On This Day: Mike Tyson Looks Sensational In Taking Out Pinklon Thomas

For a number of Mike Tyson fans, the most scorching KO “Iron Mike” ever scored was the brutal knockout job he did on former champ Pinklon Thomas, this 35 years ago today. Tyson, still only 20 years of age, smashed Thomas with a relentless and savage array of shots to put his man away, the fast and power-packed blows all landing flush on their intended target. Thomas took an amazing amount of punishment before falling but Tyson would not be denied.

Tyson, holder of the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles, was 29-0(26) going in. Thomas, a former WBC champ, was 29-1-1(24) and the 29 year old had never been on the floor. Tyson was coming off a duller than duller fight with Bonecrusher Smith. Smith had held all night and both he and Tyson had been forced to to listen to the boos. Tyson was stung by the criticism some hurled at him for ‘allowing’ Smith to hold him as he had. “Can you imagine Sonny Liston being held like that and not being able to do anything about it?” one writer asked at the time.

Tyson took the WBA belt from the reluctant Smith yet he was far from satisfied. Against Thomas, Tyson was back as a full-on destroyer. “Pinky” boxed well at times, his educated left jab serving him well. But Tyson was too fast, too aggressive, too ruthlessly determined to take his man out. Thomas took some nasty combinations, mostly to the head, and his chin was quite remarkable. But then, in the 6th round, Tyson exploded.

Tyson tagged Thomas with a vicious left hook to the head and then followed up with a sizzling 15-punch combo. Thomas, when he finally did go down, hit the mat hard. Somehow Thomas got up but his trainer, the great Angelo Dundee, had seen enough and he came in to rescue his badly beaten fighter. Tyson heard what he had grown accustomed to as the fight’s result was announced – namely cheers.

On the under-card, Tony Tucker and Buster Douglas met for the vacant (stripped from Michael Spinks for facing Gerry Cooney, not Tucker) IBF crown. Tucker stopped an out of gas (and out of heart) Douglas in the tenth round. Soon enough, Tyson and Tucker would meet with all three belts on the line. While Tyson would then go on to face, and crush, Spinks in their “Once And For All” showdown.

As for Buster, his date with destiny was still some 33 months away.