This is not a story of revenge, but it was a promise kept which turned out to be a sweet revenge, ironically, for legendary Mohamed Ali.
When Ali faced Holmes in 1980 for the WBC, the heavyweight champion was no longer the dashing phenomenon he was. It was as if the symptoms of the Parkinson disease had set in for ‘The Greatest’.
So, Larry Holmes dominated the fight and defeated Ali. In fact, Ali’s trainer had to call for a stop to the fight. It was allegedly reported, however, that it was not as if Holmes wanted to hurt Ali. He was said to have signaled once for a stop to the fight.
But one boy, Mike Tyson who was just 14, was emotionally upset because he worshipped Ali both as idol and inspiration.
In 2011, Mike Tyson in an interview, said: “I was emotionally offended by how bad Holmes beat Ali. When we drove home after the fight, nobody in the car said a word.”
The following day after the fight, Tyson, through an intermediary, was able to speak with Ali on phone; promising: “When I grow up, I’ll fight Larry Holmes and I’ll get him back for you.”
Mike Tyson, on January 2nd, 1988, got his long-awaited opportunity, and legendary Mohamed Ali was a special guest at the ringside before the fight. He requested Tyson’s aides to bring him for encouragement. Ali, in his theateristic manner to remind Tyson told him: “Get him for me.”
Tyson fulfilled his promise by knocking down Holmes thrice before the fourth round.