1988-01-22 Mike Tyson w rsc 4 (12) Larry Holmes, Convention Centre, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD
1988-01-22 Mike Tyson w rsc 4 (12) Larry Holmes, Convention Centre, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD. Referee: Joe Cortez. Having been out of action for 21 months since losing for the second time to Michael Spinks, Holmes (225¾) came back to the ring looking to regain the title he once held. At the age of 38, Holmes was up against a man who had no for time for past reputations and it showed right from the start. With Tyson (215¾) piling in from the opening bell, the once famous Holmes’ jab was used purely for defence and although he got through with several right uppercuts in the third by the end of the session he was badly hurt by a right to the jaw. Tyson needed no more excuses and he quickly had Holmes over from a series of blows to head and body. Getting up at ‘four’, but having to take the mandatory ‘eight’ count, Holmes tried to fiddle his way back before another right soon had him down again. Back on his feet, but not for long, Holmes was quickly under attack and with just five seconds of the session remaining the referee had rescued him after Tyson had sent him crashing again from a right to the head.
Although the IBF supported Tyson as the champion, his next three defences would all be contested over 12 rounds. During the summer, the IBF announced that they would be restricting world title fights to 12 rounds as from 1 September 1988.