Twenty years ago next month, undefeated world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson faced 29-year-old journeyman challenger James “Buster” Douglas at Japan’s Tokyo Dome. Douglas had won six straight fights since fading badly and being KO’d by then-champion Tony Tucker, but no one outside his camp thought he could beat Tyson — only one Las Vegas sports book would lay odds on the fight, installing Douglas as a 42-1 underdog. However, inspired by the death of his mother 23 days before the fight, his distaste for Tyson, and his newfound desire to be champion, Douglas didn’t just win, he knocked out Tyson in the 10th round. After pulling off perhaps sports’ most spectacular upset, Douglas never won another big fight — and neither did Tyson. Now, as he approaches age 50, Douglas talks to Jeremy Schaap in this Outside the Lines piece about all that he achieved, and all that he squandered.
A decade after then-Carolina Panther’s receiver Rae Carruth commissioned the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend, the couple’s son delivered at six months in the aftermath of the shooting, suffers from cerebral palsy. The bullets missed the unborn baby, but oxygen to his brain was cut off. Now, 10, Chancellor Adams has learned to walk more than 150 steps without assistance. And the man who pulled the trigger that fateful day is seeking forgiveness for committing the crime that landed him a 50-year prison sentence. For his part, Carruth is not talking. Kelly Naqi reports.
”I think the beauty of having cerebral palsy (is) that he won’t truly understand and feel the hurt and the pain that all this has caused… he just understands that his mommy is not here, that she is in heaven.” — Saundra Adams, the mother of Cherica Adams, the slain girlfriend of ex-Panther’s receiver Rae Carruth, on her grandson Chancellor Adams
“I don’t like Rae Carruth. I probably would do something to Rae Carruth if I seen him.” –Van Brett Watkins, who confessed to shooting Adams and testified against Carruth to avoid the death penalty.
Arsalan Kazemi: Only Iranian Playing Division 1 Basketball
College GameDay (Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN)
Rice University’s Arsalan Kazemi is the only Iranian playing Division 1 basketball in the United States. The former Iranian Junior National Team standout leads his team in rebounding, and is second in scoring. Off the court, Kazemi is settling into a new country and a new culture, while maintaining some of his cultural traditions in a city that surprisingly feels like home. Houston has one of the largest populations of Middle Easterners in the U.S., and the locals have embraced him. Shelley Smith reports.
Tony Dungy: Higher Calling
Outside the Lines piece on ESPN.com
Respect and moral authority have made Tony Dungy a powerful sports figure. But do those seeking his help come for image laundering, or true redemption? ESPN.com’s Howard Bryant reports in this Outside the Lines piece.