1980sBoxingHBOHeavyweight BoxingHeavyweight Boxing ChampionsHeavyweight Elimination FightsJim LampleyLarry MerchantMike TysonSugar Ray Leonard

Boxing – Heavyweight Title – WBC & IBF Champ Mike Tyson VS WBA Champ Tony Tucker

DOG ASIDE:

Mike Tyson vs. Tony Tucker was billed as “The Ultimate” professional boxing match contested on August 1, 1987 for the WBA, WBC and IBF Heavyweight championships….as part of HBO’s heavyweight title unification series tournament….in an effort to find the next Undisputed Champion. Mike Tyson was able to defeat Trevor Berbick and James “Bonecrusher” Smith to capture the WBC and WBA Heavyweight titles during the series. Meanwhile, Tucker was scheduled to challenge Michael Spinks for the IBF title….with the winner to meet Tyson for right to become the Undisputed Champion. Spinks, however, withdrew from his planned fight with Tucker….instead choosing to face Gerry Cooney. The IBF subsequently stripped Spinks of their title. The IBF, WBA and WBC organized a double main event on May 30, 1987 that would determine who would meet for the Undisputed Championship. Tucker would meet James “Buster” Douglas to determine the IBF champion….in a match Tucker would win by a 10th round technical knockout. Afterwards, Tyson and Pinklon Thomas would meet for the WBA and WBC championships….with Tyson earning the victory by 6th round technical knockout….thus setting up the Tyson–Tucker match. The two men would have a relatively short amount of time between their fights, only 64 days

Tyson had been met with little resistance from Berbick, Smith and Thomas….however, Tucker would arguably become one of the toughest opponents Tyson would face during the early portion of his career. Tucker came out strong in round 1….hitting Tyson on the side of the head with a short left hook. Tucker would continue to fight Tyson aggressively in the early rounds and actually won rounds 1 and 3 on the scorecards….however, as the fight went on….Tyson began to find his rhythm….dominating Tucker during the middle rounds….while landing several power punches on Tucker during rounds 4 through 7….leading to Tucker throwing less punches….and either grappling Tyson or avoiding him entirely in an effort to reduce Tyson’s effectiveness with his punches. During the final two rounds, Tucker began taunting Tyson by winding up his right glove….shuffling his feet and finally dropping his hands….just beckoning Tyson to hit him on the chin.  In the end, though, Tyson was named the winner via unanimous decision….winning all three judges scorecards by the scores of 119–111, 118–113 and 116–112. With his victory Tyson would become the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion since Leon Spinks in 1978.

Pure and simple….this was an outstanding heavyweight championship fight….well worth the watch.

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