Born Dwight Braxton on January 5, 1953 in Baltimore, Maryland. He began sharpening his boxing skills during a stint at Rahway State Prison and upon release in March 1978, he began training at Joe Frazier's Gym in Philadelphia where he engaged in heated sparring sessions with tough Philadelphians including Bennie Briscoe.
With only one month of training under his belt and no amateur fights, the 5' 7" powerhouse turned pro in April 1978. At age 25, he wasted little time and soon met and defeated quality opponents. He defeated former light heavyweight king Mike Rossman and James Scott (in a bout held in Rahway) in only his 16th and 17th pro fights. In his next bout, December 19, 1981, the relentless Braxton stopped Hall of Famer Matthew Saad Muhammad via 10th round TKO to win the WBC light heavyweight belt. In the rematch held in Philadelphia eight months later, he again stopped Saad, this time in the 6th round. In 1982 he legally changed his name to Dwight Muhammad Qawi following his conversion to Islam. The win over Saad and successful title defenses over Jerry Martin and Eddie Davis led to a unification bout with WBA champ and Hall of Famer Michael Spinks. Spinks out-pointed him over 15-rounds, however Qawi was undeterred as he moved up in weight to next capture the WBA cruiserweight title from Piet Crous on July 27, 1985. After a title defense over Leon Spinks, he defended against Evander Holyfield on July 12, 1986 with Holyfield winning the 15-round split decision in an action-packed thriller. Unsuccessful in a rematch 17 months later, he began campaigning as a heavyweight. Qawi would fight for the cruiserweight title once more, dropping a 12-round bout to Robert Daniels in 1989.
He continued to ply his trade until retiring from the sport in 1998. Behind an aggressive, crouching ring style, the intimidating Qawi logged a 41-11-1 (25KOs) ring record.
Born: Jan. 5, 1953