Tony Tucker

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Tony Tucker
Statistics
Real name Tony Craig Tucker
Nickname(s) TNT
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Reach 81 in (2.06 m)
Nationality American
Born (1958-12-27) December 27, 1958 (age 55)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 66
Wins 59
Wins by KO 48
Losses 7
Draws 0
No contests 1

Tony Craig Tucker (born December 27, 1958) is a retired professional heavyweight boxer. Tucker fought professionally from 1980 to 1998. Nicknamed "TNT", he won a gold medal at the 1979 Pan American Games, and holds the ignominious distinction of having been, at 64 days, the shortest-reigning world heavyweight champion in history.

Tucker had a notable amateur career, winning the 1979 National AAU Light Heavyweight Championship. He also won the 1979 Pan-Ams and World Cup at Light Heavyweight. He also lost a decision to LeRoy Murphy in the finals of the 1977 Ohio State Fair tournament, and was upset at the Western Olympic trials in 1980 by Alex DeLucia.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

After turning pro in 1980, Tucker's early fights were often shown on NBC, as part of a collection known as "Tomorrow's Champions".

Tucker's progress in the professional ranks was slow. He was injury prone, and he changed managers and trainers several times. Eventually his father Bob Tucker performed both roles. After enjoying a high profile upon his professional debut, Tucker spent the majority of the 1980s boxing in off-TV bouts. In addition, he injured his knee in a bout against Danny Sutton, which caused him to miss a little over a year.

In June 1984, he scored a win by knocking out Eddie "The Animal" Lopez in 9 rounds on the undercard of the Tommy Hearns-Roberto Duran fight. It was the first time Lopez had ever been knocked down. In September 1984, he followed it up by outpointing Jimmy Young .

In September 1986, Tucker finally landed a big fight, against 242 lb James "Broad-Axe" Broad, for the USBA belt and a world title eliminator. Tucker won by unanimous decision.

Home Box Office and Don King Productions orchestrated a Heavyweight unification series for 1987, planning among its bouts a match between reigning IBF champion Michael Spinks and Tucker. Spinks refused to face Tucker, opting instead for a more lucrative bout with Gerry Cooney. The IBF withdraw its championship recognition of Spinks on February 19, mandating that Tucker (as the IBF's number 1-ranked contender) face its number 2 contender, Buster Douglas. Tucker won the bout, and the vacant IBF crown, via 10th-round technical knockout.

Tucker, as the winner of the IBF title, was obliged to immediately defend his title in a unification bout with World Boxing Association (WBA) and WBC champion Mike Tyson, in what would be the tournament final. Despite having a broken right hand, Tucker faced Tyson on August 1, 1987. Tyson defeated Tucker by unanimous decision to unify the three championship titles, in the process giving Tucker the distinction of having the shortest championship reign in the history of the Heavyweight division (64 days).

Coincidentally, eight years later this exact scenario would unfold to give Tucker another title shot, as the WBA would withdraw its championship recognition of George Foreman on March 4, 1995 after Foreman refused to face Tucker (who was its designated #1 contender). Unlike the 1987 scenario, this time Tucker would not earn a championship, as he would lose the match mandated by the WBA, against #2-ranked contender Bruce Seldon.

Comeback[edit]

Tucker returned to boxing in 1990, and by 1992 was back in Don King's stable. He won the NABF belt with a split decision over the highly ranked Orlin Norris, and successfully defended it against future world champion Oliver McCall, winning another 12-round decision. He finished 1992 with a 6th-round TKO of Frankie Swindell and set himself up for another world title shot.

By 1993, Tucker had run his record up to 49–1 and in May of that year he challenged Lennox Lewis for the WBC world heavyweight title. Lewis won a 12-round unanimous decision, knocking down Tucker twice. It was the first time in 34-year-old Tucker's career that he had been off his feet.

In 1995, George Foreman refused to defend his WBA world heavyweight title against Tucker, choosing to fight German Axel Schulz. Tucker and Bruce Seldon fought for the vacant WBA belt in April 1995. Seldon won by TKO after 7 rounds when doctors stopped the fight due to Tucker's eye closing shut.

Tucker lost his shot at a rematch when later that year he was outpointed by a newly signed Don King heavyweight, British-Nigerian boxer Henry Akinwande, over ten rounds.

