Twenty years ago this week, “Iron” Mike Tyson fought James “Buster” Douglas at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Tyson was a 42-1 favorite to win the fight and nobody thought Douglas even had a chance of making it 2 rounds.
With six seconds remaining in the 8th round, Tyson was able to floor Douglas with a right uppercut. However, Douglas was able to get to his feet at the count of nine and the round ended. In the 10th, Douglas dropped Tyson with a devastating five-punch combination. Referee Meyran reached the ten count, with a dazed Tyson, on his hands and knees, groping for his mouthpiece, the image is timeless.
The victory catapulted Douglas into the stratosphere of fame and fortune but he flamed out just as fast as he burst onto the scene. Douglas made his only defense of the heavyweight title on October 25, 1990, against Evander Holyfield. Douglas came in the fight heavy, at 241 lbs (over 15 pounds heavier than in his fight against Tyson). In the third round, Douglas loaded up with a right uppercut that Holyfield easily countered with a straight right that knocked Douglas down and out for the full count. Douglas decided to retire after the fight.
Buster Douglas might have been a flash in the pan, but he’s a flash in the pan I will ever forget.