Oliver McCall (born April 21, 1965) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2014. He is best known for winning the WBC heavyweight title in 1994 by scoring an upset knockout victory over Lennox Lewis. The next year he defended the title against Larry Holmes before losing it to Frank Bruno. McCall would also become known for an in-ring mental breakdown during his 1997 rematch with Lewis.
Known as "The Atomic Bull", McCall turned pro in 1985 and slowly worked his way up the heavyweight ranks. He beat Jesse Ferguson and future heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon and lost a very close decision to Tony Tucker before landing the shot against Lewis in 1994. After a close first round McCall came out aggressively in the second and landed his signature counter right hand as Lewis moved forward. Lewis dropped to the canvas and got up before the count of ten, but he was unsteady on his feet, forcing the referee to wave a stop to the fight. In spite of the Lewis camp protests, Boxing Monthly editor Glynn Leach pointed out that Lewis "only seemed to recover his senses once the fight was waved off," and that "in the opinions of everyone I spoke to at ringside, the decision was correct." 
McCall's win over Lewis marked Don King's return to power in the heavyweight division, since none of his stable of fighters had been able to win the heavyweight title since Mike Tyson lost it in 1990. He successfully defended the title in a bout against 45-year-old ex-champ Larry Holmes in Las Vegas winning 115-112 115-114 and 114-113 on the score cards, before returning to London to face Frank Bruno in 1995.
During a press conference before the fight McCall claimed he was going to get revenge for America after Gerald McClellan had been rendered brain damaged after a fight with Nigel Benn a few months earlier. He had claimed that he was going to hurt Bruno and that the only thing Bruno would be able to do was throw illegal rabbit punches.
The fight took place at the old Wembley stadium. Bruno started off well, working behind the jab and landing some big right hands. McCall seemed uninterested in fighting and lagged far behind on the score cards going into the latter rounds. By round 9 Bruno had built up a big lead on the score cards and looked comfortably in charge. McCall finally sparked into life in round 10 perhaps realizing that he was behind on the score cards. McCall landed several big punches over the final 3 rounds and had Bruno in trouble several times but Bruno managed to hold on and win the title by a unanimous decision.
This gave McCall the distinction of becoming the first Heavyweight champion in history to both win and lose the title to a British fighter, and also the first American Heavyweight champion to have both won and lost the title in Britain (and Europe).
McCall returned to the ring 6 months after losing his title when he beat future WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev in less than 3 minutes. A month later McCall beat James Stanton in 6 rounds.
Lewis and McCall squared off again on February 7, 1997, in Las Vegas. In a bizarre fight, McCall refused to fight in the fourth and fifth rounds, beginning to cry and eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight and award Lewis the victory. The referee for the fight, Mills Lane, stated in an interview after the match, "In the third round, he got in close, and then seemed frustrated, and then he just backed off and put his arms down. . . . I thought he was playing possum but then I saw his lips started to quiver and I thought, 'My God, is he crying?'" Lane stopped the fight when McCall had refused to defend himself for several rounds.
In 2001 at the age of 36 he resurrected his career with a tenth-round knockout of Henry Akinwande, at the time one of the most avoided contenders in the world, on a Lennox Lewis undercard in Las Vegas. McCall was ranked number 4 in the world off this performance, but was arrested shortly afterwards and imprisoned for over a year, losing his ranking.
In December 2004 he lost a close points decision to fellow contender DaVarryl Williamson on a high-profile Don King undercard from New York, and in 2005 he traveled to Germany for an eliminator to skillful and well regarded Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez, and was outpointed over ten rounds. However this loss was removed from McCall's record as Gomez later failed a drug test.
Despite his legal troubles, Oliver's career continued. He began his next run at a title with a first-round TKO of Kenny Craven in June 2006.
On 16 June 2007, McCall defeated Sinan Samil Sam for the WBC International Heavyweight Championship by unanimous decision in Ankara, Turkey. This guaranteed him a shot at the WBC Heavyweight Championship (currently held by Vitali Klitschko). However, McCall took a fight with slick Cuban fighter Juan Carlos Gomez, a fight which McCall lost. As a result, Gomez took his place as the WBC's next mandatory challenger.
