Can You Identify These ’90s Boxers From a Screenshot?
By: Zoe Samuel
About This Quiz
The 1990s were a transformative decade for boxing. As a televised sport, it could now make money from "airing" fights on premium cable and pay-per-view, causing profits to soar and the stakes to be bigger than ever. Promoters like Don King ruled the roost. New types of fighters had entered the sport in the 1980s, changing the popular idea of what a champion looked like, and in the 1990s, new faces were ready to redefine that all over again. The decade saw technical specialists with ice in their veins, furious berserkers who fought like animals, and fighters who managed to get through their careers with perfect, or nearly perfect records.
The odds that one saw boxing in the 1990s is exponentially better than the odds one saw it in the 1980s. With many new cable channels eager to fill airtime with boxing, bouts that would not have been televised in the 1970s or 1980s would see national broadcast in the 1990s. Suddenly, great moments in small fights became well known, young fighters became better known, and legends began inscribing their names into history early on, shaping more fighters into characters than in any other era. Can you remember the era? Were you present for fights or did you see them on television? Do you think you could identify the fighters of the era from a screenshot? Now's the time to find out with this quiz!
Can you recognize this iconic heavyweight without his facial tattoo?
Julio César Chávez
One of the most famous boxers of all time, "Iron Mike" Tyson was terrifying in the 1980s, and somewhat less successful, though no less scary, in the 1990s. In a famous incident in 1997, Tyson literally took a bite out of his opponent.
Which 1990s fighter was nicknamed "The Real Deal"?
Given Evander Holyfield's comeback after a 2005 ban from boxing in New York due to an apparent dip in his ability to protect himself, Holyfield's career survived Mike Tyson, fighting until 2011, and ending his career with a win. Holyfield remains the only boxer ever to become the undisputed champion in not one, but two weight classes.
One fighter in the 1990s is best known today for his plug-in grills. Who is he?
George Foreman had one of the longest careers in boxing. He faced Frazier and Ali in the 1970s, but in the 1990s, he faced Evander Holyfield, Tommy Morrison and Michael Moorer. Today, people who don't follow boxing may only know him as the pitchman for George Foreman Grills.
One 1990s boxer was both a three-time world heavyweight champion and a knight! Do you know who he is without his post-nominal letters?
Six foot five inch tall Lennox "The Lion" Lewis holds two titles outside of boxing, one of which is a knighthood, making him a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In addition to this, he's a Companion of The Order of Canada and has a painting of himself at The National Portrait Gallery in London.
One fighter from the 1990s had his first loss as a professional after a fight that set a record for punches thrown. Can you name him?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
David Tua is a Samoan heavyweight whose career began in the 1990s and ended in the 2010s. In a 1997 match with Ike Ibeabuchi, Tua was handed his first loss as a professional after a fight that set a record for most punches thrown in a heavyweight fight. Prior to this, he had won 27 fights, 23 by knockout.
This "golden" fighter won 39 of 45 fights and had some unflattering photos surface in his retirement. Who is he?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Oscar De La Hoya
Born in East L.A., The Golden Boy's career began in 1992 and included winning numerous lightweight, welterweight and middleweight titles. Of his 39 fights, only 15 did not involve a title, mostly due to his first 11 professional fights. Photos of him in women's underwear leaked in 2007, leading to denials and finally, weirdly, admitting to cocaine addiction.
The 1990s produced one fighter with a perfect record who was so dependable you could take him to the bank. Who was he?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd "Money" Mayweather went undefeated in 50 career fights. In his career, he won well over a dozen titles in several weight classes, retiring in 2017. Since retiring from boxing, he has used his physical prowess as a professional wrestler (briefly) and on "Dancing With The Stars."
This famous fighter is now the mayor of Kiev. Can you name him?
If ever there was a boxer who looked like a boxer, it was Vitali Klitschko. In the 1990s, he won the WBO heavyweight title and finished out the decade by winning every single professional fight by knockout. No wonder they called him "Dr. Ironfist."
Of this "Executioner's" 55 wins, 32 were KOs, and of his eight losses, one was by KO. Who do you think he is?
Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins is famed for his exploits in the 1990s, which consisted of climbing the weight class championships. In 1992 and 1993, Hopkins won the USBA and IBF middleweight titles, respectively, defending them and winning further middleweight titles before graduating to light heavyweight titles in 2006.
One famous fighter whose nickname evoked video games became a senator. Who is he?
Senator Manny "Pack-man" Pacquiao, of the Philippine Senate, is regarded as one of the finest pound for pound fighters of all time. His boxing record is 62-7, with 39 wins by knockout, and his record in politics is that he ranked 7th in the Philippine Senate election results, with 16,050,546 votes cast for him.
Only one man became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in 1992. Who was it?
Juan Carlos Gomez
Brooklyn born Riddick Bowe won the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title in 1991 from Elijah Tillery. In 1992, he went toe to toe with Evander Holyfield, wresting from him the WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal heavyweight titles and becoming the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Following a haitus from boxing following a major defeat, this fighter staged a decade-long comeback! Who is he?
