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Michael Anthony Grant (born August 4, 1972) is an American professional boxer and world heavyweight title challenger.

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.

Early life

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.[1]

Amateur career

Grant had just 12 amateur fights. In the Golden Gloves 1994 semi-finals he lost his only amateur fight to Derrick Jefferson on points.

Professional career

Early career

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.

World Title Challenge

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.

Later career

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[2], Buddy McGirt and most recently Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

On May 7, 2010, Grant fought for the first time in eighteen months and won by first-round technical knockout over Kevin Burnett at Oheka Castle, Huntingdon, NY.[3]

On Aug 21, 2010, with a 20 kg weight advantage, Grant was physically dominant, but lost on points to Tomasz Adamek by a unanimous decision.[4]

On March 11, 2011, Grant fought Tye Fields at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Grant scored a one-punch third-round knockout.[5]

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.[6] 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 [7], however the fight was scrapped after a backlash from fans, and Dillian would face Malcolm Tann instead.[8]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
55 fights 48 wins 7 losses
By knockout 36 6
By decision 10 1
By disqualification 2 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
55 Loss 48–7 Poland Krzysztof Zimnoch KO 2 (8), 1:22 22 Apr 2017 Poland Arena Hall, Legionowo
54 Loss 48–6 Syria Manuel Charr RTD 5 (10), 3:00 24 Oct 2014 Russia Olympic Indoor Arena, Moscow, Central Federal District
53 Loss 48–5 France Carlos Takam TKO 8 (12), 0:50 24 May 2013 France Gymnase du Clos de l'Arche, Noisy-le-Grand, Île-de-France Lost WBF heavyweight title
52 Win 48–4 South Africa Francois Botha KO 12 (12), 2:23 19 Nov 2011 South Africa Monte Casino, Johannesburg, Gauteng Won vacant WBF heavyweight title
51 Win 47–4 United States Tye Fields KO 3 (10), 1:06 11 Mar 2011 United States Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
50 Loss 46–4 Poland Tomasz Adamek UD 12 21 Aug 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey For IBF International & NABO heavyweight titles
49 Win 46–3 United States Kevin Burnett TKO 1 (8), 1:48 7 May 2010 United States Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York
48 Win 45–3 United States Paul Marinaccio UD 12 15 Nov 2008 United States Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Niagara Falls, New York Won vacant NABA USA heavyweight title
47 Win 44–3 United States Demetrice King UD 8 11 Jul 2008 United States National Guard Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
46 Win 43–3 United States Kevin Montiy TKO 7 (8), 1:59 5 Sep 2007 United States Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York
45 Win 42–3 United States Billy Zumbrun TKO 5 (8), 2:17 27 Jun 2007 United States Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York
44 Win 41–3 United States Marcus McGee UD 8 24 Jun 2005 United States Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
43 Win 40–3 United States Wallace McDaniel TKO 8, (8) 2:18 8 Apr 2005 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida
42 Win 39–3 United States Charles Hatcher TKO 8 (8), 2:04 21 Feb 2004 United States City Center Pavilion, Reno, Nevada
41 Loss 38–3 United States Dominick Guinn TKO 7 (10), 1:21 7 Jun 2003 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
40 Win 38–2 Mexico Gilbert Martinez TKO 8 (10), 2:23 18 Apr 2003 United States Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California
39 Win 37–2 United States Carlton Johnson TKO 5 (10) 24 Jan 2003 United States Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
38 Win 36–2 United States James Walton TKO 4 (10) 7 Nov 2002 United States Hilton Hotel, Washington
37 Win 35–2 United States Robert Davis TKO 3 (10), 2:10 3 Aug 2002 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
36 Win 34–2 United States Anthony Willis TKO 2 (10), 2:55 1 Jun 2002 United States Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
35 Win 33–2 United States Joe Lenhart TKO 5 (8), 2:58 13 Apr 2002 United States Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia
34 Win 32–2 The Bahamas Reynaldo Minus TKO 4 (8), 2:02 9 Mar 2002 United States A. J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
