The Last Great Fight: The Extraordinary Tale of Two Men and How One Fight Changed Their Lives Forever
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It is considered by many to be the biggest upset in the history of boxing: James "Buster" Douglas knocked out then-undefeated Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in the 10th round in 1990 when the dominating and intimidating Tyson was considered invincible.
THE LAST GREAT FIGHT takes readers not only behind the scenes of this epic battle, but inside the lives of two men, their ambitions, their dreams, the downfall of one and the rise of another.
Using his exclusive interviews with both Tyson and Douglas, family members, the referee, the cutmen, trainers and managers to the commentators and HBO staff covering the fight in Tokyo, Layden has crafted a human drama played out on a large stage. This is a compelling tale of shattered dreams and, ultimately, redemption.
“Deft, sweet prose . . . The book is better than the fight and the fight was a wonder.” —Leigh Montvilte, New York Times bestselling author of The Big Bam “This is the best boxing book in the last twenty-five years.” —Allen Barra, sports columnist for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Last Coach: A Life of Paul “Bear” Bryant Meticulously researched, wonderfully written, the untold, story of a legendary fight and the two warriors who would never be the same again IT IS
Rubs Douglas Wrong Way.” The Columbus Dispatch, February 9, 1990. May, Tim. “Which Douglas Was It?” The Columbus Dispatch, October 27, 1990. McAlary, Mike. “Tyson Tried to Kill Self.” New York Daily News, September 7, 1988. McCallum, John Dennis. The Encyclopedia of World Boxing Champions Since 1882. Radnor, Pa.: Chilton Books, 1975. McGowan, Deane. “Soto Bows to Fill-in; Bobick Wins.” The New York Times, February 7, 1976. Mcllvanny, Hugh. The Hardest Game: Mcllvanny on Boxing. New York:
charged with preparing James Douglas for his unlikely rendezvous with Mike Tyson, his natural enthusiasm was tempered by a tendency to view life—and boxing—pragmatically. Russell had known Bill Douglas rather well, and in fact considered the fighter to be a friend. Though Russell and Dynamite had never teamed up professionally, Russell had worked the corner of Paul Ramos when Ramos met Douglas in the last fight of Dynamite’s career. “Billy was forty or forty-one years old at the time,” Russell
part of the growing process. Rumors of Douglas’s indifferent attitude toward training were dismissed as . . . well . . . just that: rumors, devoid of merit or even serious consideration. At a press conference in early August Douglas had uncharacteristically insulted his opponent, asserting that Holyfield’s resume had been padded with “cupcakes” and promising that when they met in the ring, the challenger “will go down.” That sort of rhetoric continued throughout training camp, a drumbeat of
“Could be my problem, huh?” That depends on the circumstances. Certainly, in the boxing ring instinct is more valuable than sensitivity. It helps not to think too much. Douglas need not have revisited any of this, but something told him there was work still to be done. He’d shed nearly 150 pounds since being hospitalized, and now, for reasons even he could not quite articulate—pride, and curiosity, perhaps—the ring pulled him back. But sitting in his dressing room on the night of June 22, 1996,