When Iron Mike Tyson takes on Roy “Superman” Jones on Nov. 28, most will remember Mike as the dude that knocked out Zack Galifianakis in The Hangover movies. Some might remember that in the 1980’s there was an awesome fighter named Mike Tyson. Still others will recall the night invincibility died.
That night was February 11, 1990 in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. On February 11, Buster Douglas, a 42-to-1 underdog, knocked out the Baddest Man on the Planet in the 10th round to pull off one of the greatest upsets in sports history. How could a fighter of Tyson’s stature, young and in his prime, lose to a journeyman boxer like Buster Douglas? Let’s take a closer look at that fight so you can make your bets against his Mike Tyson Odds.
How Buster Douglas Beat Mike Tyson
Buster had won six in a row
Many don’t remember, or even know, that heading into the fight Buster Douglas had won six straight. At least three of the wins were against well regarded boxers. Mike Williams, Oliver McCall and Trevor Berbick were no slouches.
They had skills. Buster easily handled those fighters. While the boxing world paid attention to Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfied, rightfully so, nobody noticed as Buster Douglas mowed down opponent after opponent.
When Douglas entered the ring against Tyson, he was in the best fighting shape of his career. He had unbelievable confidence as a fighter. The death of his mother 23 days prior also motivated Buster. So did the odds, which assumed Tyson might knock out Douglas in 90 seconds or less.
Buster threw his jab “long”, and then started throwing lead off rights
There are jabs and then there are jabs. Douglas threw his jab “long”, meaning that he extended it as far as he could from his body. Buster’s jab was powerful because he not only threw it long, but he threw it from his back foot and allowed his weight to carry the jab forward to his front foot.
Douglas had one of the prettiest jabs in heavyweight history. He often fought fighters that, like Tyson, were much shorter than he. Buster threw his jab with enough force to blast Tyson backwards in the early rounds.
Then, after he got Tyson looking for the jab, Douglas began throwing lead-off rights. That swelled Mike’s left eye. Before the fifth round, Tyson couldn’t see much out of his left-eye. The fifth round signaled the end of the fight.
Iron Mike’s style depended on attacking and counter-punching. He fed off his opponents mistakes or forced his opponents into making mistakes. Once he couldn’t correctly see out of one of his eyes, Tyson’s night was finished.
Tyson didn’t fight his normal peek-a-boo style
The overall reason Iron Mike Tyson lost on Feb. 11, 1990 is because he didn’t maintain a strict peek-a-boo style. Having success with the peek-a-boo style starts with correct hand placement, flush to the chin, elbows and arms tucked in tight.
Tyson starts the fight with his arms away from his body. His hands aren’t close to his chin. In boxing, that’s horrible defense. By moving his arms away from his body and his hands off his chin, Mike created a lane right down the middle for Douglas’ devastating jab.
Eventually, those jabs turned into right crosses and inside right hooks. Then, once inside, Douglas started landing uppercuts. Tyson was doomed to fail from the first round because he didn’t stick to the basic rules regarding the peek-a-boo style.
Iron Mike couldn’t capitalize on the 8th round knockdown
Iron Mike knocked Buster Douglas down in the 8th round with a devastating right uppercut. Douglas rose by the count of 9. In the 9th, Tyson went on offense but because he had no defense to speak of, and because he was badly hurt, Douglas waited for Mike to come at him before unleashing powerful punches.
There was a moment in the 9th where everyone watching knew the fight was over. Douglas had Tyson badly hurt and up against the ropes. Mike only lasted for the entire round because even then, hurt and knowing he was beat, Tyson continued to fight and throw punches.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. – Frontline Battle Stats
Roy Jones Jr.
|Nickname||Iron Mike||Captain Hook|
|Hometown||New York City, New York, U.S.||Pensacola, Florida, U.S.|
|Pre-fight record||50–6 (44 KOs)||66–9 (47 KOs)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Recognition||Former undisputed heavyweight champion||Former IBF middleweight, IBF super middleweight, undisputed light heavyweight, and WBA heavyweight champion|
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