Unexpected KO stunned boxing when Mike Tyson had head snapped back by unlikely champion
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Unexpected KO stunned boxing when Mike Tyson had head snapped back by unlikely champion

Nov 12, 2023

In 1990, James ‘Buster’ Douglas pulled off arguably the biggest upset in heavyweight boxing history.

When Tyson headed out to Tokyo, Japan, to take on Douglas, everyone who was anyone in boxing assumed it was a foregone conclusion that the champion would win.

'Buster' Douglas beat Tyson in his prime

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‘Buster’ Douglas beat Tyson in his primeCredit: Rex Features

Holding the undisputed heavyweight world titles at the time, Tyson was unbeaten and expected to continue that streak against 42/1 underdog Douglas.

In round eight, it seemed the inevitable was coming true, as Tyson landed one of his signature uppercuts and put Douglas down.

But, the brave ‘Buster’ got back to his feet and continued to stay in the fight.

And in round ten, he became the first man to not only beat, but knockout, the seemingly invincible ‘Iron Mike’.

It all began, as Douglas broke through with a straight right-straight left combination that cause Tyson to stumble backwards.

He then followed up with nine more punches, including a thunderous uppercut that snapped back Tyson’s head.

This saw the champion collapse down to the canvas and while he attempted to get up, he was clearly unstable and the referee waved off the bout.

Wild celebrations ensued for Douglas and his team, as he was crowned an unlikely champion, taking possession of the unified WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight world titles.

Later that year, Douglas went straight into a fight with Evander Holyfield, but he was unable to pull of another upset, getting knocked out in the third round and immediately relinquishing his belts, which he would never regain.

As for Tyson, he won his next four fights before spending four years out of the ring due to serving a prison sentence.

A straight right hand was what initially rocked Tyson

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A straight right hand was what initially rocked TysonCredit: YouTube: ESPN
And Douglas even caught Tyson with his own famous uppercut

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And Douglas even caught Tyson with his own famous uppercutCredit: YouTube: ESPN

After making his comeback in 1995, Tyson once again became world champion, but he never quite looked the same devastating fighter that had risen through the ranks.

Every time he stepped up in class he lost, such as in his duo of fights with Holyfield or in his 2002 clash with Lennox Lewis.

And after losing back to back fights against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride, Tyson called time on his career in 2005.

Although he is still somewhat involved in the sport today, having recently trained former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou for his fight with Tyson Fury, which the Cameroonian would lose by controversial split decision.


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