The long inactive McCall defeated Australian John Hopoate by 2nd-round TKO on the May 22, 2009, for the vacant IBA intercontinental heavyweight belt. McCall dominated the fight and knocked Hopoate down twice.
He defended his IBA continental belt against Franklin Lawrence by a ten-round unanimous decision on August 21, 2009, at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.
McCall's next opponent was Timur Ibragimov. The two fought at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida. Ibragimov was a fringe contender with a 27-2-1 record. McCall lost the bout by unanimous decision, with the scores of 117-111 twice and 119-109. It was his first loss since his comeback in 2009.
McCall's career has been mottled by several stints in drug rehabilitation facilities and arrests for disorderly behavior. He has attempted numerous comebacks, though the efforts have repeatedly been frustrated by run-ins with the law.
In January 2006 he was arrested by police in Nashville, Tennessee, who say they had to use a Taser on McCall after he tried running away from officers trying to arrest him for trespassing in a public housing development.
Police officers informed the media that McCall had in his possession a glass pipe and a five-dollar bill containing a small amount of cocaine. They further stated that the 40-year-old McCall later spat at an officer and threatened to kill him.He was held on $299,000 bond and charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest, assaulting police officers, threatening to kill an officer, and being a fugitive from justice on charges in his home state of Virginia. He was released on May 8, 2006.
On the weekend before his scheduled fight with Zuri Lawrence at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in nearby Hollywood, Florida, McCall was arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia in Fort Lauderdale, preventing him from fighting. He was ultimately sentenced to probation. McCall was able to get another big fight, this time against Fres Oquendo, scheduled for December 7, 2010. McCall won in a split decision over the favored Oquendo.
On December 9, 2010, two days after his latest victory, McCall was again arrested in Fort Lauderdale for possession of cannabis and a violation of a municipal ordinance, causing him to violate the terms of his probation stemming from the February cocaine charge. As a result of the probation violation, McCall was facing six years in Florida State Prison. McCall's attorney, Roger P. Foley, was able to have him reinstated on his previous probationary term, modified to include a drug and psychological evaluation followed by any necessary treatment. Oliver McCall and Attorney RP Foley coincidentally have formed a strong friendship and have been found training together in Plantation, Florida. The same attorney, Roger P. Foley, has become a strength and conditioning coach for McCall. On December 16, 2011, Lawyer Foley was successful in having McCall's probation terminated.
|Professional record summary|
|73 fights||57 wins||14 losses|
|73||Loss||57–14 (2)||Marcin Rekowski||UD||10||Apr 26, 2014||Arena Legionowo, Legionowo, Poland|
|72||Win||57–13 (2)||Marcin Rekowski||SD||8||Feb 1, 2014||Hala Okrąglak, Opole, Poland|
|71||Loss||56–13 (2)||Krzysztof Zimnoch||UD||8||May 18, 2013||Arena Legionowo, Legionowo, Poland|
|70||Loss||56–12 (2)||Francesco Pianeta||UD||10||May 16, 2012||Brandenburg-Halle, Frankfurt, Germany|
|69||Win||56–11 (2)||Damian Wills||UD||10||Aug 20, 2011||Athletic Fencing Center, Houston, Texas, U.S.||Won vacant WBF (Foundation) Intercontinental heavyweight title|
|68||Loss||55–11 (2)||Cedric Boswell||UD||10||Mar 18, 2011||Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.||For vacant WBA–NABA and WBC Latino heavyweight titles|
|67||Win||55–10 (2)||Fres Oquendo||SD||12||Dec 7, 2010||Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.||Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|66||Loss||54–10 (2)||Timur Ibragimov||UD||12||Jun 15, 2010||Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.||For vacant WBA–NABA heavyweight title|
