On this day 24 years ago, Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks met in Atlantic City’s Convention Hall to decide the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
For those too young to remember this fight, by the time you finish reading this Michael Spinks is hitting the canvas for the second time right…about…now!
Michael Spinks began his career as a light heavyweight before moving up to heavyweight and defeating Larry Holmes in 1985. He would defeat Holmes in their rematch. Spinks would go on to TKO Steffan Tangstad and knockout Gerry Cooney. Spinks refused to fight Tony Tucker and was stripped of the IBF title leaving him with only the Ring/Lineal Heavyweight title.
Mike Tyson’s road to the heavyweight championship was a blur if you weren’t paying close attention. The Catskill native won his first 19 bouts via knockout and in his 28th professional fight he would knockout Trevor Berbick to win the WBC heavyweight championship, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in the process. Tyson would add the WBA and IBF titiles by defeating James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony Tucker. Tyson would also knockout former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, setting up a unification bout with Spinks.
Promoter Butch Lewis’ ploy to play mind games with Tyson may have led to Spinks early exit in the bout. Lewis saw a bump in Tyson’s gloves and demanded that his hands be re-wrapped, angering Tyson.
In the 91-second bout there were ten punches landed, eight were by Tyson with two resulting in knockdowns. Spinks would later admit that he was afraid heading into the ring. Tyson would become the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion while Spinks would retire a month after the fight.
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