Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2015 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 12, 2015
COLUMBUS---An uppercut and three
follow-up punches made James
"Buster" Douglas a household name.
And 25 years later, the brief heavy-
weight champion is still pleased his
knockout of Mike Tyson ranks among
the biggest upsets in sports.
"Being crowned champion was a
dream for me," Douglas said of his Feb-
ruary 11, 1990 upset. "To achieve that
was the ultimate. It was awesome."
A promising if enigmatic fighter, Dou-
glas was given almost no chance of
hanging around long with the unde-
feated heavyweight champion in their
title fight in Tokyo. The bout was con-
sidered a tuneup for Tyson before an
anticipated match with rising star Evan-
In fact, the day before Tyson fought
Douglas, promoter Don King called a
news conference to discuss the dates
and terms of that showdown. Douglas
Douglas was a terrific athlete --- he
played college basketball --- but was
considered less than committed to box-
ing despite a 29-4-1 record as a pro-
fessional. The son of club fighter Bill
"Dynamite" Douglas, he showed
glimpses of promise but also displayed
a lack of heart and discipline at other
But roughly three weeks before the
opening bell with Tyson, the person
who believed in him the most, his moth-
er, Lula Pearl, died.
Reminded this week that no one
thought he had a chance against Tyson,
Douglas hesitated before saying: "Yeah,
but she did."
Tyson was boxing s hope and its bane,
a street tough who stepped into the ring
in simple black trunks, black shoes and
a sheared-off T-shirt. His temperament
was erratic, at best. He could be emo-
tional when he spoke of his late mentor
and friend, Cus D Amato, or he could
also be raw, brutal and crude.
In the ring, he was a force of nature,
always striding closer, always hurling
punches, never yielding.
He was 37-0 with 33 knockouts head-
ing into the fight. Las Vegas oddsmakers
made him a 42-1 favorite to do his
wrecking-ball thing against Douglas.
They weren t alone. Ed Schuyler, a
boxing writer for The Associated Press,
was stopped at customs on his way into
Japan. The customs officer asked
Schuyler how long he would be working
"About 90 seconds," Schuyler dead-
Just before the opening bell, someone
in the crowd shouted to Douglas to win
it for his mother.
The 6-foot-4 (1.93-metre) Douglas
came out inspired. He held his own in
the early rounds, holding off the shorter
Tyson s charge with his left jab.
Late in the eighth round, Douglas
King and Tyson would later claim
that Douglas didn t get up in the
mandatory 10 seconds as the round
came to an end. But by the official s
count, he was standing and in control
of his faculties at the count of 8.
"I knew where I was the whole time,"
he said. "I could have got up at six,
but I had a couple of seconds and I
took my time."
After the fighters returned to their
corners, Douglas dominated the ninth.
Then in the 10th, he rocked the world.
"I finished him up with a combi-
nation," Douglas said. "I hit him with
four terrific shots. He wasn t able to
King, seeing a gigantic payday float-
ing away, appealed the outcome but,
days later, all of the major organisations
recognised Douglas as the champion.
"This makes Cinderella look like a
sad story, what Buster Douglas has
done here tonight," HBO boxing analyst
Larry Merchant said after the fight.
The two boxers have met each other
only once since.
"We only crossed paths once, and
that was a few years back down in
Cincinnati," Douglas said. "There
wasn t much conversation. It s not like
we sat down and talked about it and
(became) friends, anything like that.
He was still kind of short (with me).
So I didn t push it any further."
Tyson s life, in and out of the ring,
has grabbed headlines for years. Mean-
while, Douglas is content to live a quiet
life in a large home near a farming vil-
lage 25 miles (40 kilometres) from his
hometown of Columbus.
He quickly lost the heavyweight title
to Holyfield in October 1990 in Las
Vegas. His cut of his lone defense, esti-
mated at $7 million after taxes, set him
up for a comfortable existence.
Douglas is past struggles with weight
and blood sugar, saying he now "could
go a few rounds" at the age of 54.
He has thrown himself into raising
his four sons with his wife, Bertha. He
spends five days a week coaching young
boxers at a local rec center and prides
himself on how well they re doing.
All these years later, he says it was
"When I was itty-bitty and I first
put on a pair of gloves when I was 10
years old, that was the beginning," he
said. "I just felt I could do anything.
It was just a belief. I believed in myself
and that I had the ability to do that.
It s something that my mother instilled
in me at a very young age: You can do
whatever you want." (AP)
In this February 11, 1990, file photo, heavyweight boxer James "Buster" Douglas waves his gloved hand to
the cheering crowd as he makes his way to the dressing room following a 10th round knockout victory over
Mike Tyson in a scheduled 12-round championship bout at the Tokyo Dome. Others are unidentified. It1s been
25 years since one of the most stunning upsets in sports history. AP PHOTO
The Government of the
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
The Ministry of Community Development is the lead Government agency in facilitating empowered, harmonious
and sustainable communities. "Building Resilient Communities" through various community based and outreach
programmes is the Ministry's key objective and to this end.
The Community Mediation Services Division, Ministry of Community Development is now seeking suitably quali ed
personnel to be part of a dynamic, passionate and committed team, whose mandate is to empower individuals,
groups and communities for peaceful dispute resolution through mediation in a non-threatening environment in
the following positions:
SOCIAL WORK SPECIALIST
Interested persons must submit their resumes and a cover letter to the following:
Director -- Human Resource Services Department
The Ministry of Community Development
Corner Jerningham Avenue and Queens' Park East, Port-Of-Spain.
Or to: email@example.com
Detailed Position Descriptions may be accessed on the Ministry's website: www.community.gov.tt.
The deadline date for the submission of applications: FRIDAY 27th FEBRUARY, 2015.
Your correspondence must include the name of the position for which you would like to be considered.
Links Archive February 11th 2015 February 13th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page