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Douglas KO’s Mike Tyson and Don King Smiles

Mike Tyson KO’d by Buster Douglas – Why Was Don King Smiling?


Don King Smiling At Tyson Douglas

In 1988, Don King took Mike Tyson away from trainer Kevin Rooney and manager Bill Cayton

King was able to use the race card to excellent advantage. Don proclaimed Mike Tyson, “my son.” It was anything but the truth. Even today, in Mike Tyson’s very successful one man show Mike says, “going with King was the worst mistake of my life” It was accurate  – Don King destroyed him both in and out of the ring.

After separating Mike Tyson, Don King put Mike in the ring in Tokyo with Buster Douglas.

Why Was Don King Smiling


Mike Tyson’s previous appearance in Tokyo vs Tony Tubbs, 2 years before, was a blockbuster success -a sensational 2nd round knockout. At that time Iron Mike was the most popular athlete in the world. Network TV commercials for Pepsi Cola, Ninetndo Video, Kodak Film. A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department, FBI, and DEA. Now, in 1990, after just two years with King, all gone.

Most importantly, Don King was successful in separating Mike from original trainer Kevin Rooney and manager Bill Cayton.  Two key men responsible for Mike’s huge success.

The early rounds had great action.  In the eighth round Tyson exploded with a huge right hand uppercut that dropped Douglas to the canvas.

Why Was Don King Smiling

Douglas beat the count and the fight continued

By round 10 Mike had nothing left. Douglas landed a sensational combination and Tyson went down. The referee was counting as Mike was vainly attempting to rise but he did not beat the count.

King Smiling After Douglas KO's Tyson

Tyson vs Douglas best KO copy best

Douglas was the new champion

Tyson Douglas SI


Then – most shocking scene at the fight

As Don King’s “son,” Mike Tyson, was carried from the ring, there was King “smiling” alongside new champion Buster Douglas.

The press were stunned

Don King Smiling 3


The headline by Wally Matthews of the New York Post, “Why was Don King Smiling?”

The day after the fight, Don King called a press conference and claimed that Douglas did not beat the count. The claim was dismissed but the hideous action by King turning his back on Tyson were not overlooked. The most accurate account of the Tokyo episode was by Pete Dexter of the Sacremento Bee. He wrote the following day:


Dexter 3



Don King Smiling At Tyson Douglas

Why Was Don King Smiling?


Author- Boxing Hall of Fame

Read more about Mike Tyson –  Knockout – Mike Tyson vs Robin Givens

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