Tyson lost by a brutal knockout. The fight that divided Mike’s career into before and after
Mike Tyson . How much of this name. For every boxing fan, it evokes a vivid associative array – victories, knockouts, scandals and defeats, but most importantly – greatness. Since the peak of Iron Mike’s career, more than one generation of heavyweight boxers has changed. But none of them managed to outshine Tyson. But what is really there, despite the defeats from Holyfield and Lewis , even they did not surpass the scandalous Mike in terms of popularity and fame. What can we say about the Klitschko brothers, and even more so about Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury .
Iron Mike won the lion’s share of his boxing authority in the early years of his career, when he crushed rivals one after another and churned out early victories. A striking series of victories was interrupted in February 1990 at fight number 38. Then Tyson met with James Buster Douglas. About this fight – in our material.
Douglas was supposed to save the fight for Tyson
In the late 80s, Mike was already a ready-made star. The absolute world heavyweight champion, who won almost all of his victories by knockout. Tyson by that time was no longer a modest boy. The boxer was swallowed up by fame and big money. But everything, as usual, has a reverse side of the coin. The audience began to get tired of the success of the terrifying puncher. Ticket sales for Mike’s fights were falling, as few people wanted to pay substantial money to watch 2-3 rounds, and then go home because of another quick victory of Tyson.
In such conditions, Mike ended 1989. However, the fighter himself probably didn’t bother too much. He spent most of his time at parties, and in the company of girls with low social responsibility. In fact, Tyson gave up training. As a result, his promoter Don King had to cancel his ward’s November duel with the unbeaten Donovan Ruddock.
King referred to Mike’s illness, although, as Tyson later admitted, he simply did not want to fight and train. So the next fight for the world champion was scheduled for 1990. Don King, roughly imagining what form his fighter is in, picked him up as a rival no more than the middle peasant, the seventh number of the WBC rating, James Buster Douglas. Thus, the latter actually saved Tyson, who lost the fight with Ruddock. The fight was supposed to take place in Tokyo. According to King’s plan, this would guarantee much higher sales. For in the land of the Rising Sun, of course, they wanted to see Mike.
Preparing for the fight
Tyson did not draw any conclusions from the cancellation of the 1989 fall battle. Preparations for the fight with Douglas actually failed as well. Mike talked about this in detail in his book “Merciless Truth”.
“On January 8, 1990, I boarded a plane to fly to Tokyo. I kicked and screamed. I didn’t want to fight. I was only interested in parties and available women. By this time I have gained thirty pounds. King was so worried about my overweight that he offered me a bonus if I returned to my normal rate and the fight took place within a month.
I didn’t think Buster Douglas was a big problem. I didn’t even bother to watch any of his fight on video. I easily beat everyone who knocked him out. I saw him fight at the ESPN championship when I opened up and was beaten by Jesse Ferguson, whom I knocked out in my first fight organized by broadcast company ABC.
I couldn’t eat normally because I was overweight, and I wanted to lose weight and get a bonus from Don, so I only drank soup, which was supposed to burn fat. I had a servant for the main course. It was funny because in Japan women seemed so shy and withdrawn. Fortunately, I ran into non-standard Japanese ladies.
From time to time I still showed up to practice. Ten days before the fight, I had a demonstration sparring fight with Greg Page, missed a right hook and fell.
A few days later, Don organized one of the demonstration sparring fights, setting the ticket price at $ 60. Of course, I did not see any of this money. At that time, I was not even aware of the fact that he was taking money for this. We were supposed to do two rounds of sparring, but I looked so bad that Aaron Snowell and Jay stopped the fight after the first round. Don was just pissed off. He wanted to make some quick money out of it. He had no idea that I was so out of shape. Don knew nothing about boxing. He did not see the difference between a guy in shape and not in shape. He didn’t even know how boxing gloves were tied, ”Mike confessed.
As for Douglas, he was extremely motivated to fight. Not only did the duel with the star Tyson take him to a new level by itself, James was also charged with personal drama. During the training camp, the boxer was overtaken by the news of the death of his mother, so in memory of her he wanted to show his best performance.
Tyson tried to start the fight in his usual manner. Mike walked forward, trying to reach a comfortable close range for himself. But Douglas did not flinch under the onslaught of the champion. The challenger began to meet the opponent with hard jabs, which noticeably knocked down Iron Mike’s aggressive fuse. Gradually, Douglas himself began to go over to the offensive and was no longer afraid to include combination work.
