Boxing KO of the Day: Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson, KO10

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A story that not even Hollywood could have imagined.

On February 11, 1990, Buster Douglas became world heavyweight champion after he knocked out defending champion Mike Tyson in a stunning 10th-round KO.

It was one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

29-year-old Buster Douglas, who was thought to be a competitive boxer with an excellent jab, should have been nothing more than a sparring session for undefeated champion Mike Tyson.

23-year-old Mike Tyson had been able to build an aura of invincibility around him since he claimed the heavyweight title in 1986. Iron Mike had a remarkable 37-0 record and 33 knockouts going into the fight.

What makes the story even more outstanding were the circumstances before the fight. Buster Douglas wanted to win the belt in honor of his mother who died three weeks before the bout.

Tyson on the other hand was not as motivated; his marriage to actress Robin Givens had ended and his discipline declined.

Despite those signs, the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas had Tyson as 42-1 favorite. It was the only sportsbook to post odds on the fight that took place in Tokyo, Japan.

Tyson struggled from the start, and in round ten Douglas ended Iron Mike’s legacy with a combination that sent the champion to the ground.

LA Times reporter Earl Gustkey wrote the following about the fight: “From the midway of the fourth to the finish, Tyson was on unsteady legs and the old aggressiveness was slowly fading from the 23-year-old champion." 

It was the beginning of the end for “Iron” Mike Tyson.

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