Mike Tyson suffered his first loss to James “Buster” Douglas in February 1990, if you believe what the record books say. But upon closer inspection, Tyson won the fight.
A controversial eighth-round ‘slow count’ blotted the whole story of what became the biggest upset in the sport’s history.
Tyson put Douglas down towards the end of the round, and referee Octavio Meyran was docile even to start counting.
Any usual timing would have reached three of four when Meyran got to his first number. By that time, Douglas looked as though he’d get counted out.
Thirteen seconds amassed before Douglas got saved by the bell. Tyson should have retained his title there and then.
As it transpired, Tyson took too many punches in retaliation. In the end, that told in the tenth when Douglas put him down.
Douglas secured the upset triumph to become a household name with another thirteen-second count.
It was cruel for Tyson’s unstoppable reign to come to a halt. However, his lifestyle outside of the ring meant it was simply a matter of time.
Douglas should not have been the man to do it, though. It may have been post-prison before Tyson eventually lost a fight.
MIKE TYSON CHAMP
On February 12th of 1990, Mike Tyson had the right to wake up at 38-0 and the world’s undefeated heavyweight champion. Meyran failed to do his job and will never have to answer why history changed forever.
Watch the counts for yourself. It’s not hard to determine what the outcome was.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Founding editor of World Boxing News since 2010. WBN has over one billion views on all platforms.
Attending over 200 events and scoring over 400 fights, Phil has overseen WBN to a quarter of a million followers on social media.
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