Mike Tyson is a heavy-muscled prodigious puncher who stands 5ft 10 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds or more. Michael Gerard ‘Mike’ Tyson, also known as Michael Gerard ‘Mike’ Tyson, has shown hints of entering into the world of boxing since his early days. His violent tendency as a child, strange behavior, and a determination to use violence to get his way through situations and people paved the path for him to choose boxing, not to mention his colossal weight of 200 pounds at the age of thirteen. Tyson soon ascended the ladder of success under the firm direction of Cus D’Amato and Rooney, earning the titles ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘the baddest man on the planet.’ He was well-known for being able to defeat his opponents with a single blow. Tyson’s dominance in the sport propelled him to the peak of achievement, as he became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Tyson’s tainted origins, poverty-stricken upbringing, poor judgment, and illegal behavior all contributed to his rapid ascent up the ladder of prosperity and descent into the abyss. As a result, Tyson suffered major blows due to his odd behavior, rape conviction, financial loss, bankruptcy, and jail when he was at the pinnacle of his authority. The world wrote him off as a broken animal incapable of life outside the ring when he bit off the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield. Despite Tyson’s best efforts, his reputation has been permanently tarnished, making him one of the most tragic individuals in American sports history.
Childhood and Adolescence
Mike Tyson was the third of three children born to Jimmy Kirkpatrick and Lorna Smith Tyson in Brooklyn, New York. He had an older brother, Rodney, and a sister, Denise, who died of a heart attack in 1991. He also had a half-brother from Kirkpatrick’s previous marriage, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick.
After the birth of Tyson, Kirkpatrick abandoned the family. When Tyson was ten years old, the family moved from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Brownsville due to financial hardship.
Tyson has been involved in fights since his early years, however they were mostly for personal reasons and did not have a professional basis at the time. To deal with bullying issues, he used his fist. Tyson had already been arrested 38 times by the time he reached adolescence for knocking out grown men on the street.
Tyson graduated from Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York, when he was young. Bobby Stewart, a former boxer and juvenile detention facility counselor, saw Tyson’s fighting skills there. He fine-tuned them a little before introducing Cus D’Amato to the future champion.
Tyson prepared for the sport with the help of Amato. He was in Amato’s full-time custody, and the budding boxer was subjected to a harsh training regimen. Tyson went to Catskill High School during the day and ring practice in the evening. He did not, however, complete his education and dropped out as a junior.
Career in Amateur Boxing
Tyson’s preparation was evident in his gold medal performances at the Junior Olympic Games in 1981 and 1982, where he defeated opponents Joe Cortez and Kelton Brown decisively.
In the trials, he faced future 1984 Summer Olympics heavyweight gold medalist Henry Tillman twice and lost both times. Tyson turned professional after failing to make the Olympic team.
Career in Professional Boxing
On March 6, 1985, he made his professional debut against Hector Mercedes. He did the same thing in the first round knockout.
Tyson won 26 of the 28 fights he took part in during his debut year, including 16 of them in the first round. Tyson fought veteran journeymen and borderline contenders like James Tillis, David Jaco, Jesse Ferguson, Mitch Green, and Marvis Frazier as he progressed up the ladder.
Tyson’s back-to-back triumphs drew the attention of the media, who dubbed him the “future heavyweight champion.” Tyson experienced upheaval off the ring as his buddy, philosopher, and adviser Amato went for the heavenly home when his career was heading skyward. Rooney stepped into Amato’s shoes and filled them to the brim.
Jesse Ferguson was Tyson’s first televised opponent. In the fifth round, he stunned his opponent by fracturing his nose. Tyson was proclaimed the winner by the sixth round.
Tyson had won a record 22 consecutive fights by the age of 20, with 21 of those victories coming through knockout.
After a streak of victories, he was finally given the opportunity to compete for the WBC heavyweight title against Trevor Berbick. On November 22, 1986, Tyson knocked out Berbick in the second round to become the world’s youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 20 years and 4 months.
Years of Triumph
Tyson’s victory at the World Boxing Council was only the first of many to come. He successfully defended his title by defeating James Smith and capturing the World Boxing Association title.
He knocked out Pinklon Thomas in the sixth round and Tony Tucker in the twelfth round to win the latter’s International Boxing Federation title. Tyson became the first fighter in 1987 to hold the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles in the same year.
Tyson knocked out 1984 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tyrell Biggs in the eighth round the same year.
In the year 1988, Tyson was at the top of the boxing world’s rankings. After establishing himself as a fearsome combatant, his fame expanded by leaps and bounds with each victorious excursion.
