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Former Champ Moorer Hospitalized

April 18, 2000

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ Former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer was taken to a mental hospital Monday after he threatened to kill himself during an argument with his girlfriend.

Moorer, a two-time champion, had been drinking at a friend’s house before he went home and started an argument with his girlfriend, Maria George, she told police.

He then put a handgun to his head and told her he wanted to ``end it,″ police said. George ran to a neighbor, who called police.

When officers arrived, Moorer was about to drive away on his motorcycle. Moorer, whose breath smelled of alcohol, told officers he fired a shot in the house and wished to commit suicide, police said.

Moorer, 32, was taken to South County Mental Health Center for evaluation.

Moorer became the first left-hander to win the heavyweight championship when he defeated Evander Holyfield in April 1994, taking the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titles.

He lost the titles that November, when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He regained the IBF title in 1996 by defeating Axel Schultz, but lost it the following year to Holyfield. He has not fought since, but has been considering a return to the ring.

Moorer has been involved in at least two lawsuits in recent years. In 1998, a Florida waitress accused him of threatening her with a broken beer bottle at a bar. The case was settled out of court.

Last year, a Pennsylvania jury sided with Moorer after his grandfather sued him for at least $1 million. Henry Smith claimed that since he had taught Moorer how to box and helped train him as an amateur, he was entitled to a portion of his earnings.

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