Mike Tyson entered the winner's interview room, in this case being the bullpen of the Tokyo Giants, wearing a red and white Samurai headband.
The symbolism was quite appropriate, considering the events of the last half hour during which Tyson successfully defended his world heavyweight championship against Tony Tubbs.It had been Tyson who wore his normal face of contempt into the ring. The scowl. Black trunks. No socks. No robe.
At the other end stood Tubbs, who had come into the Tokyo Dome Monday afternoon to the rap sounds of "How Do You Like Me Now?"
The polite applause from the 51,000 in attendance gave him a measure of respect. It was the response you'd hear after a cast took their bows at an opera. But this wasn't a dance. The Samurai had brought his sword into the ring to slice and dice his opponent, and Tubbs had provided plenty of meat for carving.
The robe came off, and there was 238 pounds of Tubbs for Tokyo and an HBO audience back home to see. If he had weighed 10 pounds less, the outcome likely would have been the same. Tyson is simply too much to handle for any heavyweight.
But an out-of-shape one as Tubbs was becomes easy prey.
After a lethargic first round in which Tubbs scored well with his left jab, Tyson moved in for the kill in the second. Quick and brutal, just like most of the 33 others before Tubbs.
Right uppercut. Left hook. Sayonara.
It goes down as a knockout at 2:54 in the second round, leaving Tyson $10 million richer and going on to even bigger bucks against Michael Spinks in June.
"I didn't have time to find out if he was out of shape," Tyson, 21, who is now 34-0 said. "It's just another fight. I'm happy to get it over with quick."
Tyson's right uppercut wobbled Tubbs against the ring ropes midway through the second round, but the shot that put him away for good was a brutal left hook.
Tubbs went crashing down at a neutral corner as blood gushed from his right eye.