The pinnacle of Grant's boxing career came in 2000, when he unsuccessfully challenged Lennox Lewis for the IBF, WBC and IBO heavyweight titles. Grant, who came in undefeated, was knocked out in two rounds.
Before his boxing career, he blossomed into a three-sport star at Chicago's Harper High School. He was a right handed pitcher who drew attention from the Kansas City Royals, an imposing two-way player at tight end and defensive end on the football field and a front court force on the basketball court. Grant graduated in 1991 and went on to play American Football at Mount San Antonio College near Los Angeles, and Fullerton College in Orange County, California. At 6'7", he was a towering defensive end looking to leap to a major college program. But poor grades forced him to the sidelines.
Grant had just 12 amateur fights. In the Golden Gloves 1994 semi-finals he lost his only amateur fight to Derrick Jefferson on points.
In his early career, Grant beat Corey Sanders, Ross Puritty, Lionel Butler, Al Cole, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, David Izon and Obed Sullivan. He knocked down and outpointed Lou Savarese before most notably fighting former world title challenger Andrew Golota in an WBC heavyweight title eliminator. During that fight Grant was knocked down twice in the first round only to come from behind to score a technical knockout in the tenth round after Golota did not wish to continue after a knockdown. By this point the Ring Magazine ranked him as the #3 heavyweight in the world.
Grant's undefeated record and victories against Sullivan, Savarese and Golota earned him an opportunity to challenge newly crowned undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. Lewis was coming off a unanimous decision victory against Evander Holyfield and wanted to make a statement with his first title-defence.
Grant started the fight very aggressively but Lewis put him down with a right hand. He got back to his feet and was beaten badly by Lewis, a left hand on the side of the head sending Grant reeling into the corner and counting as a second knockdown. Grant was badly hurt but seemed to recover toward the end of the first round until a vicious right hand sent him down for the third time. Remarkably Grant beat the count. His trainer Don Turner implored him to use his legs. While Grant tried to rally, Lewis took his time in round two before finishing Grant off with an uppercut.
Sidelined by injuries for fifteen months, in his comeback fight Grant fought and lost to Jameel McCline in 2001. McCline knocked him down in the first round, and Grant had to retire due to a broken ankle. After a brief comeback, then-undefeated Dominick Guinn knocked him out in 2003 in seven rounds. Since the loss, Grant has fought sporadically against limited opposition while having several high-profile trainers, including Don Turner, Teddy Atlas, Buddy McGirt and most recently Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
On November 19, 2011, Grant faced Francois Botha for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Heavyweight title. Grant won by a 12th-round KO, having needed a KO due to being well behind on all three cards. The fight took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first time he had fought outside the USA. Immediately after the fight, Grant called out the Klitschko brothers who hold all of the major heavyweight titles. After an 18-month layoff, Grant defended the WBF belt against France-based Cameroonian Carlos Takam on May 24, 2013 in Noisy-le-Grand, France, losing by 8th round technical knockout.
It was announced in July 2017 that Grant would face Dillian Whyte at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on August 19 , however the fight was scrapped after a backlash from fans, and Dillian would face Malcolm Tann instead.
|Professional record summary|
|55 fights||48 wins||7 losses|
|55||Loss||48–7||Krzysztof Zimnoch||KO||2 (8), 1:22||22 Apr 2017||Arena Hall, Legionowo|
|54||Loss||48–6||Manuel Charr||RTD||5 (10), 3:00||24 Oct 2014||Olympic Indoor Arena, Moscow, Central Federal District|
|53||Loss||48–5||Carlos Takam||TKO||8 (12), 0:50||24 May 2013||Gymnase du Clos de l'Arche, Noisy-le-Grand, Île-de-France||Lost WBF heavyweight title|
|52||Win||48–4||Francois Botha||KO||12 (12), 2:23||19 Nov 2011||Monte Casino, Johannesburg, Gauteng||Won vacant WBF heavyweight title|
|51||Win||47–4||Tye Fields||KO||3 (10), 1:06||11 Mar 2011||Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|50||Loss||46–4||Tomasz Adamek||UD||12||21 Aug 2010||Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey||For IBF International & NABO heavyweight titles|
|49||Win||46–3||Kevin Burnett||TKO||1 (8), 1:48||7 May 2010||Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York|
|48||Win||45–3||Paul Marinaccio||UD||12||15 Nov 2008||Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Niagara Falls, New York||Won vacant NABA USA heavyweight title|
|47||Win||44–3||Demetrice King||UD||8||11 Jul 2008||National Guard Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|46||Win||43–3||Kevin Montiy||TKO||7 (8), 1:59||5 Sep 2007||Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York|
|45||Win||42–3||Billy Zumbrun||TKO||5 (8), 2:17||27 Jun 2007||Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York|
|44||Win||41–3||Marcus McGee||UD||8||24 Jun 2005||Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|43||Win||40–3||Wallace McDaniel||TKO||8, (8) 2:18||8 Apr 2005||Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida|
|42||Win||39–3||Charles Hatcher||TKO||8 (8), 2:04||21 Feb 2004||City Center Pavilion, Reno, Nevada|
|41||Loss||38–3||Dominick Guinn||TKO||7 (10), 1:21||7 Jun 2003||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|40||Win||38–2||Gilbert Martinez||TKO||8 (10), 2:23||18 Apr 2003||Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California|
|39||Win||37–2||Carlton Johnson||TKO||5 (10)||24 Jan 2003||Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|38||Win||36–2||James Walton||TKO||4 (10)||7 Nov 2002||Hilton Hotel, Washington|
|37||Win||35–2||Robert Davis||TKO||3 (10), 2:10||3 Aug 2002||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|36||Win||34–2||Anthony Willis||TKO||2 (10), 2:55||1 Jun 2002||Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|35||Win||33–2||Joe Lenhart||TKO||5 (8), 2:58||13 Apr 2002||Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia|
|34||Win||32–2||Reynaldo Minus||TKO||4 (8), 2:02||9 Mar 2002||A. J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|33||Loss||31–2||Jameel McCline||TKO||1 (10), 0:43||21 Jul 2001||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|32||Loss||31–1||Lennox Lewis||KO||2 (12), 2:53||29 Apr 2000||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York||For WBC, IBF, IBO, & lineal heavyweight titles|
|31||Win||31–0||Andrew Golota||TKO||10 (12), 1:31||20 Nov 1999||Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained NABF heavyweight title.
