90’s Heavyweights
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90’s Heavyweights
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (Dec 27, 2014)

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Hard to believe, but, I was just fourteen years old attending middle school in a small East Texas town when this occurred, but coming up this February 10th will mark twenty-five years since one of the greatest upsets in the history of boxing. 42-1 underdog Buster Douglas knocked out the reigning undefeated heavyweight king, Mike Tyson in the tenth round in Tokyo, to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Wow! How time has flown.

Thinking about that upset, had me reminiscing about the 90’s heavyweights, as I was a fan of the big boy division. So here is a look back on some of the fighters and fights that graced that decade.

Buster Douglas, best known for his victory over Tyson, but although he defeated the unbeatable one at that time, six months after him being crowned heavyweight champ, he would suffer a third round knockout from the hands of Evander Holyfield. Holyfield would go on to defeat two greats from the 70’s era in defeating a forty something George Foreman in ’91, and Larry Holmes in ’92. November that same year would be the first meeting between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield, Bowe earning the decision. 1991 would also feature one of the most gruesome knockouts, when Ray Mercer beat down a defenseless Tommy Morrison who was out on his feet but kept taking punches to the head.

In ’93, in what was highlighted with the “Fan Man” Parachuting into the ring, the second Bowe/Holyfield go around would go to Evander. That same year two British boxers squared off for a heavyweight title, with Lennox Lewis stopping Frank Bruno in seven rounds.

1994 was a great year for the fans of the heavyweight division. Besides Michael Moorer defeating Holyfield, Lewis is upset by an unheralded Oliver McCall. History was made in November of that year when a forty-five year old George Foreman, twenty-years removed from heavyweight champion of the world, gained the heavyweight title once again, by knocking out a twenty-seven year old Michael Moorer.

In 1995 the heavyweight division was going to be in trouble again, with the return of Mike Tyson. Peter McNeeley was his first foe, losing out in the opening round. November of that same year, Bowe would stop Holyfield in eight rounds to close out their thrilling trilogy.

In ’96 and just three fights since returning to the ring after a prison term, Tyson would regain heavyweight strap by beating down Frank Bruno in three rounds. I will always remember this fight, sitting in my parent’s room with my wife, who I was just dating at this time watching their TV. I told her, “This Golota guy is going to go down when Bowe hits him with his overhand right.” For seven rounds Andrew Golota put a whipping on Riddick’s forehead, and foreskin, the seventh round disqualification incited a riot. Without the riot this time, Golota and Bowe II would end the same way, disqualification for low blows. Tyson would unify the titles with a victory over Bruce Seldon in September, but would lose his heavyweight champion status in November by the hands of Holyfield. Tyson would never gain another title.

I remember my cousin Stephen and me witnessing Oliver McCall having a mental breakdown in his rematch against Lennox Lewis in early 1997. As well as a load of friends pitching in for the PPV and me hoping my pregnant wife would not go into labor during the fight, the night Tyson bit off a piece Holyfield’s ear off.

Closing out the 90’s, Holyfield and Lewis would meet in two occasions, the first being a controversial draw for Evander, the second, Lennox becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion with a unanimous decision. The spit coming from the mouth of a semi-conscious Chris Byrd after being walloped by Ike Ibeabuchi in March of that year will never leave our minds. Notable nights of boxing in the 90’s.

We witnessed the rise of a 400 pound plus knock out artist in the “King of the four rounder’s” Butterbean. Who could ever forget Tuesday Night Fights, especially the night of March 19, 1996, when Jeremey Williams stopped Arthur Weathers in just ten seconds of the first round, should not have blinked. Although he let me down on several occasions throughout the 90’s, I was a big fan of James Thunder. I will never forget Luis Monaco knocking out Buster Douglas aright after the bell. Douglas had time to recover, but chose not to fight on, so Luis was handed the DQ.

There are so many memories from the 90’s eras in the heavyweight division. These are just a few that stick out in my head.

Email Benny at: crazzedtrucker@aol.com
Check out Facebook: www.facebook.com/benny hendersonjr
And Twitter: www.twitter.com/bennyhenderson

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