Born In: Fort Greene, New York, United States
Standing tall at 5ft 10 inches, weighing 200 pounds and more is a heavy muscled prodigious puncher Mike Tyson. Christened as Michael Gerard ‘Mike’ Tyson, ever since his early days, Tyson showed signs of moving in to the world of boxing. His violent streak as a child, uncanny behaviour and a resolve for violence to have his way through situations and people laid the strong foundation for him to opt for boxing, not to forget his ginormous weight of 200 pounds at 13 years of age. Popularly known for his terrorising power and intimidating temperament, Tyson quickly climbed up the ladder of success under the strong guidance of Cus D’Amato and Rooney to earn the nicknames ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘the baddest man on planet’. He was popular for defeating his opponents with a single blow. Tyson dominant performance at the sports saw him reach the pinnacle of success, by becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But just as quickly did Tyson climb the ladder of success, he went into the pitfall with the same speed, courtesy his tarnished childhood, poverty-stricken upbringing, poor judgement and criminal behaviour. As such, when he was enjoying raving success and was at the peak of his power, Tyson suffered from serious blows due to his bizarre behaviour, rape conviction, financial loss, bankruptcy and imprisonment. His biting off the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield was the zenith as the world wrote him off as a damaged animal incapable of existing outside the ring. Though Tyson has tried to make amendments thereafter, his image has been destroyed for good, making him one of the most tragic figures of the American sports history.
Also Known As: Michael Gerard Tyson, Iron Mike, Kid Dynamite
father: Jimmy Kirkpatrick
mother: Lorna Smith Tyson
siblings: Denise, Rodney
children: Amir Tyson, D'Amato Tyson, Exodus Tyson, Miguel Leon Tyson, Mikey Lorna Tyson, Milan Tyson, Morocco Tyson, Rayna Tyson
Born Country: United States
awards: 1986 - Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1988 - Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1989 - BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality
1985 - Ring magazine Prospect of the Year
Post serving the jail sentence, Mike Tyson fought against inferior opponents likes Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr. He won both the bouts to lead up to a match against WBC defending champion Frank Bruno in 1996. Tyson knocked out Bruno in the third round to bag the title. His next match was against Bruce Seldon. He won the match in a record 109 seconds, claiming the WBA title as well.
Mike Tyson then geared up for a match against Evander Holyfield, which he had resolved to fight before being detained. Deemed to be a blood battle, the match, which was highly in favour of Tyson, had unexpected result. Holyfield’s left hook led to Tyson hitting the canvas first, thereby resulting in the former’s victory.
A follow-up for the match was arranged, as there were allegations from the Tyson’s camp of Holyfield’s frequent headbutts. The match was scheduled on June 28, 1997. While Holyfield drew $35 million from the match, Tyson was remunerated at $30 million. It was the highest paid boxing professional purses until 2007.
Expected to be the greatest clash of the rivalled champions, the match turned into a ghastly display of unprofessional behaviour. Tyson twice bit the ears of Holyfield so much so that he tore out a piece of flesh from the latter’s right ear. The match was terminated at the third round and Tyson was disqualified for his actions. Holyfield was designated as the winner.
Tyson was fined US $3 million by the Nevada State Boxing Commission. Additionally, his boxing license was annulled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a year. He was unable to box in the United States
Trying to restore his marred image of a bloodthirsty animal in vengeance, Tyson made a clean-up effort. He fought some undistinguished opponents before standing tall against Andrzej Golota. Meanwhile, he was twice sent to jail for his involvement in the road incident where he assaulted two motorist and traces of marijuana being found in his body.
In 2002, Mike Tyson faced Lennox Lewis who was then the reigning champion with WBC, IBF, IBO and Lineal titles under his belt. Despite being a favourite of the pundits, Tyson lost the bout in the eighth round facing a knock out off the right hook. Lewis who had dominated the fight since the beginning was declared the winner. Tyson took the failure graciously and lauded Lewis skill for the game.
Tyson played a couple of matches post the Lewis match. He underperformed in all of them. His last professional outing was at the match against Kevin McBride on June 11, 2005. He quit the match and announced his retirement before the start of the seventh round.
Post retirement, Mike Tyson participated in a number of exhibition matches. The main reason behind his participation was to pay off his debts. He also participated in numerous endorsements and various boxing related entertainment shows in Las Vegas.
Though he preferred to live a normal life without all the limelight and media attention, he came under the knife once again after being arrested on suspicion of DUI and felony drug possession. He spent 24 hours in jail and offered 360 hours of community service. To save himself off the year-long sentence, Tyson checked himself into a rehabilitation centre.
After retiring from the boxing career, Tyson started acting in movies and television. In 2009, he made his debut in the big screen with the movie ‘The Hangover’, where he made an uncharacteristic appearance.
He was also the subject of an eponymous documentary by filmmaker James Toback. In the theatre, along with director Spike Lee, Tyson brought out the stage show, ‘Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth’. The show portrayed Tyson’s personal and professional life. It toured 36 cities in three months.
He wrote his memoirs 'Undisputed Truth' (2013) and 'Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato' (2017) with Larry Sloman.
In 2020, Mike Tyson created the Mike Tyson's Legends Only League. The league provides retired professional athletes the opportunity to compete in their respective sport.
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