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This article is about the boxer. For the hockey player, see Mike Weaver ; for the politician, see Mike Weaver .


Michael Dwayne Weaver (born July 7, 1952, in Gatesville, Texasmarker) is a former boxer who is better known in the boxing world simply as Mike Weaver. Older brother of "the fighting Weaver triplets" Floyd, Lloyd and Troy.

Marines

Weaver was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1968 to 71, and went to Vietnammarker, and during this time got into amateur boxing and training. He notably fought Duane Bobick, a future amateur star out of the Navy. In a fight where both men were down, Weaver was outpointed.

Early pro career

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."

However after a few losses early on to tough fringe contenders like Howard Smith and Larry Frazier, Weaver showed signs of improvement. He fought both Bobick brothers, losing a debatable 10 round decicison to Rodney, and being stopped on a cut in the 7th to old amateur rival Duane.

In 1976 Weaver beat well regarded veteran Jody Ballard, and in 1978 lost two close decisions to Stan Ward for the California State Heavyweight title, and Leroy Jones for the NABF heavyweight title.

Contender

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 old foe Stan Ward in 9 to win the USBA heavyweight title.

These wins got him a high profile World title fight with reigning and 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).

Weaver proved better than expected, however, and gave Holmes a tough fight. In the end, though, Holmes would rally, knocking Weaver down with an uppercut in the 11th and stopping him on his feet in the 12th.

Although Weaver had lost, his surprise showing had made him a high profile name. Later in the year he was back, retaining his USBA belt with a 12 round decision over Scott LeDoux.

In March 1980 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.

Tate dominated Weaver for most of 14 rounds. With 40 seconds left in the 15th and final round, Weaver caught Tate with a left hook that dropped Tate to the canvas for the full count.

In October 1980 Weaver made his first defense, traveling to Sun City, South Africa, to fight Gerrie Coetzee. Weaver knocked Coetzee out in the 13th round. Coetzee had never previously been down, amateur or pro.

In 1981 Weaver outpointed the flashy James "Quick" Tillis over 15 rounds in Chicago to retain his title after a year's inactivity. 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, awarding the Dokes the title 1:03 into the first round.

In May 1983 rematch, Dokes was awarded a draw after 15 rounds with Weaver. Most, if not all at ringside felt Weaver had done enough to warrant the verdict comfortably. In June 1985 Weaver took on Pinklon Thomas, who held the WBC title. Weaver lost by eighth-round knockout. This would be Weaver's last title challenge although a 2nd round KO of Carl "The Truth" Williams would follow the defeat to Thomas. A win over highly touted South African Johnny DuPlooy was the only real highlight of the later years and Mike ended with another KO defeat to Larry Holmes when he was almost 50 years old.

Later years

Weaver is now retired. He has three daughters: Shanrika, Krystle, and AunJenelle Weaver.

References




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