"The Easton Assassin" began his career in the age of Ali, who he fought, retiring in 1986. Lured out of retirement in 1988, he was defeated by Mike Tyson, taking years away from boxing before his return to the ring. He never won another title in the 1990s, but his matches were always so close, you got the sense that were it not for some small mistake by his opponents, he would have been a champion in the 1990s.
This "Prince" was known best for his devastating uppercut. Who is he?
"Prince" Naseem Hamed had a career spanning the 1990s, from 1992 to 2002. The image of him boxing fans probably remember best is his leaping uppercut in his bout with Tom Johnson, a victory that meant he then held both the WBO and IBF titles.
This heavyweight lost his title to Evander Holyfield in the third round only eight months after winning it. Can you remember who he is?
Eric "Butterbean" Esch
Buster Douglas ranks alongside Shane Spencer in great 1990s athletes: both had moments of glory bookended by relative anonymity. Douglas is famed for his defeat of the then-undefeated Mike Tyson, a fight most casinos refused even to take odds on. Eight months later, he lost the title.
One "True Brit" scored 38 knockouts in 40 victories. Can you identify him?
In 45 professional fights, Bruno won 40 times, almost entirely by knockout, but even his losses were impressive. His final professional bout was a loss in 1996, to the still very dangerous Mike Tyson, who took his WBC heavyweight title.
The 1990s had a fighter who became light middleweight world champion for the first of two times in 1998. Can you name this "Aztec Warrior"?
Oxnard, California native Fernando Vargas had a crazy record as an amateur, notching 100 victories and only five losses. As a pro, he had 26 wins and five losses, but in that time, he twice became a world light middleweight champion, first in 1998, and again in 2001.
This merciless fighter followed a boxing career with a kickboxing career and finally an MMA career! Who is this dangerous guy?
Ray "Merciless" Mercer boxed professionally from 1989 to 2008, with most of his bouts in the early and mid-1990s. Throughout his career, he compiled a 36-7-1 record with 26 wins by knockout, while facing the fists of Wladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, all of whom defeated him.
This fighter won and lost the WBO heavyweight title in 1993. Do you remember him?
Tommy "The Duke" Morrison was a memorable fighter in the 1990s. He won the WBO heavyweight title, and later the IBC heavyweight title. He defeated George Foreman. Perhaps he is best known for his appearance in "Rocky V" as Tommy Gunn.
Many have called this famous 1990s boxer the greatest pound for pound fighter of all time. Who is he?
Eric "Butterbean" Esch
Julio César Chávez
With an impressive record of 107 wins and only six losses, Julio César Chávez is a boxing legend. His first career loss was at the hands of Parnell Whitaker in 1993, and considering that he boxed from 1980 to 2005, this is pretty impressive. It is worth noting that he technically retired in 2001, making all his fights after "return" fights.
This former WBA heavyweight champion isn't permitted entrance to Ukraine. Do you have any idea of who it might be?
Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr., who won the WBA Heavyweight Championship in 2003, is a prolific fighter, and since retirement, he has expanded into business ventures, many in Russia. To this end, he personally requested dual citizenship from Vladimir Putin, who granted it, an event immediately followed by him being banned from entering Ukraine.
One famous fighter from the 1990s was born in the USSR but became an Australian. Do you know who he is?
At 31-2, Kostya Tszyu fought for the USSR until going pro in 1992. After 14 consecutive wins, he took the IBF light-welterweight title, which he held on to for four victories and one no-contest before being handed his first loss in the form of Vince Phillips in 1997. He is a national hero in his adoptive Australia.
This American southpaw held various light heavyweight and heavyweight titles over the 1990s. Can you remember who he is?
With 52 wins in 57 bouts, Michael Moorer was a force in the 1990s, going 35-0 before being handed his first defeat. Moorer held the WBO light heavyweight title in the early 1990s, and in the late 1990s, he variously held the IBF, WBA and lineal heavyweight titles.
This "Baby-Faced Assassin" recorded 59 wins in 66 fights. Who was he?
Anyone with a radio in the 1990s can remember the relish announcers took in pronouncing Tapia "The Baby-Faced Assassin." In his career, Tapia took the NABF super flyweight title, the WBO super flyweight title, the IBF super flyweight title, the WBA bantamweight title, the WBO bantamweight title, the IBF featherweight title, and finally the IBC Americas lightweight title.
A 1990s welterweight champion won gold in the 1984 Olympics as a featherweight. Do you know who he is?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
When Meldrick Taylor capped off the 1980s by losing his title, he decided to go up a weight class, taking on and defeating Aaron Davis for the WBA welterweight title. Taylor was recently in the news due to an incident involving a standoff with police.
One boxer held the world welterweight title from 1994 to 1998. Who was it?
