“He Got That at the Price of His Beloved Mother Dying”: Teddy Atlas Dives Deep Into Buster Douglas’ “Redemption” Against Mike Tyson

Published 01/16/2024, 6:59 AM EST

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With 38 wins and 6 losses, Buster Douglas was someone who struggled to stay consistent in his success. However, one feat that will be remembered forever is when he knocked out the legend, Mike Tyson. Going into the fight, Douglas was just an underdog and Tyson had been making headlines in the boxing realm. What Teddy Atlas believes helped him flip the chances was his mother’s death. How?

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In an interview with the YouTube channel VladTV, the trainer who also once coached Tyson explains what really went into transforming Douglas into a well-rounded fighter for just that one fight. How did Douglas seek redemption?

Buster Douglas discovered strength in adversity

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Douglas had just lost his mother two months before he fought Tyson. The boxer had been quite close to her. Nothing for him could be more painful than this, not even the punches of ‘Iron’ Mike. The one thing that he lacked as a fighter was now found. “He got a second chance and he got redemption. Redemption is beautiful. This country loves redemption. It’s pretty of why they live Tyson and he got that at the price of his beloved mother dying.” said Atlas. This occurrence unlocked a new fearless version of ‘The Dynamite’.

The memory of his mother became a guiding light, empowering Douglas to confront the fears that had hindered him before. Previously afraid to delve into the depths of his abilities, he now found the strength to face adversity head-on. “He was everything you want a fighter to be on that one night. Never again, never before, never after. But in that one night, he was great. He could go to his grave knowing that one night he was great.” said the coach. It was a unique moment, unparalleled before or after, immortalizing him as a fighter who, for that one night, was truly exceptional. While Atlas explained why Douglas won, let us delve into why Tyson believes he lost.

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‘Iron Mike’ and hotel maids

Initially, Mike Tyson downplayed the significance of his loss to Buster Douglas. However, during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Tyson made a surprising revelation when pressed about his mindset before the fight. He confessed to engaging in casual relationships with hotel maids in the days leading up to the bout, admitting that he lacked the necessary focus. Following the death of his coach and father figure, Cus D’Amato, Tyson’s fame seemingly went to his head.

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Without proper guidance, he started neglecting training, skipping conditioning drills, and indulging in frequent partying. This lack of discipline became evident in his fights, where he began relying solely on his power. Underestimating Douglas, Tyson believed he could depend on his strength alone. However, the Tokyo Dome bout became a reality check, as Douglas, relentless and determined, achieved an unparalleled upset, exposing Tyson’s vulnerability.

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Everyone has their highs and lows. Douglas seemed to be in his best form when fighting Tyson, something that no one imagined. While Douglas lost his mother, Tyson lost his father figure. Every adversity brings about a new change. Both fighters had a different way of dealing with it. What do you think of Atlas’ analysis?

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Written by:

Prachi Prava Senapati

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One take at a time

The Greatest aka Muhammad Ali would always say, “We can’t be brave without fear.” I am a Boxing author at EssentiallySports and was first drawn to the boxing gym when a friend of mine came to meet me with her hand wraps still on. After arranging enough resources, I joined the gym and eventually tried my hand at MMA as well.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal

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