Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson would be forever known to be the two greatest heavyweight champions in boxing history. But did you know that the two met, and Tyson promised to avenge his hero?
When Muhammad Ali lost to Larry Holmes in 1980, Mike Tyson spoke to Ali and said he would avenge his loss. He was able to fulfill his promise seven years later when he knocked out Holmes after four rounds.
Why Did Ali Lose the Fight With Holmes?
In June 1979, Muhammad Ali announced that he was retiring from boxing. He already won several world heavyweight championships and was named the greatest boxer to have ever lived. His retirement was cut short when he agreed to fight the undefeated WBC champion, Larry Holmes, in October 1980. Many agreed that it was a terrible idea. (Source: Sports Casting)
Years before Ali had announced his retirement; he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Disease. Based on studies done, experts observed that his speech was slowed down by 26%, and he was slurring full words a couple of years later. (Source: Science Magazine)
When the fight got closer, his condition started getting worse. His original team already left before training began, and he began using supplements everyone was telling him to stop using.
Larry Holmes was his former sparring partner, and he knew all of Ali’s moves. He had the edge, and he knew how to fight Ali. Realistically, Ali did not have a chance. He had poor reflexes, no legs, light punches. All he had was his pride. (Source: The Guardian)
What Happened During the Fight?
Larry Holmes was eight years younger than Ali. He dominated all the rounds that night, and it was no longer a show of athleticism. It was a brutal beating that just never stopped. Some of the fans claimed that Holmes was obviously holding back.
By the 9th round, Holmes delivered an uppercut that severely weakened Ali. Holmes then delivered a punch to the kidney, and the next thing that happened stunned everyone. Ali screamed out of the excruciating pain he felt.
Like watching an autopsy on a man who’s still alive.Sylvester Stallone
(Source: The Guardian)
How Did Mike Tyson Avenge His Hero?
When Mike Tyson was only 14 years old, he called Ali and told him that he would avenge his loss.
When I grow up, I’ll fight Holmes and I’ll get him back for you.Mike Tyson
Seven years later, it was Tyson’s turn to fight Larry Holmes. He was 21 and very eager to defend his title. By the 4th round, Tyson delivered a right hook that knocked out Holmes within seconds from the bell.
Ali was invited to sit ringside to watch his biggest fan win against Holmes.
Everything Cus told me was right, that I’d be champion and nobody will ever forget me. I’m gonna cry. I put so much into it. It’s kind of sad. You have no idea. I was a young kid. So much hard work. But me and Cus had huge egos. We talked a lot of sh*t. Me and Cus would talk about how nobody could beat us and how we were invincible. That was our mindset. We weren’t afraid of nobody.Mike Tyson
(Source: Awesome Jelly)