James Douglas (boxer)

James Douglas (boxer)

Infobox Boxer

name = Buster Douglas
nationality = American
realname = James Douglas
nickname = Buster
weight = Heavyweight
birth_date = birth date and age|1960|4|7
birth_place = Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
home = Columbus, Ohio, USA
style =Orthodox
total = 46
wins = 38
KO = 25
losses = 6
draws = 1
no contests = 1

James "Buster" Douglas (born April 7, 1960) is a former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion who scored one of the most shocking upsets in sports history when he knocked out undefeated champion Mike Tyson on February 11 1990 in Tokyo, Japan. At the time, Tyson was considered to be the best boxer in the world and arguably one of the most feared heavyweight champions in history due to his utter domination of the division. The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas had Tyson listed as a 42 to 1 favorite.

Growing up

Douglas grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in the predominantly black Linden-area neighborhood, Windsor Terrace. He attended Linden McKinley High School where he played football and basketball, even leading Linden to a Class AAA state basketball championship in 1977.

Boxing career

Douglas had been fighting since the late 1970s. He fought the undefeated Tony Tucker in 1987 for the vacant International Boxing Federation heavyweight title. Douglas was leading on the scorecards until he appeared to grow tired in the later rounds before being stopped by a TKO in the tenth round.

Championship fight

Almost everyone assumed that Douglas' fight versus Mike Tyson was going to be another quick knockout for the champion. Only one betting parlor in Las Vegas would hold odds for the bout, and many thought it was just an easy tune-up for Tyson before a future mega-fight with undefeated cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield (who was ringside for the event).

Douglas' mother, Lula Pearl, died 23 days before the title bout.cite news | title=Timeline James "Buster" Douglas| date=2007-06-08 | url =http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/extras/0607/douglas.html | work =The Columbus Dispatch| accessdate = 2008-05-30] Douglas surprised the world by dominating the fight from the beginning, utilizing his 12-inch reach advantage to perfection, seemingly hitting Tyson at will with powerful jabs and right hands and skillfully dancing out of range of Tyson's own punches. The champion was sluggish, refusing to move his head and slip his way in—his usual strategy—but rather setting his feet and throwing big, lunging punches. By the fifth round, Tyson's left eye was swelling shut from Douglas' many right hands, and ringside HBO announcers proclaimed it was the most punishment they had ever seen the champion absorb.

Tyson's cornermen appeared to be unprepared for the suddenly dramatic situation. They had not brought an endswell to the fight, so they were forced to put ice water into a latex glove to hold over Tyson's swelling eye. By the end of the fight, Tyson's eye had swollen almost completely shut. In the eighth round Tyson delivered a right uppercut, knocking Douglas down. The count issued by the referee engendered controversy. Observers have stated that Douglas was on the canvas for 14 seconds because the referee started the count late without checking with the ringside time-keeper. Regardless, Douglas was able to get up and continue the fight.

Tyson came out aggressively in the ninth round and attempted to end the fight with one big punch. Douglas continued to utilize his strategy and held Tyson at bay with his jab. In the tenth round, boxing history was made as Douglas dominated from the outset, scoring a huge uppercut, followed by a rapid combination, and knocking Tyson down for the first time in his career. Tyson struggled to his knees and picked up his mouthpiece lying on the mat next to him. He awkwardly attempted to place it place back into his mouth. The image of Tyson with the mouthpiece hanging crookedly from his lips would become an enduring image from the fight. He was unable to beat the referee's count, and Douglas was the new heavyweight champion of the world.

After the upset

While still Champion, Douglas appeared on the February 23, 1990 episode of the World Wrestling Federation's "WWF The Main Event", as special guest referee for a match between Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Originally, Mike Tyson was scheduled to be the guest referee, but following the upset, the WWF scrambled to sign on Douglas for the event. At the end of the match, Douglas was provoked into a 'storyline' punch and knockout of Savage, who was the 'heel' wrestler in the match.

Douglas would have only one title defense. On October 25, 1990, Douglas was knocked out in the third round by Evander Holyfield and decided to retire from boxing following his defeat.

He did little for the next several years, living off his wealth (he received a reported $24.6 million for the Holyfield fight) and gaining weight to nearly 400 pounds. It was only after Douglas nearly died during a diabetic coma that he decided to attempt a return to the sport. He went back into training and made a comeback. He was successful at first, but his comeback almost came to a halt in a 1997 disqualification win over journeyman Louis Monaco. In a bizarre ending, Monaco landed a right hand just after the bell to end round one that knocked Douglas to the canvas. Douglas was unable to continue after a five-minute rest period and was consequently awarded the win by disqualification (on account of Monaco's illegal punch).

The next year Lou Savarese knocked him out in the first round, and he hung up his gloves again. He finished his career by winning his last two fights and retiring in 1999.

Recent events and current status

On August 8, 2006, Douglas pleaded not guilty to a charge of allowing his brother to use his identity to apply for a motorcycle license.

According to public court filings, Douglas currently resides near the city of Johnstown in McKean Township twenty miles east of Columbus.

Film and Game

Douglas made his feature film acting debut in the Artie Knapp science fiction comedy film "Pluto's Plight".

Douglas was the star of the video game "James 'Buster' Douglas Knockout Boxing" for the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis. (In reality, Sega took a pre-existing game, "Final Blow", changed the name, and changed one of the character's names to Douglas'). This game is considered as a response to Nintendo's "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!", especially since Tyson lost to Douglas, which Sega took advantage in order to promote their early Genesis does what Nintendon't advertisements.


Douglas is one of the few non-students to be honored by The Ohio State University with the opportunity to dot the "i" during the performance of the Script Ohio by the The Ohio State University Marching Band. [ [http://tbdbitl.osu.edu/?action=a074 The "i"-Dot Tradition] , OSU Marching and Athletic Bands Online]

See also

*List of heavyweight boxing champions

*List of WBC world champions
*List of undisputed boxing champions


External links

* [http://www.indieflix.com/Films/PlutosPlight Buster Douglas' movie Pluto's Plight]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exrpoc6GP60 Video of the knockout of Mike Tyson]

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