Read the short story and award the Character Certificate for the week.

The Story Behind the Epic Fight

James “Buster” Douglas fought an uphill battle on his way to face the Heavy Weight Champion of the World, “Iron” Mike Tyson.  Inside the ring he was facing Tyson, who at the time of the fight was considered “unstoppable” and on his way to becoming the greatest boxer of all time.  He was 37-0, with 33 KO’s, while never being knocked down himself.  Vegas had Douglas as a 42-1 underdog.

Outside the ring, life for Douglas did not look any better.  He and his wife had separated, he spent 3 days in rehab for an alcohol related car incident, and his mother died of a stoke 23 days before the fight.  The toughest obstacle to overcome was the loss of his mother.  She was someone that always believed in him and told him he could beat Tyson. 

Douglas was faced with a choice, he could become overwhelmed by the circumstances, quit, and allow part of himself to die with his mother.  Or, he could rise up and fight in honor of his mother and everything she meant to him. 

When the bell rang, Douglas came out fighting. Most thought Douglas would get knocked out in the first 3 rounds, but to everyone’s surprise he was not only fighting well, but winning.  Then late in the 8th round Douglas got careless and Tyson caught him with an uppercut, knocking him to the canvas.  
Douglas was unable to get up and was knocked out. However, with 1 second left in the count, Douglas was saved by the bell, ending the round. Everyone thought the fight was over; nobody had ever gotten knocked out by Tyson and gotten back up. Douglas was again faced with the choice, throw in the towel or get up and fight to honor everything his mother did for him.  

In the 9th Tyson came out with an aggression the world knew would finish Douglas off. However, Douglas fought back and shocked the world by doing something no one had ever done before.  He knocked out Mike Tyson in the 10th round and became the Heavy Weight Champion of the World. James “Buster” Douglas used circumstances that would have crippled most people, to focus his mind and energize himself to pull off the greatest upset in boxing history.

WORKOUT: Have the team answer the following questions:

  •  What motivated Douglas to pull off this unbelievable upset?
  • Are obstacles or setbacks motivating this team or are they crippling us?  

Athlete of the Week: Coach summarizes his choice for the award.

  • Introduction: Each athlete is in the process of building their character story. The character athlete for this week is ___________________________.

CLOSE: Team Leader concludes practice by leading the Final Four as their teammates echo it back as yesterday.