Sunday, January 17, 1999 Published at 10:39 GMT
Rusty Tyson finds the perfect punch
Tyson finally caught up with Botha in the fifth round
Mike Tyson ended 19 months of inactivity with a fifth-round knockout of Francois Botha at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
And Tyson's post fight quotes indicate that the convicted rapist is still battling his inner demons.
"I'm a man. I lived it and I'm not afraid to die but when I die I'm going to paradise and I'm not worried," he added.
"I'm in no hurry to die but no-one is going to disrespect me or write nonsense about me without me retaliating back," said Tyson.
The fight got off to a bizarre start when, after a fairly quiet first round, the fighters refused to break at the sound of the bell. Around 20 people, including security guards and police were needed to break the two as they continued to trade punches. It had seemed at one point that Tyson was trying to break Botha's right arm.
They continued after the bell again, and referee Richard Steele was forced to lecture both fighters.
By the third round, it was clear that Tyson was a shadow of the fighter he used to be.
The fight continued in that vein through the fourth, with little in the way of clean punching, although Tyson did land a couple of eye-catching jabs.
As it transpired, it was probably over confidence.
Botha allowed Tyson to close the distance between them, and as he set himself to throw a punch of his own, Tyson landed that perfect right hand. Botha tried to get up, but found his legs would not do what his head was telling them. Steele finished the count of 10 with the stricken fighter falling through the ropes.
Tyson's adviser Shelly Finkel said that Tyson should be back in the ring by April, although no venue or opponent has been settled.