BAYONNE New Jersey — Bayonne’s “champ” was forever immortalized on...
Mike Tyson KOs Tyrell Biggs This Day October 16, 1987
If I don’t kill him it don’t count
Mike Tyson 216 lbs
Tyrell Biggs 228¾ lbs
TKO at 2:59 in round 7 of 15
Location: Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Referee: Tony Orlando
Judge: Al Wilensky 60-54
Judge: John Stewart 60-54
Judge: Frank Brunette 60-52
World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (4th defense by Tyson)
World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (3rd defense by Tyson)
International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Title (1st defense by Tyson)
Mike Tyson 31-0 (27 KOs) vs. Tyrell Biggs 15-0 (10 KOs)
Biggs won the gold medal in the super heavyweight division at the 1984 Olympics, which Tyson truly resented. Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune wrote the following:
Tyson felt that should have been his medal, but amateur officials preferred Biggs in the superheavyweight division, which forced Tyson to the heavyweight division, where he lost a decision to Henry Tillman in the trials. Tyson never forgot nor forgave the slights imposed on him by the members of that team, who mostly ignored the then-crude Brooklyn street thug.
Before Tyson outpointed James (Bonecrusher) Smith to unify the WBC and WBA heavyweight titles on March 7, 1987, his co-manager, Jim Jacobs, said Tyson’s next two opponents would be Biggs and Pinklon Thomas, “but I don’t know which one will be first.” On the undercard of Tyson-Smith, Biggs stopped David Bey in six rounds, but he suffered a cut that required 32 stitches. “Based on that cut, there’s no chance that Tyrell Biggs will be Mike’s May 30 opponent,” said Bill Cayton, Tyson’s other co-manager.
This was Tyson’s first fight as the unified WBC/WBA/IBF heavyweight champion of the world.
This was the last heavyweight title fight to be scheduled for 15 rounds.
Tyson was guaranteed $2.25 million, plus a percentage. Jim Jacobs said Tyson would make a minimum of $4.1 million.
Biggs’ purse was $1.25 million.
Biggs entered the fight as the WBA and IBF No. 1 heavyweight contender.
Tyson was a 12 to 1 favorite the day before the fight, but he entered the ring as an 8 to 1 favorite. Some thought the odds were out of line. “Biggs will do much better than anybody expects,” veteran trainer Angelo Dundee predicted. “If he reverts to his style as an amateur, you’re going to have a 15-round fight, and Tyson will get outpointed.” HBO commentator Larry Merchant called Biggs “the only man on this planet capable of beating Tyson.”
There was a crowd of about 12,000.
The month Tyson fought Biggs, the video game Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo reportedly paid Tyson $50,000 for the right to use his name and likeness for three years. The deal was signed shortly before Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick to win the WBC heavyweight title on November 22, 1986. According to Guinness World Records, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is the best-selling boxing video game of all-time. It has sold over three million units.
Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune wrote the following:
One after another they landed on Tyrell Biggs’ jaw. Left hooks from everywhere, world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson pumping them in as if he were pitching batting practice. And for six rounds Biggs, the 1984 Olympic superheavyweight champion, caught them as if he were Yogi Berra. But finally, inevitably, Biggs would have enough. It ended at 2:59 of the seventh round Friday night when still another Tyson left hook sent Biggs flying into his corner, where his body thudded to the canvas with his feet in the air. Thus, Tyson rang up his 32d professional victory without a defeat, his 28th by knockout, successfully defending his unified heavyweight championship and handing Biggs his first pro defeat. He is now 15-1. Tyson’s victory set up a Jan. 23 match, probably here, against former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. Although the end came with only a second remaining in the round, it appeared over about a minute earlier when Biggs stumbled, in part from a Tyson punch, in part from exhaustion. However, the challenger regained his feet as referee Tony Orlando reached the count of nine. But few in boxing today can finish off a stumbling opponent better than Tyson. He attacked Biggs with his crashing left hook, and the gallant Philadelphian, also fighting off a deep cut over his right eye since the third round, was finished. For a short while, at least, during the first round, Biggs did what some said he could do to Tyson, keeping him away with sharp jabs while taking blows to the chin with seeming ease. But Tyson began to wear Biggs down, landing often with his left hook, an occasional sharp jab of his own and some quick rights. Biggs absorbed them all but failed to keep circling and flinging in his jab, making the final outcome clear to those on hand.
“He’s never fought anyone like me, someone with a strong jab who can box and is not going in there just to survive. Do you think I’m going to walk into the roundhouse punches of a guy who’s 5-8?” – Tyrell Biggs before the fight.
“Everyone else has counted me out. I don’t feed into that. As far as him being invincible is concerned, on Oct. 16, I’ll just have to prove that wrong . . . Come Oct. 16, I’m going to shock the world.” – Tyrell Biggs before the fight.
“Any expert who says I’m not ready for Tyson is no expert at all. I’ve gone through hell in 15 fights. I don’t know this Tyson the way you guys talk about him. I know Tyson from way back when.” – Tyrell Biggs before the fight.
“From what we’ve seen of Biggs, he fights as if the objective of boxing is to get hit in the jaw.” – Jim Jacobs before the fight.
“He was doing so much talking that I wanted to make him pay with his health. I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I could have knocked him out in the third round. I wanted to do it slowly. I wanted him to remember this for a long time.” – Mike Tyson after the fight.
“I will fight any man in the world because I do believe there is no one on this planet that can beat me.” – Mike Tyson after the fight.
“In my mind, I knew it was for 15 rounds, and I was prepared to put the pressure on him constantly for 15 rounds. You know, I was having a great time in there. I felt good. I was in the best condition of my life, and I did what I was supposed to do. I knew when I came to this fight, I was the best fighter in the world and not a man alive can beat me. . . . I was hitting him with body punches, and I hurt him. Actually, he was crying in there, making woman gestures, like, ‘ooh-uh-uh!’ . . . I knew that he was breaking down soon. . . . I was very calm, and I was thinking about Roberto Duran, how he used to cut down the runners and just wear them down. I had that frame of mind when I was in the ring. . . . I wasn’t even thinking about [Biggs’] cut, I was thinking about hitting him to the body, softening him up.” – Mike Tyson during a post-fight interview with Larry Merchant.
“I still feel like I’m a better fighter than Mike Tyson. Tonight, he was better than me, but I don’t think he could do this five out of five times. His punches weren’t that dominating. Jeff Sims hit me with harder punches than that.” – Tyrell Biggs after the fight.
“Losing like I did really put a damper on me psychologically. I wasn’t doing hard drugs any more, but I was bingeing on other things. I’d binge on sex. When you have money — and I made a lot of money to fight Tyson (a reported $1 million) — of course that’s going to attract women. I also binged on food, on certain candy bars. I’d go in the store and buy three of them. Then I’d go back and buy three more. Next trip, I’d buy a whole box.” – Tyrell Biggs during a 2009 interview with the Standard-Examiner of Ogden, Utah.