1990-02-11 James Buster Douglas w co 10 Mike Tyson, The Dome, Tokyo, Japan - IBF/WBA/WBC

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1990-02-11 James Buster Douglas w co 10 Mike Tyson, The Dome, Tokyo, Japan - IBF/WBA/WBC. Referee: Octavio Meyran. Given no chance against the champion, Douglas (231½) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing when knocking out Tyson (220½) at 1.22 of the tenth round. Using his 12-inch reach advantage to maximum benefit, Douglas stabbed the left jab in and followed it up with good, solid right uppercuts to leave Tyson unable to get through his challenger’s guard. In the fifth Tyson was shaken by a left-right to the head and with his left eye swelling he began to become disheartened. The next two rounds were slow but in the eighth just after Douglas had shaken Tyson up with a left-right-left combination he was himself put down by a right uppercut to the jaw. Despite the so-called long count that could have been 12 or 13 seconds due to poor liaison between the timekeeper and the referee, Douglas was up at ‘nine’ and somehow got through the rest of the session. Having survived an early blitz in the ninth as Tyson went all out Douglas had the champion in big trouble when blasting away at him towards the end of the round and finished it in total control. The tenth round saw Tyson trying to take the fight to Douglas, but it seemed to be mission impossible at that point. Opening up with the left jab and with the champion all at sea, Douglas sent Tyson crashing down on his back to be counted out after a right uppercut following be several combinations finished off by a left to the temple.

With Tyson’s big money fight against Evander Holyfield out of the window, the WBC, manipulated by Don King, decided five hours afterwards that they would not accept the verdict due to the long count, while the WBA stated that it would give its verdict within a week. With public opinion against them within a few days the WBA, followed quickly by the WBC, had joined the IBF in recognising Douglas as the new champion as long as he took on Holyfield.