ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., OCT. 16 -- Mike Tyson made Tyrell Biggs pay -- and made him pay plenty.
Tyson, undisputed heavyweight champion, scored a technical knockout over Biggs tonight with a devastating left hook at 2:59 of the seventh round of the title bout.
The fight was stopped without a count as the hard-punching Tyson unceremoniously deposited the previously unbeaten challenger in a heap in his own corner.
Seconds before, Tyson, who has won 28 of 32 professional bouts by knockout, sent Biggs (15-1) through the ropes with a left that signaled the end was near. Biggs, a 10-to-1 underdog, was never a threat to Tyson during the scheduled 15-round fight, Tyson's first defense of his unified (World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation) crown.
"I could have knocked him out in the third round," said Tyson. "I wanted to do it very slowly. I wanted him to remember it for a long time."
What irritated Tyson and gave him extra incentive were predictions of victory by Biggs and his manager, Lou Duva, earlier this week. Tyson stormed around the ring after Biggs, who was virtually helpless the last three rounds of the fight and bloodied from a cut about his left eye.
"He was going to lose and he was going to get knocked out tonight," said Tyson. "He talked so much. He didn't show any respect or any class. So I was going to make him pay."
Tyson said he knew he had Biggs beaten in the second round because he said his body shots make Biggs "sound like a woman screaming.
"I just knew it would be a matter of time before he fell down."
Biggs, ranked No. 1 by all three of boxing's sanctioning bodies, absorbed tremendous punishment, landing few punches from the fifth round on, and taking thunderous lefts and rights from the relentless Tyson.
A near-capacity crowd of 12,000 in Convention Hall realized early that Tyson would be easily victorious -- it was just a question of when he would put Biggs away.
This, despite the fact that Biggs towers over Tyson, 6 feet 4 3/4 to 5-10, outweighs him 228 3/4 to 216, and has a nine-inch reach advantage.
In the first round, Biggs used his height and reach to good advantage. He kept Tyson at bay with his jab while circling back and to the left away from Tyson's powerful left hand. In the middle of the round, Biggs asserted himself with three straight jabs.
In the final minute of the round, Tyson caught up to Biggs with his vaunted left, landing a hook that rocked him. Tyson landed a right hand, and, at the end of the round Biggs was bleeding from the mouth.
Tyson continued to press Biggs in round two. Biggs was not running as much, and Tyson scored with a jab and a hard hook. Driving in, the shorter Tyson scored with a right. Tyson rocked Biggs with two hooks to the head, and Biggs held on at the bell.
Tyson peppered Biggs with jabs to open round three, then connected with another crunching hook. Biggs drew a warning for a low blow. Tyson landed a right and cut Biggs above his left eye. Tyson rocked Biggs with still another left, then hammered two more hooks into the bloodied face of Biggs. Smiling, Tyson bore in but missed a haymaker right. Tyson landed another tremendous left to Biggs' face, and Biggs shook his head in dismay as he made his way back to the corner at the end of the round. He was bleeding heavily from around the left eye.
Tyson waited at midring for Biggs to start the fourth round. Biggs jabbed feebly and Tyson smiled as he continued to move in. Tyson scored heavily with a hook. With Biggs close to the ropes, Tyson hit him again with a left. Tyson followed with still more punishment, scoring a left and a stiff right cross to reopen Biggs' cut.
Biggs landed a right and a left to the head early in the fifth round. But Tyson kept moving in. Biggs tried to tie up as Tyson came in under Biggs' long arms. Biggs threw a left, but it lacked steam. Tyson hammered Biggs with a right and the referee tried to break them apart as the fifth round came to an end.
Tyson pressed relentlessly in the sixth. He scored with a hard right to the head. He drove Biggs back with a left to the head and another to the midsection. He punished Biggs with a right to the body. He scored with lefts and rights in close. Biggs tried to tangle Tyson, but to little avail.
Tyson just grazed Biggs with a furious right, but scored with five consecutive lefts to the head, and the wonder of it was what kept Biggs standing.
Tyson greeted Biggs in the seventh by knocking his mouthpiece into the first row. Tyson continued to pour into Biggs with lefts and rights to the head, and a hard right to the ribs.
Tyson scored with a stiff jab. Blood poured down Biggs' face. Off balance, Biggs took a soft right hand but kept his feet.
Tyson knocked Biggs through the ropes with a left to the head and briefly went through the ropes after him. Biggs got to his feet, Tyson resumed the assault scoring with lefts and rights and sent Biggs reeling into his corner with a tremendous left to the head, a hook that left Biggs down and out.
Referee Tony Orlando jumped between the fighters and signaled an end to the fight. Orlando held Biggs' head, until Biggs' handlers could get into the ring and get their bloodied fighter onto a stool.
"I learned I had to come into a fight mentally tough," said Biggs, after a half-hour's recovery. "I just let him dictate the fight after the second round."
Said Tyson: "I don't believe there's a man on the planet who can beat me."
In the undercard, Mathew Hilton knocked down Jack Callahan twice and stopped him after two rounds in defense of his IBF junior middleweight championship.
Hilton opened a cut over Callahan's right eye early in the second round, then knocked him down for a seven-count with a right hook.