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If James ‘Buster’ Douglas burst the bubble then it was Holyfield who hammered the final nail in the coffin of an aura that had struck fear into the collective heart of a generation of heavyweights.

Dismissed as a washed up fighter, amidst rumours of a hole in the heart, ‘The Real Deal’ had looked so woefully vulnerable vs former light heavyweight champ, Bobby Czyz, 6 months earlier that the bulk of betting and conversation revolved around whether he might make it out of the first round on fight night.

Post incarceration, Tyson had resembled the destructive assassin of a decade prior in brushing aside Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon for their respective sanctioning body baubles.

The oddsmakers and ‘experts’, with the notable exception of veteran Boston fight scribe, Ron Borges, said it wouldn’t be a race.

If public opinion was universally against him then Holyfield proved, once again, that he had never been a good listener as he set about ‘bullying the bully’ with total self-belief.

While the Georgian maverick was never in 20 seconds of trouble, it was a vaguely competitive affair until a short left uppercut rocked ‘Iron Mike’ on his heels, depositing him on the seat of his solid black trunks in the sixth.

Thereafter, the writing was on the wall and five rounds later, the perennially troubled Brooklyn phenomenon was compassionately spared from further bombardment by referee, Mitch Halpern.

Minutes later, the new champions told ‘Fight Doctor’, Ferdie Pacheco, “You all said I was washed up. But with God, I’m NOT washed up…”

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