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This Day in Fighting History: Tyson vs. Douglas

(Props: The Rumble)

What do you say we take a break from talking about fights that aren’t happening and discuss one that did?  Twenty years ago today, back when MMA was still in the Vale Tudo dark ages, possibly the greatest boxing upset of all time went down in Tokyo, Japan.  Unheralded and often lazy heavyweight Buster Douglas became the first pro boxer to beat the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson via tenth round knockout. 

Tyson actually came into this bout a 42-1 favorite, but a combination of failing to take the fight and his training seriously enough, along with indulgences in what one sportswriter termed Tyson’s "ravenous heterosexuality," helped turn him into a fraction of the fighter he usually was.

Those of you who actually like to read books and stuff might want to check out Joe Layden’s "The Last Great Fight" for an interesting examination of what happened before and after that night.  Those of you who only read the internet can just check out Douglas’s take on things now that he’s had twenty years to think about it.


Cagepotato Comments

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Dr Garbo- February 12, 2010 at 10:36 pm
Probably Foreman...Tyson would have been WAAAAAAAYYYYY tooooo faast for him
Robocop Didnt Tap- February 12, 2010 at 6:43 am
I can't believe it's been 20 years. I can still remember being absolutely crushed b/c Tyson lost as I was a huge Iron Mike fan.

I would've loved to have seen 80s Tyson vs. 70's Foreman. Someone leaves the ring in a bodybag.
MonkeyEarMuffs- February 12, 2010 at 6:30 am
Nice article. I am very intrigued by this fight and have watched the tape numerous times. For all you people who like fight strats/ match-ups etc. this is good material. You can learn a lot. Also great job on recommending "the Last Great Fight". Seriously that book is really a great read.
iDestroy- February 12, 2010 at 6:23 am

Lol. Me too. And when Douglas rocked Tyson I couldn't help but thinking,"Tyson better shoot for a takedown if he wants to survive."
hjdevnull- February 12, 2010 at 6:22 am
Whenever I watch boxing, I always have the following thought process repeated over and over during the fight:

"Oh, knee-- Oh, yeah, boxing. Clinch! Knees, elbow-- Oh, yeah. Boxing."
Dinksmack- February 12, 2010 at 6:20 am
winklepicker- February 12, 2010 at 5:54 am
I read "The Last Great Fight" a while back. It's very good.
Mescan_Judo- February 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm
Cool story Bro!
DazedNConfused- February 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm
I love boxing. MMA is in the same boat. I cant see how people can enjoy one and not the other. Sure boxing hasn't had many classic matchups as of late but a fight like this is legendary. Mike Tyson was truly a beast in his prime. He hit so hard I would cringe when I would see his body shots or trademark uppercuts. A 20 year old Tyson in 4oz gloves would be a fuckin scary sight.
Dr Garbo- February 11, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Teddy Atlas pulled a 357 mag on Tyson and told him that if he ever came around the family or gym again he would kill him...So he had trainers going into that fight that sucked...At least they didn't spill ice all over the ring...
robthom- February 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm

rearnakedchickenchoke- February 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Wow, boxing sucks. the ref spent more time separating them than they spent fighting... I can't help but think they should be kneeing each other when they go into the "clinch" and throwing elbows on the way out.
Emopinata- February 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm
Isn't this the fight when Tyson's cornermen brought literally nothing to his fight..
and they were buying water from the concession stand?
and had no ice...
Squirrelnuts- February 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm
wow, what a classy guy and a fantastic article. My respect rating for buster douglas just went way up.
Hong_Man_Chois_forehead- February 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm
The only fight that would ever come close to this is if Fedor loses, and that's only appealing to the hardcore fight audience. MMA needs to wait another 10-20 years before it goes TRULY mainstream.
IRISHLOBO- February 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm
Awesome article. Buster Douglas has given back a ton to his community, and I got to meet him last year at all things, a soccer game. I'll never forget the announcers stumbling over their words as they realized that Tyson wasn't going to get up. George Foreman just kept blurting out "unbelieveable."