|65||Win||54–9 (2)||Lance Whitaker||UD||10||Oct 23, 2009||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|64||Win||53–9 (2)||Franklin Lawrence||UD||10||Aug 21, 2009||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|63||Win||52–9 (2)||John Hopoate||TKO||2 (10), 1:26||May 22, 2009||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|62||Loss||51–9 (2)||Juan Carlos Gómez||UD||12||Oct 19, 2007||Estrel Hotel, Berlin, Germany||Lost WBC International heavyweight title|
|61||Win||51–8 (2)||Sinan Şamil Sam||UD||12||Jun 16, 2007||Atatürk Sport Hall, Ankara, Turkey||Won WBC International heavyweight title|
|60||Win||50–8 (2)||Marion Wilson||UD||8||Feb 24, 2007||ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, Virginia, U.S.|
|59||Win||49–8 (2)||Yanqui Díaz||KO||7 (10), 2:28||Dec 9, 2006||Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.|
|58||Win||48–8 (2)||Darroll Wilson||TKO||4 (12), 0:40||Sep 3, 2006||Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.||Won vacant WBC FECARBOX heavyweight title|
|57||Win||47–8 (2)||Kenny Craven||TKO||1 (10), 1:09||Jun 30, 2006||Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.|
|56||Win||46–8 (2)||Wallace McDaniel||TKO||3 (8), 1:37||May 27, 2006||The Plex, North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.|
|55||NC||45–8 (2)||Juan Carlos Gómez||UD||10||Oct 15, 2005||Burg-Wächter Castello, Düsseldorf, Germany||Originally a UD win for Gómez, later ruled an NC after he failed a drug test|
|54||Win||45–8 (1)||Przemysław Saleta||TKO||4 (10), 2:40||Aug 13, 2005||United Center, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|53||Win||44–8 (1)||Kelvin Hale||UD||8||May 10, 2005||Kennel Club, Sarasota, Florida, U.S.|
|52||Win||43–8 (1)||Cornelius Ellis||UD||8||Apr 16, 2005||M.C. Benton Jr. Convention Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.|
|51||Win||42–8 (1)||Marion Wilson||DQ||6 (8)||Feb 5, 2005||Convention Center, Washington, D.C., U.S.||Wilson disqualified for repeated holding|
|50||Loss||41–8 (1)||DaVarryl Williamson||UD||10||Nov 13, 2004||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|49||Win||41–7 (1)||Vernon Woodward||TKO||3 (8), 1:26||Sep 25, 2004||Firelake Casino, Shawnee, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|48||Win||40–7 (1)||Dennis McKinney||TKO||3 (10)||Apr 24, 2003||The Plex, North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.|
|47||Win||39–7 (1)||Henry Akinwande||KO||10 (10), 2:13||Nov 17, 2001||Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|46||Win||38–7 (1)||Matt Green||TKO||1 (10), 1:38||Sep 29, 2001||Martinsville, Virginia, U.S.|
|45||Win||37–7 (1)||Sedreck Fields||SD||10||Aug 11, 2000||Paris Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|44||Win||36–7 (1)||Marcus McIntyre||KO||3 (10), 0:57||May 25, 2001||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.|
|43||Win||35–7 (1)||Ric Lainhart||TKO||1 (10), 2:25||Feb 12, 2001||Jim Davidson Theatre, Pembroke Pines, Florida, U.S.|
|42||Win||34–7 (1)||Will Hinton||TKO||1 (10), 1:17||Dec 18, 1999||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.|
|41||NC||33–7 (1)||Samson Cohen||NC||2 (10)||Sep 25, 1999||High School, Bassett, Virginia, U.S.||NC after Cohen was unable to continue due to falling out of the ring|
|40||Win||33–7||Samson Cohen||KO||1 (10)||Feb 24, 1998||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|39||Win||32–7||Abdul Muhaymin||UD||10||Feb 3, 1998||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|38||Win||31–7||Mike Acklie||KO||1 (10)||Jan 6, 1998||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|37||Win||30–7||Mike DeVito||TKO||2 (8)||Dec 16, 1997||Music City Mix Factory, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|36||Win||29–7||Brian Yates||TKO||8 (10)||Nov 4, 1997||Music City Mix Factory, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|35||Loss||28–7||Lennox Lewis||TKO||5 (12), 0:55||Feb 7, 1997||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||For vacant WBC heavyweight title|
|34||Win||28–6||James Stanton||RTD||6 (10), 0:01||Mar 23, 1996||Miami Arena, Miami, Florida, U.S.|
|33||Win||27–6||Oleg Maskaev||TKO||1 (10), 1:38||Feb 24, 1996||Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.|
