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TYSON DOESN'T WAIT, KNOCKS OUT TILLMAN BEFORE END OF 1ST

Mike Tyson said he didn't take Henry Tillman for granted, but he sure treated the 1984 Olympic champion as if he did.

In his first fight since losing the heavyweight championship on a shocking 10th-round knockout to James "Buster" Douglas on Feb. 11 at Tokyo, Tyson swarmed all over Tillman and knocked him out with a crunching right to the head at 2:47 of the first round outdoors at Caesars Palace."I'm still the greatest fighter in the universe," boasted Tyson, who then issued a warning to Douglas and top-ranked Evander Holyfield, who are scheduled to fight for the title on Sept. 21 at The Mirage.

"All I know is that it's going to be a tough fight if the winner gets me," Tyson said.

"I didn't have any doubt on the outcome, but I was skeptical about my performance," said Tyson, who looked flat in his fight against Douglas. "Now I want to fight as often as I can."

Tyson was a 20-1 favorite over Tillman, who beat him twice as an amateur.

"When people tell me someone's a pushover, that's when I worry - just like Buster Douglas."

Douglas was such an underdog there wasn't even a betting line.

Tyson is next expected to fight Alex Stewart on Sept. 8, and it is a possibility that George Foreman could be a part of that show, as he was on Saturday's program.

Tyson was a little wild as he lunged after the circling Tillman, who caught the former champ with a right hand to the head 30 seconds into the fight. It had no affect.

Tyson hurt Tillman with a right hand to the body at the 1:30 mark and landed a grazing right hand high on the head at 2:20 that signaled what was about to happen to Tillman.

When Tyson landed the final right high to the head, Tillman fell in a heap in Tyson's corner and was counted out by referee Richard Steele.

"Let everybody see it," crowed promoter Don King, as he led Tyson around the ring. "He's back."

Asked how he felt the Tokyo loss would affect Tyson, Douglas, who attended the bout, said, "Defeat can make you or break you. It's up to him."

Tyson obviously had one thing on his mind from the time he took a first step toward Tillman: Destroy him.

"I didn't prepare myself properly," Tyson said of the loss to Douglas. "I was in shape physically, but not emotionally."

Tyson weighed 217 pounds, 3 1/2 less than he weighed for the Douglas fight. The 29-year-old Tillman weighed 215 pounds.

Tyson, who will be 24 on June 30, scored his 34th knockout in boosting his record to 38-1. He earned $2 million.

Tillman is 20-5 with 14 knockouts.

Tillman outpointed Tyson in the 1984 Olympic Trials final and also in the box-off. He was more experienced than Tyson at that time, but Tyson had much more experience as a pro than Tillman, who was fighting for only the fifth time since 1987.