The Heavyweight Boxing Champion legend that was to become Iron Mike Tyson….entered the ring on this August 17, 1986 night at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ to fight a 10-round heavyweight bout with Jose Ribalta…..was 25 – 0 with 23 of his wins coming by KO or TKO….for up to this point in his illustrious and tumultuous careeer….he was devastatingly unstoppable by any and all comers.
Iron Mike would pummel Ribalta into submission for 9 and 1/2 rounds before the referree finally stopped the contest on a TKO with 1:27 left in the 10th…..to move his record to 26 – 0 after having only 2 of his 26 opponents go the distance.
Ribalta was later to say of Tyson…..“I remember on channel 7 on TV, my mother was alive at that time, and channel 7 had said that Ribalta is not expected to go past 2 or 3 rounds against this up and coming fighter named Mike Tyson….then I looked at my mother and I said to her….you know mom, no way he’s gonna knock me out or beat me,….and she threw a kiss at me and said….I know that.” Then Jose Ribalta goes on to say…..”when I fought Tyson, one of the reasons I was really confident because he was really similar to guys that I had boxed before in the past…..but I was just amazed at the speed that he had once I had encountered him in the boxing ring….as I was amazed at his hand speed….and although his punching power was obviously great….I didn’t really think he hit as hard as people had told me he would.”
This HBO post fight piece once again brings the viewer into the ring with the inimitable boxing analyst Larry Merchant….who once again does an awesome job of asking the right questions at the right time…. and any time the person being interviewed is Iron Mike Tyson….it is well worth the watch.