WBC heavyweight title eliminator
|30||Win||30–0||Lou Savarese||UD||10||19 Jun 1999||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York|
|29||Win||29–0||Ahmed Abdin||RTD||10 (12), 3:00||30 Jan 1999||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Won vacant NABF heavyweight title|
|28||Win||28–0||Obed Sullivan||TKO||9 (12), 2:16||30 May 1998||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBC heavyweight title|
|27||Win||27–0||David Izon||TKO||5 (12), 1:07||17 Jan 1998||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBC heavyweight title|
|26||Win||26–0||Jorge Luis Gonzalez||TKO||1 (12), 2:00||7 Nov 1997||Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBC heavyweight title|
|25||Win||25–0||Alfred Cole||RTD||10 (12), 3:00||20 Jun 1997||Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Won vacant IBC heavyweight title|
|24||Win||24–0||Lionel Butler||DQ||4 (10), 0:38||19 Apr 1997||Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|23||Win||23–0||Jeff Wooden||SD||10||14 Mar 1997||Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York|
|22||Win||22–0||Ray Anis||UD||10||6 Dec 1996||Claridge Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|21||Win||21–0||Louis Monaco||TKO||3 (?)||6 Oct 1996||Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California|
|20||Win||20–0||Ross Puritty||UD||10||21 Jul 1996||Teamster's Hall, Baltimore, Maryland|
|19||Win||19–0||Ed Donaldson||TKO||3 (10), 2:15||11 Jun 1996||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut|
|18||Win||18–0||Olian Alexander||TKO||4 (4)||10 May 1996||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York|
|17||Win||17–0||Corey Sanders||TKO||2 (8), 0:22||15 Mar 1996||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|16||Win||16–0||Rick Sullivan||TKO||1 (6)||30 Jan 1996||Medieval Times, Lyndhurst, New Jersey|
|15||Win||15–0||Bradley Rone||UD||6||12 Mar 1996||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York|
|14||Win||14–0||Mike Dixon||TKO||6 (?), 1:02||7 Dec 1995||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|13||Win||13–0||Tim Noble||TKO||2 (6)||10 Nov 1995||Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|12||Win||12–0||Stanley Wright||TKO||2 (10)||22 Sep 1995||Lewiston, Maine|
|11||Win||11–0||Lou Turchiarelli||TKO||1 (8), 2:30||20 May 1995||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|10||Win||10–0||Tyrone Dixon||TKO||1 (?)||6 Dec 1994||Memphis, Tennessee|
|9||Win||9–0||Danny Wofford||PTS||8||3 Dec 1994||Grundy, Virginia|
|8||Win||8–0||Steve Edwards||DQ||5 (6), 0:33||5 Nov 1994||Aladdin Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|7||Win||7–0||John Basil Jackson||UD||4||1 Nov 1994||Omni New Daisy Theater, Memphis, Tennessee|
|6||Win||6–0||Carlton Brown||KO||1 (?)||22 Nov 1994||Grundy, Virginia|
|5||Win||5–0||Ed Strickland||KO||1 (?)||4 Oct 1994||Memphis, Tennessee|
|4||Win||4–0||Elvin Evans||TKO||6 (?)||23 Sep 1994||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi|
|3||Win||3–0||Frankie Hines||KO||1 (?)||6 Sep 1994||Memphis, Tennessee|
|2||Win||2–0||Jerome Jones||TKO||2 (?)||7 Aug 1994||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi|
|1||Win||1–0||Ernest English||TKO||1 (4)||21 Jul 1994||Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey||Professional debut|
|Titles in pretence|
Title last held byJerry Ballard
|World Heavyweight Champion
June 20, 1997 – January 30, 1999
Title next held byBrian Nielsen
Title last held byEvander Holyfield
|World Heavyweight Champion
19 November 2011 – 24 May 2013