Mike Tyson : biography
Controversy and upset
During this period, Tyson’s problems outside boxing were also starting to emerge. His marriage to Robin Givens was heading for divorce,, AP via New York Times, 1989-06-02. Retrieved April 17, 2007. and his future contract was being fought over by Don King and Bill Cayton., New York Times, 1989-01-20. Retrieved April 17, 2007. In late 1988, Tyson parted with manager Bill Cayton and fired longtime trainer Kevin Rooney, the man many credit for honing Tyson’s craft after the death of D’Amato.. Sports.espn.go.com (2002). Retrieved on 2012-06-19. Following Rooney’s departure, critics alleged that Tyson began to stop working the body, relying less on the jab to get inside, clinching more, using the Peek-a-Boo style sporadically and throwing few combinations. Tyson insisted he hadn’t altered the style that made him a world champion. In 1989, Tyson had only two fights amid personal turmoil. He faced the popular British boxer Frank Bruno in February. Bruno managed to stun Tyson at the end of the 1st round,, BBC TV. Retrieved March 26, 2007. although Tyson went on to knock out Bruno in the fifth round. Tyson then knocked out Carl "The Truth" Williams in one round in July.Berger, Phil (1989), "Tyson Stuns Williams With Knockout in 1:33," The New York Times, Sports Desk, Late Edition-Final, Section 1, Page 45, Column 2, July 22, 1989.
By 1990, Tyson seemed to have lost direction, and his personal life was in disarray amidst reports of less vigorous training prior to the Douglas match.http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/columns/story?columnist=rafael_dan&id=2080998 In a fight on February 11, 1990, he lost the undisputed championship to Buster Douglas in Tokyo.Kincade, Kevin., , Eastsideboxing.com, 2005-07-12. Retrieved March 26, 2007. Tyson was a huge betting favorite, but Douglas (priced at 42/1) was at an emotional peak after losing his mother to a stroke 23 days prior to the fight; Douglas fought the fight of his life. Contrary to reports that Tyson was out of shape, sources noted his pronounced muscles, absence of body fat and weight of 220 and 1/2 pounds, only 2 pounds more than he had weighed when he beat Michael Spinks 20 months earlier. Mentally, however, Tyson was unprepared. Tyson failed to find a way past Douglas’s quick jab that had a reach advantage over his own. Tyson did send Douglas to the floor in the eighth round, catching him with an uppercut, but Douglas recovered sufficiently to hand Tyson a heavy beating in the subsequent two rounds. (After the fight, the Tyson camp would complain that the count was slow and that Douglas had taken longer than ten seconds to get to his feet.)Bellfield, Lee., , Saddoboxing.com, 2006-02-16. Retrieved April 25, 2007. Just 35 seconds into the 10th round, Douglas unleashed a brutal combination of hooks that sent Tyson to the canvas for the first time in his career. He was counted out by referee Octavio Meyran.
The knockout victory by Douglas over Tyson, the previously undefeated "baddest man on the planet" and arguably the most feared boxer in professional boxing at that time, has been described as one of the most shocking upsets in modern sports history.Staff, , ESPN.com, May 23, 2001. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
After the loss, Tyson recovered with first-round knockouts of Henry TillmanBerger, Phil (1990), "TYSON WINS IN 1st ROUND", The New York Times, Sports Desk, Late Edition-Final, Section 8, Page 7, Column 4, June 17, 1990. and Alex StewartBerger, Phil (1990), "BOXING; Tyson Scores Round 1 Victory", The New York Times, Sports Desk, Late Edition-Final, Section 8, Page 1, Column 5, December 9, 1990. in his next two fights. Tyson’s victory over Tillman, the 1984 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist, enabled Tyson to avenge his amateur losses at Tillman’s hands. These bouts set up an elimination match for another shot at the undisputed world heavyweight championship, which Evander Holyfield had taken from Douglas in his first defense of the title.