When Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson on Feb. 2, 1990, to become the heavyweight champion of the sport's three major organizations—the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF)—the division was thrown into complete chaos. Here's a chronology of the follies wrought by the sport's bewildering array of sanctioning bodies following Douglas's stunning victory.
April 27, 1990
The Intercontinental Boxing Council (IBC) is conceived at ringside during a flyweight bout in Atlantic City.
Oct. 25, 1990
Douglas is knocked out in the third round by Evander Holyfield, who becomes the WBA, WBC and IBF titleholder.
The International Boxing Organization (IBO) is formed.
Jan. 11, 1991
Ray Mercer KO's Francesco Damiani to win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title, which Damiani had held since becoming the organization's first heavyweight champ in May 1989.
Feb. 7, 1992
Mercer is stripped of his belt by the WBO for refusing to fight Michael Moorer or George Foreman, the organization's No. 1 and No. 2 contenders, respectively. Instead Mercer fights and loses to 42-year-old Larry Holmes. The WBO heavyweight title is declared vacant.
Nov. 13, 1992
In his fifth title defense Holyfield loses a 12-round decision to Riddick Bowe, who becomes the WBA, WBC and IBF champion. This is the last time there is a unified titleholder.
Nov. 14, 1992
Former WBC champion Pinklon Thomas wins a split decision over Craig Payne to become the IBO's first heavyweight champ.
Dec. 14, 1992
In London, Bowe trashes his WBC belt—literally—by throwing it into a garbage can. Later that day the WBC designates its No. I contender, Lennox Lewis, whom Bowe had refused to fight, as its new champion.