Remembering the Times Mike Tyson went to England to take on Julius Francis. Mike Tyson's first bout on European soil was quick but eventful. Iron Mike defeated British champion Julius Francis in Round 2 at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, England on January 29, 2000.
Tyson fought in Europe for the first time and he did not disappoint his fans. The undefeated heavyweight champion made short work of his opponent with a brutal body attack that included about a dozen punches and kicks to the head and body before the referee stopped the fight in the second round. After the match, Tyson said he wanted more time to rest before his next title defense. "I'm not tired, I'm hungry," he told reporters. "This is what I do for a living - fight! I love it."
Tyson had success in England, defeating Francis to become the new WBC king of hearts. But the victory didn't last long because just three months later, Tyson returned to England to face Kevin McBride in an attempt to unify the titles. This time around, McBride was able to defeat Tyson via technical knockout in the ninth round. After the fight, Tyson said he was done fighting in England.
He eventually dropped the WBC belt to Bruce Lee but regained it less than a year later. From then on, Tyson only fought in America where he continued to win championships until his retirement in 2011.
It had been a long journey for such a brief fight. Tyson felled Savarese with a left hook ten seconds into the bout, the first meaningful strike Iron Mike had delivered. Tyson went back on the assault after Savarese stood up, and the referee had to step in to halt the onslaught. The time of stoppage was 1:56 of the tenth round.
Tyson dropped Savarese with a left hook at 1:56 of the tenth round. The referee stepped in to end the fight.
Savarese was born on January 4th, 1955 in Avellino, Italy. He started his professional career in 1977. His first two fights were fought in Italy before he ended up in South Africa where he remained for three years. In 1980 he returned to Europe where he has since resided. He has won all but one of his fights by knockout or TKO. That exception was a twelve-round decision loss to future heavyweight champion Michael Dokes in 1994. Since then he has beaten several notable opponents including Prince N'Dayo Christiana (twice), Oleg Maskaev, David Izonritei, Stanly Kalachukwu, Anthony Grant, Eric Harding, and Adam Booth.
In 1998 he was hired by Bob Arum to be the chief instructor at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. Two years later he was promoted to head coach and managed by Tom Condon.
Tyson's first professional bout took place on March 6, 1985, in Albany, New York. Hector Mercedes was defeated in the opening round of a four-round fight. This was also the beginning of an ongoing rivalry between Mercedes and Tyson's trainer, Lou Duva.
Tyson won his next nine fights by knockout or submission, including victories over future world champions Bruce Seldon and James Toney. He finally lost his first title challenge on December 12, 1986, when he was defeated by reigning champion Buster Douglas in Las Vegas. After the match, Tyson protested that his opponent had hit him with a headbutt during the fight; however, this claim was rejected by both judges and Douglas awarded the victory to Tyson.
This is where the story might have ended, but it didn't. After losing his title, Tyson embarked on a series of bouts with Douglas which lasted until 1990. During this time, he developed a reputation as a villain for his aggressive fighting style and alleged criminal activities. In addition, there were questions about whether or not he was using drugs during this period.
In 1991, Tyson returned to the ring to face off against former rival Riddick Bowe in what would become one of the biggest fights in boxing history. The bout was scheduled for twelve rounds and it took place in Tokyo, Japan.