When a similar scenario was repeated in the second and third rounds, it became clear that it would be very difficult for Tyson, and Douglas might have the best fight of his life. The beginning of each round was marked by Tyson’s active actions, but at the same time, with each round, the period of activity faded faster and faster. Mike’s position was becoming unenviable. In the fifth stretch, the position of the champion was complicated by a problem with the eye, which began to close after an accurate attack from the opponent.
“Douglas got me in the fourth and fifth rounds. In the fifth, my eye began to swell, but when I returned to my corner, it turned out that there was no “eye iron” or even ice packs to put on my fingal. I couldn’t believe it when something that looked like a large condom was filled with ice water and applied to my eye. By the sixth round, I was exhausted. My left eye is completely swollen, ”wrote Tyson in his book.
But, despite this development of events, the champion still had a chance of a favorable outcome. Douglas, after the equator of the fight, was also noticeably tired, and in the eighth round, Mike seized the moment for one of the signature blows in his arsenal – an uppercut.
Under the hail of his blows, I could not concentrate, and suddenly I saw a gap. The whole fight he eluded me. I looked for holes in his defense, but I could not overcome it in any way. However, now he, too, was tired and moved worse. I threw out my trademark right uppercut and he fell.
And then they threw me ( in the original, Tyson uses a harder word. – Approx. “Championship”). The timekeeper was Japanese, the referee was Mexican, they spoke different languages and could not agree on the score. When the referee counted five, Douglas had actually been on the canvas for eight seconds. It was a long countdown for him. And for me the worst of the options played out – I was simply deceived. This is part of boxing, but in this case I was at a disadvantage. The World Boxing Association should have been on our side. I knew that I had won, but I had to fight not only with the guys who fought with me, but, in fact, with the judges. Don always paid the judges. At least that’s what he told me. Maybe he forgot to pay the referee that evening. But I don’t want to take anything away from Buster. He showed a lot of courage and courage that evening, ”Tyson recalled.
Indeed, even if you look closely at the video, you can assume that Douglas was on the canvas for at least 12 seconds. It can also be seen that the count of the timekeeper, who was sitting at the ropes, and the count of the referee himself, differed by two seconds. So even in such an unusable state, Tyson could well have won that fight. In fact, Douglas was saved by a simply incorrect countdown by the referee. Be that as it may, in between rounds, James recovered, while Mike seems to be even more addicted. This segment was left to the applicant. The denouement came in the tenth three minutes. Towards the middle of the round, Douglas began throwing a light jab. Tyson did not react in any way and just took the attacks on himself. After feeding Mike with a front-handed punch, Douglas unexpectedly threw in a powerful right uppercut that shook the champion. Then Douglas threw out a series of blows, which sent Tyson to the canvas. The champion tried to get up, first he lifted the mouthguard and tried to grab it with his teeth, and then he tried to return to an upright position. However, all these efforts were unnecessary. Firstly, Mike could not do it in ten seconds, and secondly, even being on foot, Tyson was unstable. Thus, Douglas got a victory by a brutal knockout, which is still called one of the most high-profile sensations in the history of boxing.
What happened after
Douglas burst into tears after the victory right in the ring. Of course, he dedicated his grandiose success to his mother. As for Tyson, he personally gave the best description of this whole situation.
“When I was on the canvas, my mouthguard flew out, and while the judge was counting, I tried to simultaneously get to my feet and grab it. I was acting purely on instinct. I was passed out. When he counted to ten, the referee hugged me. I returned to my corner completely stunned. I chewed my mouthguard without even knowing what I was doing.
– What’s happened? I asked at my corner.
“The judge gave you ten seconds. You’ve lost, champion, ”Aaron said.
I understood that this was inevitable. It was over with me from the very beginning of the fight. After the end of the fight, I did not give interviews to HBO, my head was still ringing. I must have had at least a concussion, ”Tyson recalled.
After that, Don King tried to protest the result and organize a rematch. The promoter complained that Mike’s victory was stolen in the eighth round. Nevertheless, over time, all boxing organizations recognized Douglas as the champion, and it was not possible to organize a rematch, although Mike really wanted it.
Douglas lost the title of absolute world champion and all his titles in the next fight. In October 1990, he lost by knockout to Evander Holyfield .
As for Tyson, the fight in Tokyo divided his career into before and after. The halo of a boxer, which cannot be beaten, was irretrievably lost. After that failure, Tyson managed to play four more fights. All ended in triumph. Mike again approached the title fight, but then there was the famous scandalous story with the model Desiree Washington, rape charges and a prison term.