33 Loss 31–2 United States Jameel McCline TKO 1 (10), 0:43 21 Jul 2001 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
32 Loss 31–1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis KO 2 (12), 2:53 29 Apr 2000 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York For WBC, IBF, IBO, & lineal heavyweight titles
31 Win 31–0 Poland Andrew Golota TKO 10 (12), 1:31 20 Nov 1999 United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained NABF heavyweight title.
WBC heavyweight title eliminator
30 Win 30–0 United States Lou Savarese UD 10 19 Jun 1999 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
29 Win 29–0 Syria Ahmed Abdin RTD 10 (12), 3:00 30 Jan 1999 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won vacant NABF heavyweight title
28 Win 28–0 United States Obed Sullivan TKO 9 (12), 2:16 30 May 1998 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained IBC heavyweight title
27 Win 27–0 Nigeria David Izon TKO 5 (12), 1:07 17 Jan 1998 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained IBC heavyweight title
26 Win 26–0 Cuba Jorge Luis Gonzalez TKO 1 (12), 2:00 7 Nov 1997 United States Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained IBC heavyweight title
25 Win 25–0 United States Alfred Cole RTD 10 (12), 3:00 20 Jun 1997 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won vacant IBC heavyweight title
24 Win 24–0 United States Lionel Butler DQ 4 (10), 0:38 19 Apr 1997 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada
23 Win 23–0 United States Jeff Wooden SD 10 14 Mar 1997 United States Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York
22 Win 22–0 Haiti Ray Anis UD 10 6 Dec 1996 United States Claridge Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
21 Win 21–0 United States Louis Monaco TKO 3 (?) 6 Oct 1996 United States Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
20 Win 20–0 United States Ross Puritty UD 10 21 Jul 1996 United States Teamster's Hall, Baltimore, Maryland
19 Win 19–0 United States Ed Donaldson TKO 3 (10), 2:15 11 Jun 1996 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut
18 Win 18–0 United States Olian Alexander TKO 4 (4) 10 May 1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
17 Win 17–0 United States Corey Sanders TKO 2 (8), 0:22 15 Mar 1996 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
16 Win 16–0 United States Rick Sullivan TKO 1 (6) 30 Jan 1996 United States Medieval Times, Lyndhurst, New Jersey
15 Win 15–0 United States Bradley Rone UD 6 12 Mar 1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
14 Win 14–0 United States Mike Dixon TKO 6 (?), 1:02 7 Dec 1995 United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
13 Win 13–0 United States Tim Noble TKO 2 (6) 10 Nov 1995 United States Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
12 Win 12–0 United States Stanley Wright TKO 2 (10) 22 Sep 1995 United States Lewiston, Maine
11 Win 11–0 United States Lou Turchiarelli TKO 1 (8), 2:30 20 May 1995 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
10 Win 10–0 United States Tyrone Dixon TKO 1 (?) 6 Dec 1994 United States Memphis, Tennessee
9 Win 9–0 United States Danny Wofford PTS 8 3 Dec 1994 United States Grundy, Virginia
8 Win 8–0 United States Steve Edwards DQ 5 (6), 0:33 5 Nov 1994 United States Aladdin Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
7 Win 7–0 United States John Basil Jackson UD 4 1 Nov 1994 United States Omni New Daisy Theater, Memphis, Tennessee
6 Win 6–0 United States Carlton Brown KO 1 (?) 22 Nov 1994 United States Grundy, Virginia
5 Win 5–0 United States Ed Strickland KO 1 (?) 4 Oct 1994 United States Memphis, Tennessee
4 Win 4–0 United States Elvin Evans TKO 6 (?) 23 Sep 1994 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi
3 Win 3–0 United States Frankie Hines KO 1 (?) 6 Sep 1994 United States Memphis, Tennessee
2 Win 2–0 United States Jerome Jones TKO 2 (?) 7 Aug 1994 United States Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi
1 Win 1–0 United States Ernest English TKO 1 (4) 21 Jul 1994 United States Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey Professional debut

References

External links

Titles in pretence
Vacant
Title last held by
Jerry Ballard
World Heavyweight Champion
IBC recognition

June 20, 1997 – January 30, 1999
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Brian Nielsen
Vacant
Title last held by
Evander Holyfield
World Heavyweight Champion
WBF recognition

19 November 2011 – 24 May 2013
Succeeded by
Carlos Takam