Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall (born 21 April 1965) is an American professional Heavyweight boxer known for his outstanding ability to take a punch and winning the World Boxing Council Heavyweight Championship 1994 as a result of knocking out Lennox Lewis in the second round, in Lewis' home town of London, England, as well as his in-ring meltdown in the rematch.
McCall had a strong amateur career prior to turning pro, twice a winner of the Chicago Golden Gloves.
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 aggressive in the second and landed a big right hand as Lewis was coming 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.
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.
McCall returned to the ring 6 months after losing his title. He beat future WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev in less than 3 minutes, and then a month later 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 losing it? I wanted to fix the fight for him, but he started crying, so I had to stop the fight'.
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 high profile 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.
Although never knocked down as a professional boxer, 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 told reporters that McCall had in his possession a glass pipe and a five-dollar bill containing a small amount of cocaine. They say 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 8 May 2006.
Despite his legal troubles, Oliver's career has since continued. He began his next run at a title with a first round TKO of Kenny Craven in June 2006.
McCall defeated Darroll Wilson in a fourth-round TKO in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 9, 2006, for the WBC Fecarbox Championship.
On December 9, 2006, McCall defeated Yanqui Diaz via seventh-round KO in Hollywood, Florida.
On 16th of 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 T.K.O on the 22nd of May, 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 the 21st of august 2009. at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.
On the 23rd October 2009, He defended his IBA continental Title again by a ten round unanimous decision against 6'8 Lance Whitaker.
McCall was raised on the South Side of Chicago, and is married with four daughters and three sons. He has two children currently in high school, one daughter: Jeneva McCall who is currently fifth best in the state of Illinois for discus throw and one son: Mikael McCall who is currently a freshman in high school and one other son, Elijah McCall is currently a professional boxer as well.
|WBC Heavyweight Lennox Lewis Champion
September 24, 1994 - September 2, 1995