It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since the Mike Tyson/Buster Douglas fight in Tokyo, Japan. TVT had legendary sports journalist Ron Futrell call in, to relive the magic of that infamous fight, back in 1990.
Futrell reflected on the fight like it just happened yesterday: “It was a Saturday night in Japan, nobody cared about it, it was a non-factor. Everyone thought, why is Tyson even taking this fight? He was so heavily favored. Then, I woke up that Sunday morning like, ‘are you kidding me?!’ This was the invincible Mike Tyson that nobody could beat.”
Futrell told TVT that he’s interviewed Tyson several times since that fateful fight occurred. Tyson admitted that he was unprepared. “Buster was just in the right place, at the right time,” Futrell stated. “That 10th round knockout was phenomenal.”
It turns out that Douglas had been “fighting with a lot of emotion” as the fight happened three weeks after the death of his mother. Meanwhile, Shapiro pointed out that Tyson was basically, at the time “on cocaine and dealing with stuff going on with Robin Givens and Don King.”
But what comes up, must come down, so Futrell explained how “all the dominos fell” because Buster Douglas set up a fight later that year at the Mirage, with Evander Holyfield (in October 1990). The lack of prep by Douglas actually led to Holyfield winning that fight easily.
Futrell explained that Douglas had been out at Shadow Creek golf course, hanging out with the koalas and kangaroos. This was a wildlife refuge built by Steve Wynn, and Douglas was just “kicking back and enjoying it,” when he was supposed to be running and training. Regardless, he still made 25 million dollars for that fight.
The conversation then shifted to what Mike Tyson’s lifestyle was like, during his heyday as a world champion boxer. “Tyson had a propensity to get nuts when he was a single dude,” Futrell stated. When asked for an example, Futrell described how Tyson used to “load up the limos to Pahrump to rent out a ‘house of ill repute’ (i.e. a whore house) for him and his entourage.”
Futrell stated: “Women have said they were scared of him. Let’s just say, I’ve seen Mike in the locker room. I would be frightened too.” Futrell explained that Tyson has often presented as bi-polar: “You never knew which version you were going to meet. There is a very gracious Mike Tyson, who’d invite me to watch his private workouts. Then, there’s a different Mike, in other conversations, saying: “Ron, why are you such a smartass? Why are you asking me these questions?”
Tyson admitted he had a “three woman a day” sex addiction during the peak of his boxing fame. Sharp asked Futrell if he felt this lifestyle caught up with Tyson during that infamous Buster Douglas fight.
Futrell brought up old school boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who made a point to stop having sex six weeks before a fight because (#1) He felt it weakened his legs when he had sex, and (#2) Not having sex made him angry and mean – he’d look at his opponent like “you kept me from my wife the last six weeks. You’re going down.” It was built up testosterone.
Futrell admitted he’s never scientifically tested the “weak legs” defense, however, he feels Tyson never engaged in this practice because he felt “I ain’t stopping (having sex).”
Shapiro shared that he interviewed Tyson after he retired, and formulated the following assessment: “I don’t think he ever committed rape, I think he got screwed over in that case. I think he had rough sex and was surrounded by the wrong people. Deep down, he’s always been a decent guy. Medication has made him a better person. He used to have anger issues, he had a rough upbringing and his child died. He took care of his tax issues and enjoys his family now. He’s in the best place he’s ever been, and I’m happy for him.”
Futrell then reflected on all the times he’s gone the extra mile to snag an interview with Tyson, including once when he followed him through an Indiana cornfield, right after he was released from prison.
Futrell’s most recent interview with Tyson was six months ago – at a legal dispensary where you can openly smoke on Indian Reservation land. Tyson was smoking a joint, talking about his pot farm, and his new venture into legal cannabis. This all went down on Futrell’s “Vegas Sports” Youtube channel.
Shapiro and Futrell agreed that despite the fact they have completely opposing political views, they have a tremendous amount of respect for each other, and it’s always a good time when Futrell joins TVT. Futrell, was described by Shapiro as the “Ron Burgundy of Las Vegas, covering sports.”
Much like Burgundy, Futrell is “kind of a big deal” and a big part of Sports history, with a career spanning over 30 years. Check him out on Twitter @RonFutrell or on Channel 8 News as the best sports reporter in all of Las Vegas. Don’t act like you’re not impressed.