The Sunday Mail
February 11 1990 is a day rich in history . . . after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela walked out of the Victor Verster Prison in Cape Town. After the Rivonia trial, in which he was sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964, Mandela, then the most popular political prisoner in the world, was left shocked when PW Botha, then South Africa’s president, said that he was to be free in a few hours’ time. In the first democratic elections that followed his release, held in 1994, Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa.
Whilst Mandela was walking the Cape Town streets as a free man, earlier that same day, Mike Tyson, then the undefeated and undisputed boxing world champion, had been beaten by an unheralded James “Buster” Douglas in the nine-round contest. Tyson’s defeat, ranked as one of the biggest upsets in sporting history, marked the decline of his stranglehold on boxing. Before he was felled by Douglas, Tyson held the WBC, WBA and IBF combined heavyweight titles.