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The Punch That Ended Mike Tyson

  • The "Iron era" of Tyson
  • The background story prior the Tokio fight
  • Nobody was interested in the greatest surprise of boxing history
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In 1990 Tyson was preparing for his grand fight against Evander Holyfield. However, Buster Douglas came into the picture and gave the punch that ended Mike Tyson. As they were stepping to the ring for a match that was considered as a training fight, Tyson was already booked against Holyfield. Tyson was an undisputable champion at the time, it was a big achievement for his counterparts to reach the second round. Not surprising, that the only casino who had the rights to make a sports bet for this match were giving the odds of 1 to 42 for Mike’s triumph. On the contrary, with today’s online sportsbooks in the US, you can easily place a bet on any WBO, WBA or IBF fights.

While you can make bets on today’s biggest champions, it’s hard to tell if anyone has so much dominance in the ring as Tyson had this time. However, there were some hardnesses going on in the champ’s private life at the time.

Unbeatable Iron Tyson

Mike Tyson v Michael Spings

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And he got hurt. John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA [CC BY-SA]
The fight was the richest boxing match at the time and ended up as one of the shortest heavyweight title fights. Spings was entering the bout as a 4-1 underdog. Opinions over the outcome of the fight were mixed. A few minutes before the fight Butch Lewis was noticing a bump in Tyson’s glove. He was insisting to re-wrap Tyson’s hands before they start the fight. However, the Spinks’ trainer, Eddie Futch, was accepting that Tyson’s gloves were fine. Lewis later admitted that he was seeing a chance to put psychological pressure on Tyson, however, he was just trying to protect his fighters. Well, this move didn’t turn out pretty well for Spings. Tyson got really angry by the delay and was entering the ring with the words to his trainer: “you know, I’m gonna hurt this guy.” And he proved to be a man of his words once again.

Already after a minute, Spinks was down to his knees for a count of four. After he was rising he was charging towards Tyson who was sidestepping his hit and responded with a left-right combo that put Spinks down for good. The bout was lasting for 91 seconds and there were only 10 punches thrown. 8 by Tyson and 2 by Spinks. The punch that ended Mike Tyson has had yet to come.

One round is still enough

By 1990 Tyson was owning every possible heavyweight title. Stepping into the ring against Douglas he was owning WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles. He had 37 wins and 0 losses with 32 KOs. His last match against Carl Williams was finished in the first round at 1 minute 33 seconds. As you can see the decision of the referee was quite controversial. Carl Williams looks like he is ready to continue. However, after the team of Williams sent a complaint to both WBC and IBF, and was looking for a rematch, they got denied. Seeing that Williams has to apply stoppages many times at this early of the round due to Tyson’s aggressivity, I think he was lucky that they didn’t continue.

The biggest surprise moves to Tokio – The punch that ended Mike Tyson

It was hard to sell the fight between Douglas and Tyson. Nobody was interested in watching a fight that lasts for about a minute. Thus, they were moving the fight to Tokio, where they were paying $6 million to Tyson.

 Douglas was an undisputable underdog with the odds of 1 to 42. Before he was giving the punch that ended Mike Tyson he was just number 7 on the world list of heavyweights. The reason why he could stand for a fight against Tyson was his six-time winning streak beforehand. One of them was against Trevor Berbick, former heavyweight champ. 

Nobody really cared about the fight, everyone was looking forward to Tyson v Holyfield. It turns out that they will have to wait many years for that fight to happen.

The background of Douglas before giving the punch that ended Mike Tyson

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Toglenn [CC BY-SA]
Douglas is from Columbus, Ohio, he was starting with his manager John Johnson in 1984 to build his professional boxing career. Douglas was weighing around 100 kilograms (about 220lbs) and 192 cm tall (6 ft 3 1⁄2 in). Sometimes he had problems with losing enough weight for the matches, however, to the fight against Tyson he was arriving in great shape. He was taller and thus he had a longer reach than Tyson.

Douglas was in a psychological peak at the event thus he lost his mother 23 days prior to the fight. Her mother was 46 at the time and died of a stroke. When it turned out that his son is going to fight the invincible Mike Tyson she was really afraid. All these things gave an extra boost for Douglas to prove for her mother’s memory and became the indisputable heavyweight champ.

Tyson had his hardnesses at the time at well

However, he was not able to make them into strength as Douglas did. There was much news going around about Tysons abusive relationship with his wife, Robin Givens. Changing his trainer prior to the fight was a bald decision too. Firing  Kevin Rooney was like giving up on his brand of style.  Aaron Snowell didn’t really have a clue what’s going on in the ring. He gave advice to Tyson to be a puncher and move less. It’s visible for the trained eye that during his last two matches before Douglas, Tyson already lost his style and was using his raw power only to get through the games.

The corner of Tyson

Even Tyson’s team was so sure about winning the match that they didn’t bring the endswell or some ice packs to treat the injuries of Tyson. It became a problem from around the fifth round when Tyson’s started to have problems with his bumped eyes. They used a rubber glove filled with ice. In round 8 Tyson finally, put Douglas to the ground with a combo. Douglas manages to get up after the count of 10, however, some argue that he was down for 12 seconds. Anyways Douglas dominates through round 9 and finally puts Tyson on the ground in round 10 first in his carrier.

The aftermath of the punch that ended Mike Tyson

This match didn’t bring too much joy to either Tyson’s or Douglas’ life. From the side of Tyson, it’s understandable. First, after the match, he was just asking his trainer, what’s happened? He wasn’t able to admit or understand that he was losing. From now on even starting with his 2 matches prior to the Tokyo fight we were never able to observe Tyson in his real Iron form with his boogieman style. On the other hand, Douglas got a bit full with his winning and get out of shape quickly. He was losing his titles with his next fight and was never able to regain any of them through his late fights.

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