What, exactly, is the ‘Drake Curse’?

What, exactly, is the ‘Drake Curse’? The so-called ‘Drake Curse’ is a series of unfortunate, but hardly supernatural, coincidences that are associated with the Canadian rapper Aubrey Drake Graham, otherwise known by the mononym ‘Drake’. Since he rose to prominence as a recording artist in 2009, Drake has posed for photographs with, and/or endorsed, some of the top athletes in the world and, more often than not, they have subsequently suffered misfortune of one form or another.

Of course, Drake isn’t really ‘cursed’ or ‘jinxed’ but, for anyone remotely superstitious, his uncanny ability to put the mockers on heavily favoured, elite sportsmen and women is definitely cause for concern. In April, 2019 alone, Drake was pictured alongside footballers including Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang of Arsenal and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City, who all suffered major reversals of fortune almost as soon as the pictures were uploaded to social media.

The latest high-profile ‘victim’ of the Drake Curse was former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who posted a photograph of himself and the Toronto rapper on Instagram shortly before his shock defeat by virtually unknown Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden on June 1, 2019. In what Joshua billed as the ‘bout to beat the curse’, Ruiz Jr., who weighed in at a seemingly overweight 268 pounds and could be backed at 25/1 beforehand, won by technical knockout in the seventh round, creating the biggest heavyweight boxing upset since James ‘Buster’ Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990.

When, and what, was the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’?

When, and what, was the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’? The ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, so-christened by boxing promoter Don King, was a legendary heavyweight championship fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire – now the Democratic Republic of the Congo – on October 30, 1974. Foreman, 25, was the undefeated world heavyweight champion, with a pre-fight record of 40 wins, 37 by knockout. By contrast, Ali, 32, first became world heavyweight champion in 1964 but, having been stripped of the title in 1967, surrendered his own unbeaten record, by unanimous decision, to Joe Frazier in the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Few observers believed Ali could regain the title from his significantly younger opponent.

However, Ali had other ideas and adopted the now infamous ‘rope-a-dope’ tactic in an effort to weaken the punching power of his opponent. Round after round, Ali adopted an uncharacteristically defensive stance against the ropes, allowing Foreman to pummel his arms and body with hundreds of powerful blows, while taunting him to throw wilder and wilder punches. By the eighth round, Foreman had punched himself virtually to a standstill and, seizing the opportunity, Ali produced his own flurry of left and right hooks, sending his opponent head-first towards the canvas. Foreman was still struggling to rise when he was counted out. Ali had won and, in so doing, become only the second boxer in history to regain the world heavyweight title.

How many times was Mike Tyson knocked out during his career?

How many times was Mike Tyson knocked out during his career? Michael Gerard ‘Mike’ Tyson made his professional boxing debut, as an 18-year-old, on March 6, 1985 and the following November knocked out Trevor Berbick to become World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion. In his 58-fight career, ‘Iron Mike’ won 50 fights, 44 of them by knockout, and became undisputed world heavyweight champion. However, he did lose six times, three times by knockout, twice by technical knockout and once by disqualification.

His first knockout came at the hands of the unheralded James ‘Buster’ Douglas on February 11, 1990. In one of the biggest shocks in modern sporting history, Douglas recovered from an eighth-round knockdown to knock out Tyson – who had never previously hit the canvas – early in the tenth round and bring his hitherto unbeaten record to an end. Although he suffered a surprising loss, by technical knockout, to Evander Holyfield in November, 1996 and another, less surprisingly, by disqualification – after he bit Holyfield twice on his right ear, severely enough to remove part of it – in their rematch six months later, Tyson was only ever knocked out twice more.

In what became, ultimately, a one-sided contest against undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on June 8, 2003, Tyson was eventually knocked down, and out, in the eighth round. The following July, facing debts of $38 million, Tyson returned to the ring for what proved to be the penultimate fight of his career against former British Commonwealth heavyweight champion Danny ‘The Brixton Bomber’ Williams. In the fourth round, Williams unleashed a flurry of unanswered punches, culminating with a huge right hand, which sent Tyson reeling. Tyson sat, dazed, on the canvas, leaning against the ropes and, although he did eventually try to get to his feet, was counted out.

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