Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley
|Date||August 19, 1995|
|Venue||MGM Grand Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada|
|Title(s) on the line||None|
|Tale of the tape|
Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley, billed as "He's Back", was a professional boxing match contested on August 19, 1995. The match marked the return of Mike Tyson to professional boxing after over four years away due to his 1991 arrest and subsequent conviction for rape in 1992 which led to Tyson serving three years in prison.
Tyson had twice defeated the number two ranked heavyweight, Donovan "Razor" Ruddock, in 1991. Shortly after his second victory over Ruddock, a blockbuster deal was made that would see Tyson face the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield on November 8, 1991. Before this match could take place, however, Tyson was arrested for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington. He was subsequently convicted on February 10, 1992, and then sentenced to six years in prison on March 26. After serving three years, Tyson was paroled on March 25, 1995, and on March 2, he would hold a short press conference that would announce his return to boxing as well as that Don King would remain his promoter. After much debate over who would be Tyson's first opponent in his comeback, including talks about a potential superfight with George Foreman, it was announced that Tyson would face little-known Peter McNeeley on August 19, 1995.
The fight lasted only 89 seconds with Tyson earning an easy victory via disqualification. McNeeley started the fight by aggressively attacking Tyson as soon as the opening bell rang. Tyson was able to avoid McNeeley's wild punches and land a right hook that dropped McNeeley to the canvas less than 10 seconds into the fight. After taking referee Mills Lane's standing eight count, McNeeley was allowed to continue and again would continue his aggressive assault on Tyson. The two men would exchange punches in the corner as the first minute of the round passed. Less than 20 seconds later, Tyson would land a right uppercut that again sent McNeeley down. With McNeeley clearly hurt from the exchange, his manager Vinnie Vecchione entered the ring to prevent McNeeley from taking any more damage, causing Lane to end the fight and award Tyson the victory by disqualification.
Highly anticipated, the fight was an overwhelming financial success, grossing $96 million worldwide, including a then-record $63 million in Pay-per-view buys with the fight being purchased by 1.52 million American homes. Tyson later eclipsed this figure with three fights; two in 1996, his rematch with Frank Bruno and a match with Evander Holyfield and then the subsequent 1997 rematch between Tyson and Holyfield.
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- Tyson Gets 6-Year Prison Term For Rape Conviction in Indiana, N.Y. Times article, 1992-03-27, Retrieved on 2013-05-07.
- Mike Tyson To Return To Boxing, Chicago Tribune article, 1995-03-30, Retrieved on 2013-05-07.
- A Foreman-Tyson Bout: Just A Heavyweight Pipe Dream?, N.Y. Times article, 1995-04-02, Retrieved on 2013-05-07.
- Report: Tyson To Face McNeeley On Aug. 19, Philadelphia Daily News article, 1995-04-27, Retrieved on 2013-05-07.
- Con Job, Sports Illustrated article, 1995-08-28, Retrieved on 2013-05-07.