BOXING Buster Douglas part of Hanshaw's new team
Tony Hanshaw of Warren has a super-middleweight bout on July 16.
By BOB ROTH
CANTON -- Good memories are vivid no matter how far back they go.
It's been more than 12 years since James "Buster" Douglas -- a 42-1 underdog -- pulled off one of boxing's biggest upsets, knocking out Mike Tyson in Tokyo to win the undisputed championship of the world.
Douglas and his trainer, John Russell, are part of the new training team for Warren's undefeated super-middleweight, Tony Hanshaw. The pair was at the Canton Civic Center Wednesday to promote a 10-fight boxing show on July 16.
"We had a game plan that Buster followed," said Russell of the Tyson fight. "It is the best a fighter has put things together in one night in the ring."
Douglas, 42, recalled, "There was a growing confidence throughout the fight. Maybe I was too confident in the eighth round when Mike decked me, but it was then I thought I could take him if I stayed focused."
Eight months later, Douglas came in 15 pounds heavier and lost his title when Evander Holyfield stopped him in the third round.
"I just wasn't ready," Douglas, who lives in Columbus, said. "I still hadn't come down off the moon."
Douglas is retired and spends most of his time with his three kids. He's also an adviser for Hanshaw.
Russell was pulled out of retirement by his old friend, Shelly Finkel of Main Events Inc.
"This is ironic because Tony's father always talked about me training him when he turned pro," said Russell. Henry Hanshaw began training Russell when he was 5-years old. Soon afterward, Russell was fighting as a junior Olympian.
In August 1999, Henry Hanshaw was electrocuted on his job in Toledo just two weeks before Tony was to go to the Olympic trials. He has since turned pro and has a 14-0 record with 10 knockouts.
"My dad taught me everything since I was 5-years old, so I know how to fight, but I must be focused and I have to polish my skills," Hanshaw said.
Douglas, who had a 38-6-1 career record, feels close to Hanshaw because he also lost his father, Bill, who passed away last August.
"Tony is a pleasure to work with," Douglas said.
Works out daily
Hanshaw has daily workouts at the Rubber City Boxing Club in Akron.
"I guarantee you that when Tony fights July 16th, he will be in the best shape of his life," Russell said.
"You will see a difference in me," he said. "I feel good and I am ready to rock and roll."
Hanshaw's opponent has yet to be named, but the 12-round title bout features John Michael Johnson (30-8, 23 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas, defending his International Boxing Association title against Marcos Licona (18-2-1) of Westminster, Calif.
The women's card features five undefeated fighters. Dean Chance, a Wooster native, has been the president of IBA for six years. His vice president is Lowellville resident Tony Nolfi.