EVANDER HOLYFIELD w ko 3 JAMES ‘BUSTER’ DOUGLAS
October 25, 1990; Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
DON’T watch this and expect one of the greatest fights in heavyweight history. But it’s worth revisiting nonetheless. The finish from Holyfield, as he sways back from a wayward uppercut before punishing Douglas with his right hand is mightily impressive even if the efforts of the champion to rise drew understandable criticism at the time. There are also flashes – the Buster jab and a smart right hand in round three – of what a terrific fight this might have been if Douglas had regained the determination that fuelled his win over Mike Tyson, eight months before. Though the hangover from this bout tarnished Douglas for years, it took a long time for Holyfield to generate the respect he deserved, too.
DID YOU KNOW? A huge $200,000 was accepted by bookmakers for bets on Holyfield to win after Douglas’ weight (at 246lbs be was 15lbs more than when he beat Tyson) was revealed on the eve of the bout.
WATCH OUT FOR: The pre-fight stuff is interesting, like legendary writer Bert Sugar’s pre-fight prediction that Douglas will win. It’s so smug and authoritative, you’d be forgiven for double-checking the result.