Tyrell Biggs (born December 22, 1960) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 1998, and challenged once for the undisputed heavyweight title in 1987. As an amateur he won a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, having previously won bronze at the 1983 Pan American Games and gold at the 1982 World Championships, all in the super heavyweight division.
Biggs was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, making his sporting debut playing basketball at West Philadelphia High. He was a starting forward for the Speedboys' Public League and City champions in 1978, a team that extended a state-record winning streak to 68 before a regular season loss to Overbrook. In '77, one of Biggs' teammates was Gene Banks, who went on to excel at Duke and play in the NBA.
Biggs' first major success as an amateur boxer was winning the gold medal at the 1981 United States National Boxing Championships in the super-heavyweight division. He repeated this feat the next year, and also in 1982 he won the World Championships in Munich, West Germany, where in the final he defeated Francesco Damiani from Italy on points, who beat the legendary Teofilo Stevenson earlier in the competition. In 1983 Biggs won a bronze medal on the Pan American Games, losing to future professional challenger Jorge Luis Gonzalez in the semi-final. In addition, Biggs won a 3-2 split decision over Cuban Angel Milian, who had beaten Greg Page five years earlier.
In 1984 Biggs won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, defeating future Olympic gold medallist and professional world champion Lennox Lewis in the quarter-finals. In the Olympics final Biggs beat Damiani on points again. The Cubans, including Stevenson, who defeated Biggs two times before the Olympics, did not participate on the games due to the Soviet boycott.
Biggs finished his amateur career with an outstanding record of 108-6-4.
He turned professional soon after his Olympic victory, scoring a 6-round unanimous decision over Mike Evans on November 15, 1984 at Madison Square Garden in New York City in his first bout. Besides Mike Tyson, Lewis and Damiani he went on to face such other boxing luminaries as James "Quick" Tillis, Ossie Ocasio, Riddick Bowe, Tony Tubbs, Buster Mathis, Jr., and Larry Donald before ending his career with a second-round knockout of Carlton Davis in 1998. He never won a title, but stalked the rankings of contendership for much of the mid to late 1980s.
Biggs' biggest pro fight was against Tyson, for the latter's undisputed heavyweight title. Biggs and Tyson disliked each other, and Biggs bad mouthed Tyson before the fight. Biggs attempted to outbox Tyson, using his jab and movement. But Tyson kept coming in and landing big punches, wearing him down until the fight was stopped in the 7th. Tyson admitted after the fight to carrying Biggs so he could inflict more damage, to avenge Biggs' pre-match comments.
Unfortunately the talented Biggs' life has been a constant fight against drug and alcohol addiction. He had to enter rehab only a few months after turning professional, and some declare that his career at the time of the Tyson fight was already effectively over. Biggs robe was sometimes emblazoned with, "Realise your potential", a drug rehabilitation mantra. An article published when he was 40 years old characterized him as "still fighting between stints in rehabilitation".
Biggs competed in the American Gladiators season 5 Gold Medal Challenge of Champions in 1993, losing to 1984 Gold Downhill Skiing medalist Bill Johnson. A feature documentary about Tyrell Biggs' life is currently in production.
|Professional record summary|
|40 fights||30 wins||10 losses|
|40||Win||30–10||Carlton Davis||KO||2||Aug 27, 1998||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|39||Loss||29–10||Larry Donald||KO||2 (10), 1:00||Sep 11, 1997||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.|
|38||Win||29–9||Alonzo Hollis||PTS||6||Feb 19, 1997||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|37||Win||28–9||Andre Crowder||TKO||1||Jan 11, 1997||Royal Oaks Center, Mount Washington, Kentucky, U.S.|
|36||Loss||27–9||Ray Anis||TKO||3 (10), 2:55||Apr 4, 1994||Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan|
|35||Loss||27–8||Buster Mathis Jr.||UD||12||Feb 5, 1994||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For vacant USBA heavyweight title|
|34||Win||27–7||Evgeny Sudakov||SD||3||Dec 3, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|33||Win||26–7||Shane Sutcliffe||TKO||2 (3), 3:00||Dec 3, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|32||Loss||25–7||Tony Tubbs||UD||3||Dec 3, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|31||Loss||25–6||Mike Hunter||UD||12||Jan 17, 1993||Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||For vacant USBA heavyweight title|
|30||Win||25–5||Marion Wilson||UD||10||Dec 8, 1992||Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|29||Win||24–5||John Jones||KO||2||Nov 19, 1992||Days Inn South, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|28||Win||23–5||Roy Jobe||KO||1||Jul 18, 1992||Civic Assembly Center, Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|27||Win||22–5||Mike Faulkner||TKO||2||May 29, 1992||Amarillo, Texas, U.S.|
|26||Win||21–5||Charles Woolard||TKO||1 (8), 2:12||May 7, 1992||Westin, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|25||Win||20–5||Alan Jamison||KO||1||Apr 18, 1992||High School Field House, Chandler, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|24||Loss||19–5||Lennox Lewis||TKO||3 (10), 2:47||Nov 23, 1991||Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|23||Loss||19–4||Riddick Bowe||TKO||8 (10), 2:17||Mar 2, 1991||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|22||Win||19–3||Rodolfo Marin||UD||10||Dec 8, 1990||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|21||Win||18–3||Rick Kellar||TKO||2||Apr 5, 1990||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|20||Win||17–3||Ossie Ocasio||UD||10||Jan 11, 1990||Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|19||Win||16–3||Bobby Crabtree||TKO||5 (10)||Nov 29, 1989||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|18||Loss||15–3||Gary Mason||KO||7 (10), 3:00||Oct 4, 1989||Royal Albert Hall, London, England|
|17||Loss||15–2||Francesco Damiani||TKO||5 (10), 1:06||Oct 29, 1988||Palatrussardi, Milan, Italy|
|16||Loss||15–1||Mike Tyson||TKO||7 (15), 2:59||Oct 16, 1987||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles|
|15||Win||15–0||Lorenzo Boyd||TKO||3, 1:12||Jul 31, 1987||Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||David Bey||TKO||6 (10), 2:15||Mar 7, 1987||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Renaldo Snipes||UD||10||Dec 12, 1986||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Robert Evans||KO||5 (10), 2:35||Oct 29, 1986||Alexandra Palace, London, England|
|11||Win||11–0||Percell Davis||UD||10||Sep 14, 1986||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Rodney Smith||RTD||7 (8)||Aug 14, 1986||Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Jeff Sims||UD||10||Mar 23, 1986||Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||James Tillis||UD||8||Jan 25, 1986||Americana Host Farm Resort, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Tony Anthony||KO||1, 2:57||Dec 21, 1985||Pavilion Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Danny Sutton||TKO||7 (8)||Nov 19, 1985||Landmark Hotel, Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Sterling Benjamin||TKO||7||Aug 29, 1985||Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Eddie Richardson||TKO||3 (6), 1:55||Jul 13, 1985||Atlantis Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Grady Daniels||RTD||2 (6)||May 17, 1985||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Mike Perkins||TKO||1 (6), 2:50||Apr 20, 1985||Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Mike Ronay Evans||UD||6||Nov 15, 1984||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Professional debut|
|Amateur boxing titles|
|Inaugural champion||U.S. super heavyweight champion