History | Mar 07 2019

On This Day: Mike Tyson unified the heavyweight titles by beating Bonecrusher Smith

Tony Connolly sees Mike Tyson crowned king, but there’s no glory for runaway Bonecrusher Smith
Mike Tyson
Tyson was a fearsome opponent at his peak Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports

JAMES “Bonecrusher” Smith hadn’t yet wiped the sweat off his face, hadn’t stopped breathing heavily, hadn’t even talked to the press about his stunning one-round win over Tim Witherspoon for the WBA title last December in Madison Square Garden when he was already asking: “Where’s Mike Tyson? Where’s Mike Tyson?

“We’re gonna put on a great fight, a bang-bang good one, and somebody gonna get licked – and it won’t be me. Now find me Mike Tyson.”

Three months later – March 7, 1987 – Smith found Tyson and also found that his bold predictions didn’t run true. Their unification pairing wasn’t anywhere near to being a great fight, certainly not a bang-bang good one, and somebody did get licked … he did.


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