MIKE TYSON PART II: 1989 TO BUSTER DOUGLAS MELTDOWN IN TOKYO
PART ONE ENDED WITH TYSON’S KO OF CARL WILLIAMS
CAPPING SESSION TYSON DID NOT WIN!
What I’m about to tell you always had me questioning the intestinal fortitude of “Iron Mike.” While everybody was kicking back after a day of training, a large number of the eventual 1984 United States Olympic boxing team were sitting in the huge jacuzzi. As guys like to do, especially Black youth, there was a good old fashion “capping session” going on. This usually entails talking bad about one another, their sisters, girlfriends, and occasionally your mother.
THAT NIGHT MICHAEL NUNN WAS SECOND TO NONE!
BEANSTALK LIKE NUNN DIDN’T TAKE KINDLY TO THAT
TYSON LOSES TWICE TO HENRY TILLMAN
Neither Nunn or Tyson would make the 1984 Olympic team. Although he dropped eventual Gold Medal winner Henry Tillman, the Los Angeles, CA based fighter would out point Tyson twice in order to secure the 200 lb. slot on the 1984 team. Cus D’Amato, a man that shared a “studio” New York apartment with Tyson’s eventual co-manager and former World handball champion Jim Jacobs, which was weird (Gay?) to me, was Tyson’s trainer after taking on the juvenile delinquent and bringing him to his training camp in Catskills, NY, taking Mike from the Bensenhurst district of the Big Apple where Tyson robbed people for both kicks and the financial reward.
WHIRLWIND START TO PROFESSIONAL BOXING CAREER
Drilling Hector Mercedes in March 1985 via KO, Mike would go on a tear that garnered media attention that is still unequaled, and that includes Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao combined, went to 19-0 with 19 KOs before going the distance with a UD 10 over James “Quick” Tillis in May 1986. Another decision win in his next fight with Mitch Green, Tyson went back to knocking guys out with six more KOs before the WBC title fight with Trevor Berbick, which lasted less than two fistic frames.
FAST FORWARD TO 1989
DOUGLAS HAD DOGGED IT & KING EXPECTED A CANINE
DOUGLAS HAD DOGGED IT WHEN UNDER PRESSURE
James “Buster” Douglas was a 37-1 underdog in the minds of bookmakers. After damn near beating Tony Tucker in an IBF title fight at an outdoor arena at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1987, I had Buster up by a point when he quit in round ten of a 15-round fight. That fight convinced promoter Don King that Douglas would be an “easy mark” for Tyson, even though “Iron Mike” was anything but “Iron” before he stepped in the ring against Douglas.
BUSTER DEDICATED HIMSELF THIS ONE TIME!
With his mother dying in Ohio, Douglas got himself together physically like never before. Just a few weeks prior to the fight, Buster’s mother died and he sunk into a deep state of depression. Both his agent Peyton Sher and manager John Johnson had considered pulling Douglas out of the Tyson fight. But after some soul searching, Douglas who was in great physical shape, at least for Douglas, decided to go forward and dedicate the fight to his mom.
BUSTER GOT A COLD TWO WEEKS PRIOR
Another intangible came into play, Buster got sick just prior to the fight. But Johnson and Sher, working as a team convinced Buster that he could still pull it off. With a little rest, some cold medication, Buster dropped a few more pounds and would weigh in at 231 lbs. and some change. When Tyson stepped in the ring to face Douglas, he was unfocused to the point that if he were a photograph, it would have been totally blurred.
THE FIGHT WAS NOT A FIGHT FOR TYSON
THIS TIME BUSTER HAD NO “DOG” IN HIM
Hitting the deck hard, Buster slammed his right fist into the canvas, as if he was saying, “Ah *hit.” At that point and time manager Johnson thought the fight was over and that Buster would not get up, not because he couldn’t. Johnson just thought that the Buster that quit against Tony Tucker had reemerged and he would stay down. Amazingly, Buster did rise and beat the count of referee Octavio Meyran. Tyson, thinking Buster the canine had returned, moved in for the kill, but it was not to be.
DOUGLAS WENT RIGHT BACK TO KICKIN’ MIKE’S ASS
When he rose, Buster collected himself and went back to “owning” Tyson with the jab. After clearing his head between rounds, Buster, refocused and knowing that Tyson thought there was blood in the water, Buster went back to throwing and landing one-twos. At the end of round nine, Mike had shot what little wad he had left and was primed for the taking.
ONE EYED TYSON TRIED TO NO AVAIL
Mike Tyson, with his left eye nearly swollen shut, fought back gamely, but Buster was putting a severe beating on him. Try as he did, Tyson was no match for the physically bigger Douglas who got his second wind as Mike gassed! Landing an uppercut that put Tyson on his heels, a three punch Douglas combination put Mike down for the first time in a fight. Floundering on the floor, all the while trying to reinsert his mouthpiece, Tyson was counted out and Buster Douglas was the new heavyweight champion of the world.
PART III: THE CONTROVERSY AFTERWARDS AND THE “FAKE” RAPE
In my next installment, which means this looks like a four-parter, I’ll take you through the post fight chaos where Jose Sulaiman and Don King tried to take the title away from Dougas. We’ll go from Tokyo to Indianapolis, IN and the sexual encounter with beauty contestant Desiree Washington, which resulted in Tyson being convicted of rape and oral sodomy.
VIDEO OF DOUGLAS KO OF TYSON WITH TYSON COMMENTARY YEARS LATER!