KO of the Day: Buster Douglas v. Evander Holyfield

A somewhat overlooked moment in boxing history is Buster Douglas' first defense of the world heavyweight title. When Holmes trounced Ali, Holmes became indisputably the man at heavyweight, even for those that may have still been hanging on to the old Ali's glory days.

When Tyson knocked out Larry Holmes, he was in a similar position to where Holmes had been fighting Ali. Tyson was already champion, like Holmes was. But Tyson hadn't beaten someone with the name of a Larry Holmes yet. Like Holmes did to Ali, Tyson made it rather emphatic. It was not close.

Then came Buster Douglas in Tokyo, willing to stand up to Tyson, take Mike's best shots, and eventually he knocked him out. The foundation of boxing didn't just shake, it crumbled.

Evander Holyfield was the man that started rebuilding it. With one face-rattling shot in the third round, the former cruiserweight champion sent Douglas' title reign and career crashing back to reality. One single counter right. Douglas didn't fight again for six years, and never fought a big fight ever again.

Meanwhile, with all that Evander has done this decade, and the way he's stretched his career, and all the calls for him to retire, it's sometimes easy to forget how great he was. He is a Hall of Fame-bound fighter, a first ballot no doubter, who was one of the cornerstones of boxing in the 1990s. He deserves every bit of praise he's ever gotten.

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