James "Buster" Douglas

James "Buster" Douglas was born Apr. 7, 1960 in Columbus, Ohio. He attended Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. He is a former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, who scored one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing by knocking out Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo, Japan. The upset was so great because Tyson was at that point considered the pound-for-pound best boxer on the planet and was seemingly invincible due to his utter domination of the division. The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas had Tyson as a 42 to 1 favorite.


Championship Fight
Douglas had been fighting since the late 1970s. Douglas had the physical qualities to become a great champion but lack of motivation and determination kept him from ever being considered a great heavyweight; the only other championship stage he was on was in 1987 when he fought Tony Tucker for the vacant IBF Championsip in a fight in which many thought Douglas was beating the undefeated Tucker until he got tired and seemingly gave up.

Almost everyone assumed that the fight was going to be another quick Mike Tyson KO. Only one betting parlor in Las Vegas would hold odds for the fight and many thought it was just a gag as Tyson was favored 42-1. Douglas surprised the world by dominating the fight from the beginning, using his 12" reach advantage to perfection, seemingly hitting Tyson at will with jabs and right hands and getting out of range when Tyson launched his own punches as Tyson no longer bobbed and weaved and slipped his way in but rather set his feet and went for the big punch standing straight up and often lunging in. By the fifth round the champion's left eye had swollen shut from Douglas landing so many right hands and Tyson's corner was grossly unprepared, they had not brought an endswell to the fight so they put lukewarm water into a latex glove and held it over his eye which was to no avail as it got worse and worse. Tyson told his corner that he would KO Douglas in the 8th, and he almost achieved this, knocking Douglas down with a right uppercut at the end of that very round. But Douglas returned shaken to his feet at the count of nine, and was saved by the bell. Then, in the 10th round boxing history was made as Buster Douglas scored the biggest upset in boxing history.

After 1 minute and 5 seconds of round 10, a devastating uppercut followed by a left-right-left combination from Douglas floored Tyson for the first time in his boxing career. When Tyson failed to climb to his feet in time, with his mouthpiece hanging halfway out of his mouth as it was knocked out when he fell, the fight was over, and Douglas had shocked the world becoming the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. The public reaction was encapsulated by the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine, with the headline "Rocky Lives!", an allusion to the fictional boxing hero who, against all odds, KO´d the champion.

Douglas tearfully dedicated his dramatic victory to his mother, who had died of a stroke shortly before the bout. After the fight, he talked about his religion and said he was not scared of Tyson.

Boxing Career
Douglas would have only one title defense. Later that year (1990) an overweight and underprepared Douglas was knocked out in the 3rd round by Evander Holyfield and decided to retire from boxing following his defeat. He did little for the next several years, living off his wealth (he received a reported $24.6 million for the Holyfield fight) and gaining weight to nearly 400 pounds. It was only after Douglas nearly died during a diabetic coma that he decided to attempt a return to the sport. He went back into training and made a comeback. He was successful at first, but he looked shaky and his comeback almost came to a screeching halt in a 1997 DQ win over journeyman Louis Monaco. In a bizarre ending, Monaco landed a right hand just after the bell to end round one that knocked Douglas to the canvas. Douglas was unable to continue after a five-minute rest period and was consequently awarded the win by disqualification (on account of Monaco's illegal punch) in a fight that was aired on USA-TV's "Tuesday Night Fights" program. The next year his comeback hit a wall when unheralded Lou Savarese knocked him out in the first round, and he hung up his gloves again. Six months later he came back and knocked out his next two opponents in the first round. However, he has not fought professionally since 1999.

Recent Events and Current Status
On August 8, 2006, Douglas pleaded not guilty to a charge of allowing his brother to use his identity to apply for a motorcycle license. Douglas was formally charged with a misdemeanor count of complicity in June as the result of William Douglas III's, his 36-year-old brother, attempt to use his name and identity to obtain the license for him. William Douglas III pleaded not guilty to a falsification charge on August 8, 2006. Each charge carries a maximum of six months in jail upon conviction.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles investigators said on June 8 that Buster Douglas waited in a car outside a BMV office in Columbus while his brother got a license for him. A clerk challenged William Douglas' identity, BMV spokesman Fred Stratmann said after the charges were filed.

According to public court filings, Douglas currently resides near the city of Johnstown twenty miles east of Columbus.

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