over former WBC champion Thomas
- January 1990 – Foreman, 41, continued his astounding comeback with a smashing second-round knockout of Cooney
- May 1993 – Lewis successfully defended his WBC title with a unanimous decision over No. 1-ranked Tucker. It was the first time in nearly 100 years that a British heavyweight stepped into the ring with the heavyweight belt
- April 1995 – McCall unanimously outpointed Holmes to retain the WBC belt
- September 1995 – In his fourth attempt at a world title, Frank Bruno won a 12-round decision over McCall to become the first UK-born fighter to win the heavyweight title in a British ring
- December 1995 – In a battle between the IBF’s top two contenders, Botha outdueled Germany’s Axel Schulz to win a 12-round decision and the vacant IBF title. The controversial result ignited the tossing of champagne bottles, glasses and other objects into the ring in Stuttgart, Germany
- March 1996-Tysonregained a portion of the heavyweight title with a third-round knockout of Bruno, who was making the first defense of the WBC belt he’d won from McCall
- September 1996 – Tyson snared his second world title in as many fights, spectacularly stopping defending WBA champ Seldon at 1:49 of the first round
- November 1996 – Holyfield, a 25-1 underdog, battered Tyson en route to an 11th-round TKO and the WBA title. With the victory, Holyfield joined Muhammad Ali as boxing’s only three-time heavyweight champions
- November 1996 – Moorer retained the IBF crown by stopping top contender Botha in the 12th round
- The Bite Fight, June 1997 – In what was billed as the No. 1 boxing event of the decade, three-time world champion Holyfield kept his WBA belt after former undisputed heavyweight kingpin Tyson was disqualified following the third round for twice biting Holyfield on the ear
- November 1997 – In a world title unification bout, WBA champion Holyfield dropped his IBF counterpart, Moorer, five times en route to a dominant eighth-round TKO
- January 1999 – Tyson made a thunderous return to the ring, winning his first start in more than 18 months on a stunning one punch, fifth-round knockout over ex-world champ Botha
- March 1999 – In one of the most exciting heavyweight fights of the decade, Holyfield was triumphant by 10th-round TKO over Dokes
- December 1999 – Vitali Klitschko retained the WBO belt with 10th-round TKO over Obed Sullivan
- January 2000 -Tyson knocked down Julius Francis five times — twice in the first round, and three times in the second — en route to a second-round TKO (it was stopped at 1:03)
- August 2000 – Holyfield became the first boxer to capture the world heavyweight title four times, taking a close, unanimous 12-round decision over Ruiz to attain the vacant WBA championship
- March 2001- Ruiz became the first Latino heavyweight champion after a stunning 12-round unanimous decision over four-time champ Holyfield to capture the WBA crown
- October 2003 – Three-time world champion and IBF cruiserweight belt-holder James Toney scored one knockdown en route to a ninth-round TKO of Holyfield
- October 2004 – Former WBO champ Wladimir Klitschko survived a fourth-round knockdown and a nasty cut to narrowly escape in his SHOWTIME debut with a fifth-round technical split decision over DaVarryl Williamson
- April 2006 – A huge underdog making his first start in 16 months, Sergei Liakhovich scored a shocking 12-round unanimous decision over defending champion Brewster to garner the WBO title
- September 2006 – Samuel Peter proved to be Toney’s worst nightmare, winning a hotly disputed 12-round split decision in a hard-fought WBC elimination brawl
- September 2007 – In another brutal battle, Peter took the rematch against Toney on a convincing 12-round unanimous decision
- October 2007 – The favored Peter survived three knockdowns by Jameel McCline to rally and retain the WBC interim title on a unanimous decision
- October 2008 – Vitali Klitschko, 37, making his first start in nearly four years, manufactured a marvelous eighth-round TKO over Samuel Peter in Berlin, Germany. Klitschko’s history-making triumph marked the first time that two brothers held heavyweight titles simultaneously. At the time Klitschko’s younger brother, Wladimir, was the IBF and WBO world champion.