On this day in 1990 one of the biggest sports upsets of the 20th Century [ I will go with the USA over USSR in 1980’s Olympic Hockey- “The Miracle On Ice” as the greatest upset} Tyson went into the match in Tokyo unbeaten at 37-0. He was only 23 years old at the time. No one saw him losing for some time and there was not a chance that he’d lose to a journeyman fighter like James “Buster” Douglas who was 29-4-1. The odds were 42-1 going into the fight.
Up to this point in his career every fighter who fought Tyson seemed afraid of him and beaten ahead of time. Buster Douglas was the first fighter who wasn’t afraid. Maybe the fact that his mother died 23 days earlier gave him a feeling that he had nothing to lose? Tyson reportedly didn’t train hard for this fight, it was just a tune up before he faced Evander Holyfield. Douglas though took it to Tyson from the start and dominated the fight. By the fifth round Tyson’s left eye was swelled shut. Tyson did hit Douglas with a right uppercut that floored him in the eight round. In watching the fight it seemed clear that the way the fight was going Tyson was going to need a knock out to win. Douglas bounced back from the knockdown he suffered in round 8 with a strong round 9 and then ended it by knocking Tyson out in Round 10.
James “Buster” Douglas would not enjoy much of a reign as World Heavyweight Champion- instead of fighting a couple stiffs first, he took on Evander Holyfield in his next fight in October 1990 and Holyfield would knock him out in round 3. Douglas had his moment- and it was over. He was back to being a journeyman fighter the rest of his career. Tyson was never the same. After Douglas disposed of him the aura seemed to be gone. Fighters stood up to Tyson, he wasn’t invincible. In my opinion Tyson goes down as one of the most overrated heavyweight champions in the history of the division. Who did he ever beat?