While many of the big fights are held within the vicinity of a Las Vegas best payout casino, on February 11, 1990, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, 23, stepped into the ring at the Tokyo Dome for the fight billed as ‘Tyson is Back!’ unbeaten in 37 fights, including ten world title fights, and as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. By contrast, his opponent, James ‘Buster’ Douglas, 30, had already suffered four defeats – including a tenth round technical knockout by Tony Tucker in his only previous world title fight in 1987 – and was expected to be little more than ‘cannon fodder’ for Tyson, as he warned up for a meeting with undefeated heavyweight contender Evander Holyfied. Indeed, Tyson later recalled, ‘I didn’t consider Buster Douglas much of a challenge. I had easily beaten everybody who had knocked him out.’
However, Douglas belied odds of 42/1 offered by bookmakers and online casino sites by proving the sharper of the pair right from the start. He kept Tyson at bay with a series of good, solid jabs, and repeatedly clinched as the largely rhythmless, ineffective champion attempted to counter attack. In the eighth round, though, Douglas succumbed to an uppercut, which knocked to the canvas. He survived until the end of the round and, in the ninth, Tyson went for a quick finish but, in so doing, exposed himself to series of hard, right-hand counter-punches. Tyson barely survived the round and, in the tenth, Douglas landed a fierce, right-hand uppercut of his own, followed by a right-left-right-left combination that left Tyson fumbling for his gumshield as the referee counted him out.