|32||Loss||26–6||Frank Bruno||UD||12||Sep 2, 1995||Wembley Stadium, London, England||Lost WBC heavyweight title|
|31||Win||26–5||Larry Holmes||UD||12||Apr 8, 1995||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|30||Win||25–5||Lennox Lewis||TKO||2 (12), 0:31||Sep 24, 1994||Wembley Arena, London, England||Won WBC heavyweight title|
|29||Win||24–5||Dan Murphy||TKO||1 (10)||Feb 26, 1994||Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England|
|28||Win||23–5||Art Card||KO||1 (10)||Dec 18, 1993||Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla City, Mexico|
|27||Win||22–5||Francesco Damiani||TKO||8 (10), 1:09||Apr 23, 1993||The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|26||Win||21–5||Mike Dixon||TKO||2 (10), 2:48||Jan 30, 1993||The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|25||Win||20–5||Lawrence Carter||KO||3 (10)||Jan 30, 1993||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|24||Loss||19–5||Tony Tucker||SD||12||Jun 26, 1992||CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.||For NABF heavyweight title|
|23||Win||19–4||Mike Rouse||TKO||4 (10), 2:54||Feb 15, 1992||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|22||Win||18–4||Jesse Ferguson||UD||10||Aug 8, 1991||Trump's Castle, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|21||Win||17–4||Danny Wofford||TKO||5 (10)||Jun 8, 1991||Civic Center, Salem, Virginia, U.S.|
|20||Win||16–4||Bruce Seldon||TKO||9 (10), 2:37||Apr 18, 1991||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|19||Loss||15–4||Orlin Norris||SD||10||Nov 17, 1990||Lee County Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.|
|18||Win||15–3||Lionel Butler||SD||10||Jul 16, 1990||Central Plaza Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|17||Loss||14–3||Buster Douglas||UD||10||Jul 21, 1989||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|16||Win||14–2||Bruce Johnson||KO||1 (10), 2:05||Oct 1, 1988||International Amphitheatre, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|15||Win||13–2||Wesley Smith||TKO||2 (8)||Sep 16, 1988||Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.|
|14||Win||12–2||David Jaco||UD||10||Jun 30, 1988||Pavilion Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.|
|13||Loss||11–2||Mike Hunter||UD||6||Jan 22, 1988||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|12||Win||11–1||Kim Adams||TKO||2 (8), 0:51||Aug 30, 1987||Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|11||Win||10–1||Richard Scott||KO||2 (8), 2:50||Aug 11, 1987||UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|10||Win||9–1||Tim Morrison||KO||1 (6), 1:01||May 30, 1987||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|9||Win||8–1||Fred Whitaker||UD||6||Mar 21, 1987||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|8||Win||7–1||Al Evans||UD||6||Dec 16, 1986||Condesa Del Mar, Alsip, Illinois, U.S.|
|7||Win||6–1||Bashir Wadud||UD||6||Oct 25, 1986||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|6||Win||5–1||Larry Roberson||TKO||1 (4), 2:31||Sep 13, 1986||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|5||Win||4–1||James Churn||KO||1 (4), 1:19||Aug 14, 1986||Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|4||Win||3–1||Kimmuel Odum||MD||4||Aug 14, 1986||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|3||Win||2–1||Felix Shorter||TKO||2 (4)||Jan 18, 1986||DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|2||Loss||1–1||Joey Christjohn||UD||4||Dec 6, 1985||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Lou Bailey||TKO||1 (4), 2:35||Nov 2, 1985||Odeum Expo Center, Villa Park, Illinois, U.S.||Professional debut|
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byCalvin Brock
September 9, 2006 – April 2007
Title next held byCarl Davis Drumond
Sinan Şamil Sam
June 16, 2007 – October 19, 2007
Juan Carlos Gómez
Title last held byOleg Platov
December 7, 2010 – March 2011
Title next held byKonstantin Airich
Title last held byAmir Mansour
Intercontinental heavyweight champion
August 20, 2011 – May 2012
Title next held bySkipp Scott
|Major world boxing titles|
|WBC heavyweight champion
September 24, 1994 – September 2, 1995