Ghanaian fighter Ike Quartey held the world welterweight title until he was stripped of it for not fighting. When he returned to the ring to reclaim the title, he had the misfortune of prying it from Oscar De La Hoya, who soundly defeated Quartey.
One 1990s fighter came back from a broken neck to win in the ring. Can you recall who that is?
Shortly after becoming a lightweight champion and junior middleweight champion, Vinny Paz broke his neck in a car accident. Told he would never walk again, he defied doctors and continued to work out, and just over a year later, he was back in the ring, winning.
The 1990s featured a boxer whose first professional fight was in Madison Square Garden and spent nearly a decade as WBA light heavyweight champion. Can you name that boxer?
Eric "Butterbean" Esch
Virgil Hall had a long and storied career in boxing, with an introduction in 1984 at MSG, and then the title years. For the better part of a decade, he was a champion. He took the WBA light heavyweight in 1987, in his 19th fight (and 19th win) and held onto it until 1991, but then took the WBC International light heavyweight title and the WBA light heavyweight title, followed by the IBF and lineal light heavyweight titles, which he held until 1996.
Nicknamed "The Dark Warrior," this boxer had 42 wins in 48 bouts. Which boxer was he?
Nigel Benn went 22 fights before being handed his first loss in 1989, but in 1990, he won the WBO middleweight title, and in 1992, he won the WBC super-middleweight title, which he held until 1996. Since retiring from boxing, Benn has appeared on reality TV and become involved with various faith-based organizations.
One "Terrible" fighter retained the WBC light-middleweight title through 10 challenge bouts before losing it. Can you name him?
Terry "Terrible" Norris's most notable boxing achievement was not just winning the WBC light-middleweight title in 1990, but hanging onto it until the end of 1993, after 10 successful defenses of the title. In 56 fights, Norris won 47 times, 31 by knockout.
This boxer's professional career came to an end in a 1991 championship fight that went 12 rounds. Who was it?
When Chris Eubank won the WBO super-middleweight championship, he did it against respected contender Michael Watson. Both men took considerable punishment. Still, Watson nearly died from his injuries, later leveling a suit and winning against the British Boxing Board of Control for failing to ensure his medical safety during the fight.
This triple crown winner was called "The Bodysnatcher"! Who is he?
Mike McCallum's early career included titles as a WBA super welterweight and a WBA middleweight, but in the 1990s, The Bodysnatcher was WBC light heavyweight champion for two years. McCallum took his 49-5-1 career record into retirement, where he now works as a trainer in Las Vegas.
Despite having only a seven-year career, this fighter won the WBC middleweight title late in it, successfully defending it three times. Who was he?
Gerald McClellan's promising career really took off in 1993 when he won the WBC middleweight title in a bout against Julian Jackson. Still, it was his fourth defense of the title, against Nigel Benn, that changed his life forever. Benn hammered McClellan, and after the fight, he had to be rushed to the hospital to treat the extensive brain injuries that still plague him today.
The "Celtic Warrior" fought his last in 1997. Who is he?
Steve Collins won quite a few titles in his career, but in the 1990s, he won the WBA middleweight title, the EBU middleweight title, the WBA Penta-Continental middleweight title, the WBO middleweight title, and last, the WBO super-middleweight title, which he held for seven bouts, after which he retired. In that final stretch, he faced Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn twice each!
This boxer competed in three weight classes and faced off against Sweet Pea Whitaker in 1994. Do you know who it is?
Buddy McGirt, who retired in 1997 with a sterling record that included 73 wins in 80 fights, with 48 by knockout, faced off with Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker in 1994 when Whitaker defended his welterweight title. Today, McGirt trains fighters, including one WBA super middleweight champion.
This fighter's victory over Sugar Ray Leonard ended Leonard's career. Who was he?
"Macho" Camacho was a fabulous southpaw in the flyweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions who was noted for his speed, effectiveness, and flamboyance. He fought some of the greatest boxers in his weight classes, including Leonard, whose fight with Camacho would be his final match.
This native of the British Virgin Islands won 54 times in 60 fights in his career. Who was he?
Julian Jackson's professional career started in the 1980s, but he came into his prime in the 1990s, climbing from the WBC light-middleweight title to the WBC middleweight title. Most of his losses were in the final years of his career.
One 1990s fighter nearly equaled Rocky Marciano's record of consecutive wins. Who is he?
With a 48-2 record, Dariusz Michalczewski is one of the most dominant fighters of all time. When he went into his 49th fight against Julio César González, he had a perfect 48-0 record compiled between 1991 and 2003. He lost that fight by decision and the next bout with Fabrice Tiozzo by TKO.
A veteran of 52 fights, this boxer declared bankruptcy in 2009. Who was it?
Perhaps best remembered for his climactic fight for the WBO super-middleweight championship with Michael Watson, Chris Eubank won the WBO super-middleweight title in that 1991 fight and held onto it until 1995. In 2009 he declared bankruptcy and has since entered into other business ventures as a way to make up his financial losses.