When Mike Tyson took on James “buster” Douglas nobdoy in there right mind would dared to have predicted the outcome of the fight. Douglas was a 42-1 outsider who was expected to be just another notch on the seemingly undestrucatable Mike Tysons belt.
Douglas had all the physical attributes of a top class heavyweight but he didn’t have the boxing skills of the mental toughness to make it to the very top.Although a decent contender and a solid proffesional he was seen as nothing more.
Such was the calibre of the man who was destined to beat Mike Tyson in Tokyo, Japan in what would be the biggest upset in heavyweight history.
It seemed the only weapon Douglas had against Tyson was that he was not afriad as had been many other fighters.
And, for once, when the opening bell sounded, strange things began happening. Douglas started hitting Tyson with right hands. Tyson had always been hittable, but never to this extent.
For the first time, an opponent’s height and reach advantage — Douglas is 6 ft. 4 in. to Tyson’s 5 ft. 11 in. — seemed important. Certainly Douglas’s .hand speed was a factor. When Tyson coiled to leap inside, Douglas invariably beat him to the punch with his long right.
This initial surprise played out for two rounds, with Douglas finishing the second with a snappy uppercut to Tyson’s chin. Then, in the third, Tyson seemed to regain his form and smacked Douglas with a punishing left to the body.
The challenger’s corner grew wilder in the fifth when Tyson was wobbled by a chopping right. Soon, Tyson’s left eye began to swell. “I didn’t see his punches real well,” Tyson said afterward. Nor could he put any kind of combination together against Douglas.
The eighth round opened with Douglas again getting the better of Tyson, but it closed with a sudden, classic Tyson right uppercut that dropped Douglas to the canvas with six seconds left. It was the only time that Douglas got careless, and it nearly cost him his eventual stunning upset. At the moment Douglas’s backside touched the surface of the ring, the knockdown timekeeper began his count. Instead of picking up that cadence as he should of done, Meyran began his own count, two beats behind. As a result Douglas stayed down till 9 and then got up, and retired to his corner as the round had now ended. Douglas had in fact been down for the count, but since the referee had made his own incorrect count the fight would go on.
But there was no debating what happened in the ninth round, when Douglas closed Tyson’s eye completely. Pushing Tyson into the ropes, Douglas then launched four punches that shook Tyson, whose head flopped backward loosely on its bull neck.
Then came that 10th, Douglas’s assault finally toppled Tysonto the mat. At that stage of the fight, it was no longer a shocking development — except to two of the three judges, whose scoring was at best inexplicable. Judge Larry Rozadilla from California had Douglas far ahead, 88-82, but judge Ken Morita, also from California, somehow had Tyson ahead 87-86 and Masakazu Uchidaf Japan scored it even. But the point was
dramatically made even before Meyran bear-hugged the helpless Tyson, who rose at nine, his mouthpiece sticking grotesquely out of his mouth: Tyson was not invincible, and James “buster” Douglas had shook the world.