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Did Buster Douglas Kill the Heavyweight Division?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Mayfly, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    In 1990, when Douglas knocked Mike Tyson out in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history, he did more than ending a reign. He, in fact, ended a sport. Tyson to this day was the last true feared heavyweight fighter. When Tyson entered the ring with Douglas, Tyson was an unfathomable 36-0. Fans were tuning into his fights on pay-per-view because they wanted to know how far he could take the record. With his wrecking-ball rights, he decimated the heavyweight class. After the fight with Douglas, he did not rebound well. Tyson went a combined 14-6 with 2 no contests.

    Ever since Tyson fell to the mat, the heavyweight division has been in a daze. There is no longer the fighter that fans tune into see. Ever since Tyson was grounded by Douglas, the title has switched more hands than a meet and greet at a leper colony. The best fights are held in the lesser divisions with Gatti-Ward and Corrales-Morlaes setting the bar. Will the heavyweight division ever make a comeback?

  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Two points in counter to that:

    1) Had Tyson not lost to Douglas but kept fighting, he might have eventually lost anyway.

    2) People were getting tired of those really short fights that never lived up to expectations. There's little sport in that.
  3. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    1) There are a bunch of what-ifs when it comes to sports and life. If Tyson did not lose to Douglas, sure he might have fought for a while and not lost. You could try to look at the opponents he faced after Douglas, but that wouldn't be a true test because he would not have fought them if he had lost. Douglas went on to fight the championship bouts.

    2) Tyson's earlier fights did not go the distance, but several near the end of his undefeated streak did. He beat Holmes in 4 (edit: correction...he beat Holmes in 4, I just checked, sorry) and then he went to 10 with Douglas. I know there are some others out there as well.
  4. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I heard/saw an analyst compare Tyson's competitors against those of the past other greats fought and they weren't even close.

    The heavyweight division was dead before Tyson even arrived. Who did he fight? Seriously.
  5. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Tyson KO'd Holmes in 4. He went 12 with Bonecrusher Smith and Tony Tucker.
  6. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    What I'm saying is the overall body of work pales in comparison to those before him.
    And I'm talking competition here, not his record, because that's still an impressive number. His overall competition was not.
  7. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    He fought Holmes and Spinks, but they were near the end of their careers. I agree he fought nobodys until his real championship fights with Holmes and Spinks, hence the inflated record.

    When would you say the division died? With Ali?
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    We need to get Rallen13 involved in this discussion. He's got age to back up the historical nature, but yeah, I think you could make a case for the division dying post-Ali.

    Tyson was a pretty sale-able personality for boxing, but it's legit to question his competition.
  9. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I think so Mayfly. Aside from the talent, think of the characters and personalities that also left the sport around the time of Ali's departure.

    There haven't been fighters or characters like that in the heavyweight division since.

    The inception of a million other federations and organizations didn't help either.
  10. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    I would doubt that all of these MMA leagues and federations would have come around if boxing was still strong in the United States. They captitalized on a weak market.

    I think with all fighters it is easy to question their competition up to a point in their career because they are getting their career off of the ground. No fighter breaks into the ranks automatically and fight high-caliber opponents off the bat. Look at Lennox Lewis, who ran a nice record up there as well, but still fought nobodys for a while. Not as long as Tyson, but still.
  11. melock

    melock Active Member

    Tyson was a bully, not a boxer. People were scared to get in the ring wtih him. Have you seen the pre-fight with Michael Spinks? That got looked absolutely terrified. He never had a chance.

    I'd say Evandor Holyfield and Lennox Lewis were pretty damn good fighters so the heavyweight division didn't die after Tyson-Douglas. Was it on it's last legs? Yes. Two fighters can only hold a division together for so long and now Lennox has retired and Holyfield continues to fight for reasons known only to him and those closest to him.

    I loved watching Tyson fight when I was younger, but I was like 8,9 or 10 then. As I got older and wiser I realized he wasn't one of the best fighters of all time. The best intimadtor, maybe, but Ali was pretty good at that too.
  12. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Google "Rocky Marciano".
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