James Douglas: Beating Mike Tyson was 'a dream come true'

James Douglas
In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Tyson's camp, led by Don King, protested the result, claiming that Douglas had been given a long count by the referee.
5 live Boxing: Douglas v Tyson, 25 years on
James 'Buster' Douglas with Mike Costello and Steve Bunce
BBC Radio 5 live, Thursday, 19 Feb, 20:00GMT

James 'Buster' Douglas has spoken about the greatest accomplishment of his boxing career - beating the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson in 1990.

Douglas recorded a 10th-round knockout against the then undefeated heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fight, Douglas gave an in-depth interview to BBC Radio 5live.

"It's something I will always live with for the rest of my life - a great accomplishment," Douglas reflected.

Douglas went into the fight in Japan's Tokyo Dome as the 42-1 underdog, and the result is widely regarded to be one of the greatest upsets in sporting history.external-link

The build up to the bout had not been a smooth one for the man from Columbus, with personal problems dominating his preparation.

But the man nicknamed 'Buster' says he used the build-up as inspiration: "My wife and I were going through some things, we were separated, and then the biggest thing was my mum passed 21 days prior to the fight.

"My dad and I weren't really seeing eye-to-eye with my decisions in my career.

"There were a lot of things swarming around, but do you know what? I was able to see beyond that, and say 'Man, with all of these things going on in my life, this has to be my time.'

"It really made me focus and buckle down even more, because I just felt that I'd seen beyond it, that there was something bigger on the horizon for me giving me the title shot at this time," he added.

Despite Tyson's fearsome reputation, Douglas traded blows with the champion from the first round. Tyson eventually knocked the challenger down in the eighth round but Douglas narrowly beat the count and found the strength to launch a counter-offensive.

Halfway through the 10th, a Douglas combination put Tyson on the canvas for the first time in his career and the fight was stopped.

Contemplating his win, and how he shook the boxing world, Douglas said: "That was a dream come true. It was like I'd achieved the ultimate goal - becoming the heavyweight champion of the world."