1990sBoxingDon KingHBOHeavyweight BoxingHeavyweight Boxing ChampionsJim LampleyLarry MerchantMike TysonSugar Ray Leonard

Boxing – 1990 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Iron Mike Tyson VS Henry Tillman


This June 16, 1990 ten round heavyweight boxing match between Iron Mike Tyson vs Henry Tillman was Tyson’s 1st fight after experiencing his first defeat of his career after entering the fight (37 – 0) against Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990….who up until that fight looked impenetrable after destroying one and all boxers to enter the ring against this another legendary heavyweight during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995).

Henry Tillman turned pro in 1984 as a cruiserweight and had a disappointing professional career, primarily due to a weak chin. In 1986, he was knocked down twice and upset by Bert Cooper via a decision….however, in 1987, he was able to secure a shot at WBA Cruiserweight Title holder Evander Holyfield…..who dropped Tillman three times en route to a 7th-round TKO, according to WBA rules….then Tillman later lost to Willie DeWitt in a rematch of their 1984 Heavyweight Olympic Final bout. In 1990, he took on Mike Tyson in Tyson’s comeback bout after his loss to James “Buster” Douglas….as seen in this video herewith….as Tyson knocked him out in the first round. Henry Tillman finished his professional career with a record of 25-6-0 with 16 knockouts.

In his previous fight, Mike Tyson had lost his Undisputed Heavyweight Title after being knocked out in the tenth round by 42–1 underdog James “Buster” Douglas….in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. After a failed protest, Tyson’s promoter Don King attempted to quickly gain a rematch with Douglas….but Buster turned down King’s offer and instead chose to face the number one contender Evander Holyfield….so, left with little choice….Iron Mike was forced down the comeback trail…..as it was announced on May 1 that Tyson would face 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman….who had twice defeated Tyson as an amateur, effectively costing Tyson a spot on the U.S. Olympic team….as Tillman entered the fight as a 25–1 underdog and was given virtually no chance of defeating Tyson….for this Tyson–Tillman fight was the second fight of a doubleheader event that also featured George Foreman vs Adilson Rodrigues.

Tyson charged at Tillman once the opening bell sounded….which caused Tillman to quickly retreat….after which Tillman offered very little offense during the fight….and instead spent the first minute of the fight circling the ring in an effort to avoid Tyson’s powerful punches. Tyson eventually caught up to Tillman and began throwing powerful combinations at Tillman, causing Tillman to clinch several times whenever Tyson would mount a substantial amount of offense….then with 25 seconds left in the round….Tyson trapped Tillman in the corner…and as Tillman attempted to throw a jab….Tyson countered with a strong right hand that dropped Tillman to the mat. Tillman remained on his back as the referee counted him out and Tyson was named the winner by way of knockout at 2:47 of the first round.

In this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphiles’ opinion….it would not have mattered who Tyson was facing after being ridden with embarrassment at being stunned by Buster Douglas….as Henry Tillman certainly proved to be no match….but, any way you cut the pie….watching Iron Mike Tyson devour any opponent is always MUST SEE TV !!!

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