Happy Birthday, Mike Weaver
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Mike Weaver Career Highlights Video
On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, Mike ‘Hercules’ Weaver turned 65 years old. Mike’s career spanned 60 pro fights between 1972 and 2000. With a record of 48 wins, 18 losses and one draw, with 18 knockouts, Mike’s career was less a record then it was a testament to a hot and cold unpredictable fighter.
There are five fights involving Mike Weaver which are my favorites. Of course, his World Boxing Association title bouts with John Tate (KO 15) and Gerrie Coetzee (KO 13) were spectacular. Later I liked Carl Williams, James Pritchard and Johnny Du Plooy I. My favored fighters were such because Mike’s record holds no indicator or how one expected him to do.
While still most deserved, Mike holds no hall of fame awards or similar accolades. Yet Mike Weaver is most noteworthy because he rose up in the heavyweight division after Muhammad Ali at the tail end of the Muhammad Ali era. Ironically, if John Tate had beaten Weaver, Muhammad Ali was to be the next opponent for John Tate. Weaver’s spectacular televised fifteenth round kayo of Tate cost Tate a multi million dollar payday, and forced Ali to take the payday comeback bout with Larry Holmes instead-which Ali lost.
What I liked most about Mike Weaver was the unpredictable element translating to ‘you never know what will happen’ when Mike fought. In the end, Weaver was not as famous as most of the other great heavyweights. On a good night, though, he could have beaten any one of them, and that’s the strange part about Mike Weaver.
It is difficult even for the historian to assess Weaver’s impact on the heavyweight division in his time because Mike’s performances as a boxer were high holy inconsistent, and that’s what makes Mike’s career so interesting. The video clip leading this article showcases the bright moments in the career of Mike Weaver. His 28 year career, it should also be noted, is a fantastic longevity for any fighter who has held the heavyweight title.