In 1996 he was outpointed by old rival Orlin Norris. He scored two low-key wins in California, and in 1997 traveled to the U.K. to challenge Herbie Hide for the vacant WBO title. Tucker was dropped three times and knocked out in round 2.

In 1998 Tucker challenged John Ruiz for his NABF belt. Despite a big 6th round where he had Ruiz in trouble, Tucker was eventually stopped in the 11th round.

He came back in May to knock out journeyman Billy Wright in one round, but later had his license revoked due to medical concerns about Tucker's vision.

Professional boxing record[edit]

57 wins (47 knockouts, 10 decisions), 7 losses (3 knockouts, 4 decisions), 0 draws, 1 no-contest [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 57–7
1 NC
United States Billy Wright KO 1 (10) 07/05/1998 United States Sam's Town Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United States
Loss 56–7
1 NC
United States John Ruiz TKO 11 (12) 31/01/1998 United States Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida, United States For NABF Heavyweight title. Tucker down twice in the 1st and once in the 11th.
Win 56–6
1 NC
United States Jerry Haynes TKO 3 (10) 16/12/1997 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 55–6
1 NC
United States Abdul Muhaymin UD 10 18/11/1997 United States Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Loss 54–6
1 NC
United Kingdom Herbie Hide TKO 2 (12) 28/06/1997 United Kingdom Sports Village, Norwich, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom For vacant WBO Heavyweight title. Tucker down three times in the 2nd round.
Win 54–5
1 NC
United States Tyrone Campbell KO 3 (10) 16/12/1996 United States Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, United States
Win 53–5
1 NC
United States David Dixon KO 1 (12) 29/06/1996 United States Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, United States For vacant NABF Heavyweight title. Title had been vacated by Alexander Zolkin in order to fight Henry Akinwande for the WBO title.
Loss 52–5
1 NC
United States Orlin Norris SD 10 24/02/1996 United States Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia, United States
Loss 52–4
1 NC
United Kingdom Henry Akinwande UD 10 16/12/1995 United States Core States Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 52–3
1 NC
United States Bruce Seldon RTD 7 (12) 08/04/1995 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For vacant WBA Heavyweight title. Bout stopped after the 7th due to swelling of Tucker's eyes.
Win 52–2
1 NC
United States Dan Murphy TKO 3 (?) 10/12/1994 Mexico Estadio de Beisbol, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Win 51–2
1 NC
United States Cecil Coffee TKO 2 (10) 02/07/1994 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 50–2
1 NC
United States George Stephens TKO 1 (10) 19/02/1994 United States Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Win 49–2
1 NC
United States David Graves TKO 2 (?) 18/12/1993 Mexico Estadio Cuauhtemoc, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Loss 48–2
1 NC
United Kingdom Lennox Lewis UD 12 08/05/1993 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For WBC Heavyweight title. Tucker was down in 3rd and 9th rounds.
Win 48–1
1 NC
United States Frankie Swindell TKO 6 (10) 13/12/1992 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Stopped after 6 completed rounds due an injury.
Win 47–1
1 NC
United States Paul Poirier TKO 4 (10) 07/11/1992 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States
Win 46–1
1 NC
United States Everett Martin PTS 10 12/09/1992 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 45–1
1 NC
United States Oliver McCall SD 10 26/06/1992 United States CSU Convention Centre, Cleveland, Ohio, United States Retained NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 44–1
1 NC
United States Jesus Contreras TKO 6 (10) 22/04/1992 United States Meadowlands Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 43–1
1 NC
United States Mike Faulkner KO 2 (?) 10/04/1992 Mexico El Toreo, Mexico City, Mexico
Win 42–1
1 NC
United States Kimmuel Odum TKO 2 (10) 15/02/1992 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 41–1
1 NC
United States Orlin Norris SD 12 03/06/1991 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 40–1
1 NC
United States James Ray Thomas KO 1 (10) 29/04/1991 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Win 39–1
1 NC
United States Lionel Washington KO 1 (12) 28/01/1991 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, United States Won USA California State Heavyweight title.
Win 38–1
1 NC
United States Mike Rouse TKO 5 (10) 19/07/1990 United States Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 37–1
1 NC
United States Mike Evans UD 10 08/03/1990 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Win 36–1
1 NC
United States Calvin Jones TKO 5 (10) 08/01/1990 United States Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Win 35–1
1 NC
