Mike Tyson vs. Pinklon Thomas
1987-05-30 : Mike Tyson 218¾ lbs beat Pinklon Thomas 217¾ lbs by TKO at 2:00 in round 6 of 12
- Location: Las Vegas Hilton, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Carlos Padilla
- Judge: Dalby Shirley 49-46
- Judge: Gordon Volkman 50-44
- Judge: Harry Gibbs 49-46
- Ring Announcer: Chuck Hull
- Aired On: HBO (Main Event)
- World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (2nd defense of Tyson)
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (1st defense of Tyson)
Mike Tyson defended his heavyweight titles by knocking Pinklon Thomas out at two minutes of the sixth round. The end came after a fast and furious first round by Tyson was defused by Thomas, who resorted to jab-and-grab tactics that left Tyson groping for a way out of his foe's grasp. For Tyson, the answer came abruptly in the sixth. He hurt Thomas with a right to the body, followed swiftly by a right uppercut to the chin. That punch sequence is a favorite of Tyson's, and often produces great damage. But for Iron Mike, it was a left hook to Thomas's head that put The Pink Man, as Thomas is called, in deep trouble. When the left hook landed, Thomas reeled backward, with Tyson in hot pursuit. Tyson let his hands go, pounding Thomas with rights and lefts until Thomas, a 29-year-old fighter from Los Angeles, fell backward onto the canvas. Thomas was glassy-eyed, and blood was streaming down his face. Referee Carlos Padilla leaned over Thomas and began his count. By the time he got to nine, Thomas's trainer, Angelo Dundee, had climbed into the ring and was signaling that he wanted the fight ended. Padilla ended it, and the fight was officially declared a technical knockout.
Against Thomas, Tyson came out with a bombs-away fight plan that nearly made an early evening of it. He hurt Thomas and bloodied him with devastating lefts and rights, and seemed on the verge of downing the former WBC champion later in the opening round. But Thomas - who, as Tyson said afterward, took a great shot - survived the round and, rather than trade punches with Tyson, went to Plan B. That was a more conservative approach, and Thomas had his moments with it, using a heavy-handed jab to keep Tyson off-stride and then tying him up when the champion, slugger moved in. At times, he met the oncoming Tyson with short right hands. Mostly, though, he confounded Tyson by frequent clinches.
- Mike Tyson 29-0 (26 KOs) vs. Pinklon Thomas 29-1-1 (24 KOs)
- Thomas entered ranked as the # 1 heavyweight contender by the WBC and was Tyson's mandatory opponent. The WBA threatened not to sanction the bout.
- It was the first knockout loss of Thomas's professional career.
- Before the sixth round, Thomas had to change the glove of his left hand when, he said, the attached thumb on the glove began to come apart.
- "Every shot was thrown with bad intentions. I was hoping he would get up so I could hit him again and keep him down." - Mike Tyson
- "I saw something in previous fights. He would get tired and I said if I don't knock him out early, when he's tired he won't have no defense and it will be spectacular. I knew he would get tired somewhere around the seventh round. I saw in the last few fights he was gasping for a little air. I knew he was getting tired. As you know he has a great jab, like everyone knows. He was a great fighter and I proved I'm the best fighter in the world because I've beat the best fighters in the world." - Tyson in the post-fight interview with Larry Merchant.
- "It was my pleasure to give you a shot at the title, because you deserve it." -Tyson to Thomas in the ring following the bout.
- "Before our fight, I was working with “Scrap Iron” Johnson and during sparring I exchanged right hands with my sparring partner and my right shoulder popped. I went to a chiropractor and they didn’t do much there for me. A few weeks before the fight, Angelo Dundee my trainer, told me not to take the fight, but I figured I could beat him with my jab which was pretty good. But, I found out in the fight, I could not stick and move which caused me to get caught and that was the end of the fight." - Pinklon Thomas in a 2003 interview with Ringside Report.