This Day in Boxing

Evander Holyfield KOs Adilson Rodrigues This Day July 15, 1989



Evander Holyfield KOs Adilson Rodrigues This Day July 15, 1989 and retains the heavyweight crown



  • Evander Holyfield 207 lbs
  • Adilson Rodrigues 221 lbs
  • KO at 1:29 in round 2 of 12
  • Location: Caesars Tahoe, Outdoor Arena, Stateline, Nevada, USA
  • Referee: Mills Lane
  • Judge: Keith MacDonald
  • Judge: Bill Graham
  • Judge: Doug Tucker
  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title (1st defense by Holyfield)



There was a crowd of about 7,600.

The fight was televised on Showtime.

Holyfield was an 11-1 favorite.

Holyfield was ranked No. 1 by the WBC and WBA, and Rodrigues was ranked No. 2 by the WBC and No. 3 by the WBA.

Holyfield earned $1.25 million and Rodrigues earned $300,000.

Evander Holyfield retained his Continental America’s heavyweight title when he knocked out Adilson Rodrigues of Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 1 minute 29 seconds of the second round of a scheduled 12-round bout here tonight.

The end came when Holyfield jolted Rodrigues early in the second round with a right uppercut, then dropped him onto the seat of his shorts with a left and right to the head.

Rodrigues lay flat on his back as the referee, Mills Lane, counted. The challenger never stirred as Lane gave him the 10-count, and he remained on the canvas for several minutes before he was revived.

“I could have counted to 50,” Lane said. “At 10 he wasn’t moving. That Holyfield has a heavy hand.”

In the first round, Rodrigues scored repeatedly with lefts to the body and then began to double up the left and land to Holyfield’s head.

“I felt he wanted to slow me down at the start,” Holyfield said afterward, “because I like to start fast.”

Holyfield was not bothered by Rodrigues’s early success and appeared to be gauging his distance with his jab for his heavier arsenal.

“I was setting him up, keeping him at the end of the jab,” he said. “I caught him coming in off balance.”

Holyfield’s cornerman, Lou Duva, said after the bout: “Mike Tyson better get ready. Evander sent a message tonight with that right hand and right uppercut. Tyson will end up in the third row when Holyfield hits him.”

Holyfield’s manager, Ken Sanders, also was sounding bullish too about the prospect of his man fighting for the heavyweight title, “Evander wants the fight,” Sanders said. “He’s the better fighter.” Tyson will defend his title Friday night against Carl (Truth) Williams.

Rodrigues said he did not see the punches that knocked him down, “Heavyweights are like that,” Rodrigues said. “You get hit and you’re down.”

Rodrigues said he would return to Brazil “to rest and think about my life.”

Holyfield, who weighed 207 pounds, is undefeated in 22 bouts, with 18 of his victories by knockout.

Rodrigues, who weighed 221 pounds, drops to 35-3 with 26 knockouts.

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