United States Dino Homsey KO 3 (10) 12/12/1989 United States Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, United States
Loss 34–1
1 NC
United States Mike Tyson UD 12 01/08/1987 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For WBC & WBA Heavyweight titles. Lost IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 34–0
1 NC
United States Buster Douglas TKO 10 (15) 30/05/1987 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won vacant IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 32–0
1 NC
United States James Broad UD 12 26/09/1986 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won vacant USBA Heavyweight title.
Win 31–0
1 NC
United States Otis Bates KO 2 (?) 07/08/1986 United States Houston, Texas, United States
Win 30–0
1 NC
United States Eddie Richardson KO 4 (10) 10/07/1986 United States Houston, Texas, United States
Win 29–0
1 NC
United States Eddie Richardson UD 10 27/02/1986 United States Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 28–0
1 NC
United States David Jaco TKO 3 (?) 19/10/1985 Monaco Stade Louis II, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Win 27–0
1 NC
United States Bobby Crabtree TKO 4 (10) 28/06/1985 United States Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 26–0
1 NC
United States Danny Sutton UD 10 02/11/1984 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 25–0
1 NC
United States O T Davis KO 1 (10) 02/11/1984 United States Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 24–0
1 NC
United States Jimmy Young UD 10 22/09/1984 United States Gerald R Ford Fieldhouse, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Win 23–0
1 NC
United States Eddie Lopez KO 9 (10) 15/06/1984 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 22–0
1 NC
United States Dave Johnson TKO 2 (10) 09/05/1984 United States Bismarck Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 21–0
1 NC
United States Walter Santemore TKO 1 (?) 19/04/1984 United States Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 20–0
1 NC
United States Sam Jeter KO 1 (10) 15/03/1984 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 19–0
1 NC
United States Larry Givens KO 4 (10) 24/02/1984 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 19–0
1 NC
United States James Dixon TKO 6 (10) 20/12/1983 United States Americana Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 18–0
1 NC
United States Lynwood Jones KO 5 (10) 01/12/1983 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 17–0
1 NC
United States James Holly TKO 1 (4) 07/11/1983 United States Chicago, Illinois, United States
NC 16–0
1 NC
United States Danny Sutton NC 3 (10) 12/08/1982 United States Hyatt Regency Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, United States Both fighters banged their knees together. Tucker was injured and unable to continue, and couldn't fight again for about 15 months.
Win 16–0 United States Richard Cade TKO 7 (?) 08/07/1982 United States Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 15–0 Mexico Lupe Guerra TKO 2 (?) 30/06/1982 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, New York, United States
Win 14–0 United States James Dixon PTS 8 15/06/1982 United States Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 13–0 United States Charles Atlas TKO 1 (10) 05/06/1982 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, New York, United States
Win 12–0 United States Grady Daniels TKO 5 (?) 18/05/1982 United States Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 11–0 United States Frank Farmer KO 1 (?) 17/10/1981 United States Traverse City, Michigan, United States
Win 10–0 United States Harvey Steichen TKO 3 (8) 16/09/1981 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–0 United States Jerry Hunter KO 1 (?) 22/08/1981 United States Glacier Arena, Traverse City, Michigan, United States
Win 8–0 United States Chip Tyler TKO 7 (8) 30/04/1981 United States Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–0 United States Memphis Al Jones TKO 1 (10) 09/04/1981 United States Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 6–0 United States Robert Evans TKO 6 (?) 23/02/1981 United States Caesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–0 United States Willie Kents KO 1 (?) 29/01/1981 United States Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 4–0 United States Victor Rodriguez TKO 2 (6) 16/01/1981 United States HemisFair Arena, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 3–0 United States Max Smith KO 5 (6) 11/12/1980 United States International Amphitheatre, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 2–0 United States Jesse Clark KO 1 (6) 02/12/1980 United States Sports Arena, Toledo, Ohio, United States
Win 1–0 United States Chuck Gardner KO 3 (6) 01/11/1980 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States Gardner down in 2nd and 3rd rounds.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Previous champion
Michael Spinks
IBF World Heavyweight 3rd Champion

May 30, 1987 - August 1, 1987

Next champion
Mike Tyson