On This Day: Mike Tyson survives early scare to dominate Tony Tucker to become ‘undisputed’ champion

(Original Caption) 8/1/1987-Las Vegas, NVMike Tyson (l) and Tony Tucker trade punches in an early round of their title fight 8/1. Tyson won the unanimous decision.
An underrated showing from a peak Mike Tyson ends the unbeaten run of Tony Tucker


August 1, 1987; Hilton Center, Las Vegas, NV

THE narrative that Mike Tyson never won a fight he was in danger of losing can be challenged by this hard-fought points win over Tony Tucker. At the time, with Tyson in his pomp and thrashing all-comers, this 12-round victory was seen as something of an anti-climax to the seven-fight HBO series to crown an undisputed heavyweight king. And it’s certainly no thriller but there’s enough here to make it interesting when revisiting. Not least the jarring uppercut that rocks Tyson in the opening moments. Perhaps the failure of Tucker – 34-0 going in – to build on this performance takes some shine off Tyson’s victory but there is an argument to be made it’s among “Iron” Mike’s most complete performances.

There were suggestions before the fight, as Mike’s concentration in training waned, that Tyson’s management team – Bill Cayton and Joe Jacobs – approached Eddie Futch to take over from Kevin Rooney as head trainer.

WATCH OUT FOR: Tyson doing a little jig after walking into that left uppercut from “TNT” Tucker in the first round.  

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