Mike Tyson vs. Carl Williams was a professional boxing match contested on July 21, 1989, for undesputed (WBA, WBC, IBF and Lineal) Heavyweight championships. After Tyson’s dominating victory over Frank Bruno five months prior….negotiations for a potential bout with Carl Williams began….and on June 15, 1989, the fight was made official. as four years earlier, Williams had challenged then IBF Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes for the title….only to narrowly lose by unanimous decision. Prior to his fight with Tyson….Williams had won his previous five fights….including a victory over former champion Trevor Berbick….which got him back into contention.
The fight would only last 93 seconds….which would become Tyson’s 2nd quickest title fight after his 91-second victory over Michael Spinks the previous year. Tyson and Williams began the fight trading punches with each other….when Tyson’s aggressiveness caused Williams to hold several times….then around 76 seconds into the round….Williams attempted to hit Tyson with a left jab…while Tyson countered and hit Williams with a left hook that sent Williams to the canvas. Though Williams was able to get back on his feet and was seemingly ready to continue the fight, referee Randy Neumann stopped the fight and awarded Tyson the victory by technical knockout.
Because of the controversial nature of Tyson’s victory….both Williams and his manager Ira Leibowitz urged the WBA, WBC and IBF to change the ruling of Tyson victory to no-contest while also demanding a rematch between the two. However, all three boxing organizations, as well as Tyson’s camp refused a Tyson–Williams rematch with Don King’s spokesman stating that Williams would have to “go out and knock out a few good fighters” before a rematch with Tyson could happen.
Tyson’s victory over Williams would mark the last successful defense of his Undisputed Heavyweight Championship….as his next fight would be against little-known James “Buster” Douglas on February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan…..where despite being a 42-1 underdog….Douglas was able to knock out Tyson in the 10th round to pull off the upset and become the new Undisputed Champion.
HBO’s broadcast crew of Barry Tompkins, Sugar Ray Leonard and Larry Merchant….along with the entire broadcast crew did not expect the early conclusion…..and therefore were forced to fill time with episodes of The Kids In The Hall and HBO One Night Stand….when prior to showing the latter….they put up a card explaining the unscheduled broadcast.