This WBC Heavyweight Title Fight took place on July 21, 1989 at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ….which featured Iron Mike Tyson, one of the truly legendary heavyweight champions during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)….as Iron Mike was pitted against Carl “The Truth” Williams….who was a very good heavyweight boxer himself during the same era.
Expectations for Mike Tyson were extremely high in 1987….as he embarked on an ambitious campaign to fight all of the top heavyweights in the world by defending his title against James “Bonecrusher” Smith on March 7, 1987….when he won by unanimous decision and added Smith’s World Boxing Association (WBA) title to his existing belt….which he followed by beating Pinklon Thomas in May with a knockout in the sixth round….then on August 1 he took the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker in a twelve round unanimous decision….as he became the first heavyweight to own all three major belts….WBA, WBC, and IBF….at the same time since Muhammad Ali. Another fight, in October of that year, ended with a victory for Tyson over 1984 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tyrell Biggs by knockout in the seventh round.
During this time, Tyson came to the attention of gaming company Nintendo….who after witnessing one of Tyson’s fights….Nintendo of America president, Minoru Arakawa was impressed by the fighter’s “power and skill”….which prompted him to suggest Tyson be included in the upcoming Nintendo Entertainment System port of the Punch Out!! arcade game. In 1987, Nintendo released Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, which was well received and sold more than a million copies.
Tyson had three fights in 1988….when he faced Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988, and defeated the legendary former champion by a fourth round KO….as this was the only knockout loss Holmes suffered in 75 professional bouts. In March, Tyson then fought contender Tony Tubbs in Tokyo, Japan….winning an easy two-round victory amid promotional and marketing work….then on June 27, 1988, Tyson faced Michael Spinks….who had taken the heavyweight championship from Larry Holmes via a 15-round decision in 1985…as expectations were very high amongst boxing pundits who were predicting a titanic battle of styles, with Tyson’s aggressive infighting conflicting with Spinks’ skillful out-boxing and footwork. The fight ended after 91 seconds when Tyson knocked Spinks out in the first round….as many boxing fans consider this to be the pinnacle of Tyson’s fame and boxing ability….while Spinks, who was previously unbeaten, would never fight professionally again.
During this period, Tyson’s problems outside the ring were also starting to emerge….as his marriage to Robin Givens was heading for divorce….and his future contract was being fought over by boxing promoters Don King and Bill Cayton. In late 1988, Tyson parted with manager Bill Cayton and fired longtime trainer Kevin Rooney….who was the man many credit for honing Tyson’s craft after the death of Iron Mike’s longtime mentor and trainer Cus D’Amato.
In 1989, Tyson had only two fights amid personal turmoil….as he faced the popular British boxer Frank Bruno in February….when Bruno managed to stun Tyson at the end of the 1st round….although Tyson went on to knock out Bruno in the fifth round. Tyson then faced Carl “The Truth” Williams in July…..as seen in this video herewith… when Iron Mike taught The Truth how the cow eats the cabbage….knocking him out in the 1st round.
Carl Williams’ first title shot was against Larry Holmes….which was a fight he lost in a controversial decision….whith his next fight was a victory against Jesse Ferguson…. which is another fight currently posted in our Imasportsphile Boxing section.
Williams is perhaps best known for having fought and lost to Mike Tyson (click below) in a battle for the undisputed heavyweight championship….as the first round knockout loss to Tyson was a devastating defeat for Williams…..when midway through the 1st round, Tyson slipped a jab from Williams and loaded up with one of the most devastating counter-punches of his career….smashing Williams and sending him down for an eight count. The referee waved off the fight and Williams immediately launched a mild protest to the official and ringside judges but to no avail. He believed that the fight was stopped too early and he was not given more of an opportunity to demonstrate to the official that he was not disoriented after the knock-down. In a post fight in-ring interview, Williams appeared to be uninjured, spoke clearly, and expressed his disappointment that he was not given the opportunity to “show my stuff.”
Regardless of the controversy…..this is a fight well worth watching.