History | Sep 07 2019

On This Day: Mike Tyson knocks out Bruce Seldon with ‘phantom punch’

All too easy for MIke Tyson as Bruce Seldon goes down from from glancing blows in farcical defence of his title, writes Nick Bond
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Mike Tyson bt Bruce Seldon MGM Las Vegas 7/9/96 Pic: Nick Potts/Action Images  |  Action Images/Nick Potts

IN one of the more bizarre world heavyweight title fights, the WBA’s defending champion Bruce Seldon timidly surrendered his crown to Mike Tyson in 109 seconds at the MGM Grand on September 7, 1996.

Seldon appeared petrified as he climbed in the ring and was down twice in total from not one significant blow. The crowd booed it’s displeasure with chants of “fix… fix…” and even Tyson looked surprised at the ease with which the “Atlantic City Express” was derailed.

The first knockdown, barely a minute into the round, was little more than a glancing right hand that whistled over Seldon’s crown. The champion collapsed dramatically, spreadeagled to the canvas but sheepishly scrambled to his feet as referee Richard Steele reached the count of six.