Buster Douglas got knockdown. Nobody ever got knocked down by Mike Tyson and ever got back up.
It was almost a ten count, he was stumbling. 4, 3, 2, 1 and ding ding ding, saved by the bell. He goes to his corner, and the whole world is like “Yupe, that’s it. Once he comes back out, that’s it.” Mike is just gonna hammer him. And exactly that, Mike Tyson came out like – I got him. I got this kid up against the rope.
Listen to me, many of you right now, Life’s got you up against the rope. You can’t give up, you can’t give in. Listen to me, if it was easy everybody would do it. And if Life got you backed up, I need you to do it, what Buster Douglas did. Buster Douglas start fighting back!
And the world was shocked! Goliath has been knocked down, “what happened?” And they went to Buster Douglas, and they asked Buster Douglas simply like “what happened?” And Buster Douglas said: “Listen to me, it’s really simple. Before my mother died, she told the whole world that I was going to beat Mike Tyson. And two days before the fight, my mother died.” Buster Douglas had a decision to make. When his mother died, he can die with his mother, or he made a decision, I can wake up, and I can live for mum, and he knocked Mike Tyson out.
Simply because his why was greater than that punch. His why was greater than defeat! His why was greater than his trial and his tribulation. And I’m telling you, If you don’t know what your why is, and your why isn’t strong, you’re gonna get knocked out every single day!
Buster Douglas VS Mike Tyson: YOU CAN’T SHOULD FIRE YOU UP
Douglas had additional motivation leading up to the 1990 bout, which still stands as arguably the greatest upset in sports history ahead of its 30-year anniversary.
“It was the media that really wasn’t taking me serious because they really weren’t giving me any chance,” Douglas told Sporting News in New York City before a screener for ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary titled “42 to 1,”.
The title refers to the lopsided odds that were placed on the fight, although Douglas wasn’t aware of them as he headed toward the bout at the Tokyo Dome.
“I knew they were ridiculous,” Douglas said of the odds, “but I didn’t know how bad they were.”
“Buster” did know the media was treating the match as a foregone conclusion, however. Everyone anticipated Tyson recording another KO. Questions from reporters mirrored that feeling at the time.
“It was like, ‘Buster, how much do you think you’re going to weigh? What color trunks are you going to wear?’” Douglas said. “I’m serious! They were scratching their heads like, ‘What the f— are we going to ask him?’”
Looking back, “Buster” couldn’t blame them for assuming he would lose. A then-23-year-old heavyweight world champion, Tyson entered the ring with a 37-0 record, including 33 KOs to his name, carving out a reputation as the most ferocious puncher in boxing.
“Realistically, they got caught up in that,” Douglas said of the media being captivated by the aura of Tyson. “By the time we fought, Mike was proven to be a world beater, a legitimate champion. He beat some formidable guys. I don’t blame [the media]. They’re going off what they see. But I think you should still treat a guy with respect because he gets in there.”
And it wasn’t just the media writing off Douglas before the fight.
“[My mom] went and told all her friends that I was going to win — ‘Buster is going to knock Mike Tyson out,'” Douglas said. “They still didn’t believe her. They didn’t know nothing about the boxing game. They only knew what they seen and they seen this wrecking ball. If you weren’t decapitating people, you had no chance against this man.”
Douglas went on to prove that he had more than a puncher’s chance. The sports world wasn’t ready for what was about to happen — against all odds — on Feb. 11, 1990 in Tokyo.
“It took about four or five rounds for people to realize that ‘S—, this dude is fighting Mike,'” Douglas said. “He wasn’t doing what he usually did. Any other time, the fight would’ve been over. He would have been going in there like a hell-beater. He thought he could do that to me, but he found out it was going to be a long night.”
The bout saw a battered Tyson knock Douglas down with a right uppercut during the waning seconds of the eighth round, but the challenger roared back in the ninth, paving the way for the round of his life.
Connecting on a few left jabs to gauge his range, Douglas landed a pulverizing right uppercut, following it up with a vicious left-right-left hook combination that sent Tyson crashing to the mat. The image of “Iron” Mike with scrambled faculties patting around the canvas to search for his mouthpiece remains one of the most shocking boxing moments of all time.
When asked if anything could be counted as a greater upset in sports, Douglas said, “I don’t think so. Nah. It’s an amazing honor.”
Although Douglas wound up losing the WBA, WBC, IBF and lineal heavyweight titles to Evander Holyfield eight months later, his incredible victory against Tyson cemented his place in sports history.
“The reason why I turned pro was to leave my mark on this world, and I’m glad to say I accomplished that,” Douglas said. “Out of all these billions of people in the world, my name will resonate forever.”
It’s Time to FIGHT like never before
Source Sporting News