Douglas Upsets Tyson Twenty Years Ago Today By Benny Henderson Jr. (Feb 11, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
It was signed, sealed and soon to be delivered as another Tyson victory as the undefeated undisputed heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson faced off against the 42 to 1 underdog James “Buster” Douglas, but to the dismay of the Tokyo fans as well as the entire world wide boxing community, the era of the invincible Tyson was about to come to a sudden as well as astonishing halt.
Tyson, the child boxing prodigy under the wings of the famed deceased trainer Cus D’Amato who earned the accolade as the youngest heavyweight champion, garnering the title at the age of twenty years, four months and twenty-two days by stopping the WBC title holder Trevor Berbick, had been steam rolling all that crossed his pathway.
The intimidating hard hitting heavyweight Mike Tyson, who was making his seventh defense of his titles, had already devoured the likes of Larry Holmes (4th R. TKO), Michael Spinks (1st R. KO), and Carl Williams (1st R. TKO), and looked to be rolling onto yet another victory when he would face James Douglas.
“Buster” Douglas, who hailed from Ohio, had already lost a title bid against Tony Tucker, when Tucker stopped Douglas in the tenth round to capture the vacant IBF strap. After his loss to Tucker, Douglas would bang out six consecutive victories, including unanimous wins over the likes over Oliver McCall and Trevor Berbick to his way to a title shot against Tyson.
The two squared off in Tokyo, Japan, and many ring side viewers, as well as media, fans and betters world wide, didn’t think Douglas would make it out of the first round.
But when the bell rang, it was history in the making as a much bigger, long armed Douglas, utilized his reach advantage to keep the wide swinging Tyson at bay, raking up points staying away from Tyson’s fury, all the while popping away at Tyson with his jab.
Tyson absorbed punch after punch to the point to where his left eye was about swollen shut, but although getting beat to the punch Tyson still possessed the one thing that got him this far, power.
In the eighth round Tyson dropped Douglas with an uppercut, but the challenger was able to reach the count, and in the tenth round did what thirty-seven fighters could not do before, drop the “Iron” one.
Douglas landed a heavy uppercut, and then finished up with a five punch combination, which floored Tyson for the first time in his career, and then ten seconds later, would prove to be the biggest upset in boxing history.
Nobody will ever forget the picture of a battered and bruised as well as dazed and confused Mike Tyson trying to put his mouthpiece in as the referee counted away.
The boxing world went mad crazy as the underdog Douglas upset the unbeatable Tyson; it was like a fairytale for Douglas, who had already four defeats under his belt, and coming into the fight just a month short of losing his mother.
Since Boxing’s Greatest Upset
Unfortunately the biggest win of his career, which was over Mike Tyson, would be Douglas’s only claim to fame. Eight months after his victory over Tyson, Douglas would be stomped into retirement by Evander Holyfield, via a three round knock out.
Douglas did come back to the game six years after his defeat, winning six bouts against more than beatable journeymen before being walloped by Lou Savarese in the first round.
Douglas finished up his career with back to back victories over easy foe, and then nestled down twenty-miles east of Columbus, Ohio, and now makes an appearance here and there at autograph shows.
Tyson, a totally different story, and still one that intrigues fans today.
After his first loss, Tyson would go on to earn himself four consecutive victories before being imprisoned for rapping Desire Washington.
Four years after his imprisonment, Tyson made his comeback to the sport by defeating virtually unknown Peter McNeeley via disqualification, and then become a two time world champion by defeating Frank Bruno third round TKO for the WBA heavyweight title.
Tyson would go on to be defeated for the second time in his career, this time an eleventh round TKO loss to Evander Holyfield, the very same man who put an end to the reign of the Tyson conqueror James Douglas.
Tyson would go on to bite a portion of Holyfield’s ear off in their second meeting, come back from a year suspension to win a few and lose to Lennox Lewis, then help boast the careers of Danny Williams and Kevin McBride, who both held a win over a shell of a fighter by the name of Mike Tyson.
Tyson has held the fans attention with his out of the ring antics, which has kept his name in the news, as well as being in a great documentary about his very life entitled, “Tyson”.
All though Mike Tyson, and his conqueror James Douglas, had different backgrounds, as well as different endings to their respected careers, they will always share a part of history together, the night that a pauper became a king, the night that James Douglas shocked the world and knocked out Mike Tyson, the night of boxing’s biggest upset, which took place twenty years ago today.