It remains the greatest upset in boxing history and one of the greatest upsets that the sports world has ever seen.
Exactly 25 years ago on the night of February 11th, 1990, James "Buster" Douglas shocked the world by knocking out Mike Tyson in the 10th round of their fight at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Douglas entered the ring that night less than a month after his mother had died and as a 42-1 odds underdog up against a previously indestructable Tyson (37-0). He left with the The Ring, WBC, WBA and IBF Heavyweight titles after pulling off the shocking upset.
“People say it was a perfect storm of all these things that caused me to lose,” Tyson told Playboy in a story published just last month. “I don’t know. I just know I got my ass kicked that night.”
Douglas told the Japan Times that he has watched the fight at least 50 times, but can still feel the energy and excitement run through his veins even 25 years later.
“The thing about it is the emotions that I was going through at the time,” Douglas said. “When I’m looking at it, I can feel everything out, where I was. It’s all there. It’s awesome, man. It brings fresh back a lot of memories and feelings I was thinking at the time.”
Douglas quite simply pummeled Tyson, taking the fight to "Iron Mike," who was used to demolishing opponents quickly prior to this bout. Tyson would drop Douglas with a tremendous right uppercut in the eighth round, but somehow the gutsy challenger rose up off the mat.
He would continue nailing Tyson with heavy-handed shots in the ninth round and in the 10th staggered the champ with a punishing right uppercut of his own. A left-right combination followed by a lunging left hook later and Tyson hit the canvas hard for the first time in his pro career.
At the referee's six-second count, Tyson had put his knocked-out mouthpiece halfway back into his mouth and although he courageously rose to his feet at about the eight-second mark, the ref didn't let him continue, awarding Douglas with the incredible knockout. Twenty-five years later and still astonishing.
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