Tyson faced famous players such as James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Larry Holmes, Tony Tubbs, and Michael Spinks. Spinks was a lineal champion who claimed to be the actual heavyweight champion, while Holmes was a past champion. Holmes was knocked out in the fourth round (his first knockout in 75 professional fights), and Spinks was knocked out in the first round (the richest fight in history).
Tyson’s first-round victory over Spinks in 91 seconds was the pinnacle of his career. The battle was expected to be the season’s biggest, with Tyson’s aggressive infighting pitted against Spinks’ deft out-boxing and footwork. Tyson’s status and recognition in the boxing world skyrocketed following the fight. Spinks, on the other hand, has never played a match since his defeat.
Decline & Decline
Tyson’s glory days were, however, brief. While his personal life was in shambles, his business life was also in a state of disarray. Rooney and his manager, Bill Cayton, were both fired. Don King stepped in to fill the void left by the two, but his association with this well-known boxer did more harm than good.
Tyson modified his boxing style, which resulted in his demise. Rather than suffocating boxers with body blows, Tyson aimed to end the fight in the first round by focusing only on the head.
Tyson fought British boxer Frank Bruno and Carl ‘The Truth’ Williams in two fights in 1989. Tyson’s magical powers as a boxer were extensively questioned, despite the fact that he won both fights.
In the 1990 fight against Buster Douglas, a breach in the armour was visible. Despite being the betting favorite and the pick of the experts, Tyson couldn’t match up to Douglas, who delivered a flurry of strikes on Tyson in the tenth round to knock him out. This was Tyson’s first time losing a fight. He not only lost the match, but he also lost the indisputable championship.
The match’s outcome shocked the sports world all around the world. The fearsome boxer, devastating puncher, and unstoppable champion had lost his allure, and his defeat signaled the end of an era.
Tyson had a handful of matches planned for the next year, keen to reclaim his reputation as the world’s most feared boxer. He defeated Henry Tillman and Alex Stewart in back-to-back matches. Despite the fact that his fight with Donovan Ruddock was stopped in the middle and Tyson was proclaimed the winner, the two fought again, with Tyson winning a twelve-round unanimous decision.
Tyson’s next fight was against Evander Holyfield, the defending heavyweight champion, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. However, owing to a rib cartilage injury, he had to withdraw from the bout.
Tyson was imprisoned for rapping Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, in 1991, just as his career life seemed to be getting back on track.
He was found guilty of rape in 1992 and sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation.
Tyson went through a period of serious thought while serving his sentence and converted to Islam, taking the name Malik Abdul Aziz. Tyson’s decision to live a disciplined life was influenced by his reading of philosophical texts.
After three years in prison, he was released in March 1995.
Upon his release from prison, however, his friendship with Don King shattered his belief of living a controlled life, and he resorted to odd behavior.
Mike Tyson fought inferior opponents like Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr. after serving his prison sentence. In 1996, he won both of his fights in preparation for a fight against WBC reigning champion Frank Bruno. Tyson won the championship by knocking out Bruno in the third round. His next opponent was Bruce Seldon. He won the fight in a world-record time of 109 seconds, capturing the WBA belt in the process.
Mike Tyson then prepared for a bout with Evander Holyfield, whom he had resolved to face before being arrested. The fight, which was widely expected to be a bloodbath, ended in an unexpected way for Tyson. Tyson was knocked out first by Holyfield’s left hook, resulting in the former’s victory.
There was a follow-up scheduled for the fight, as there had been complaints of Holyfield’s repeated headbutts from Tyson’s camp. On June 28, 1997, the match was set to take place. While Holyfield was paid $35 million for the fight, Tyson was paid $30 million. Until 2007, it was the highest paid professional boxing purse.
The match, which was supposed to be the biggest showdown between rival champions, devolved into a heinous display of unprofessional behavior. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ears twice, ripping a piece of skin from the latter’s right ear in the process. Tyson was disqualified for his conduct and the contest was called off in the third round. The winner was declared to be Holyfield.
The Nevada State Boxing Commission fined Tyson $3 million. His boxing license was also suspended for a year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. In the United States, he was unable to box.
Tyson attempted to clean up his tarnished image of a violent monster seeking vengeance. Before facing Andrzej Golota, he faced a number of unremarkable opponents. Meanwhile, he has been sentenced to prison twice for his role in a traffic incident in which he assaulted two motorists and traces of marijuana were discovered in his body.
Mike Tyson challenged Lennox Lewis in 2002, who was the reigning champion at the time, holding the WBC, IBF, IBO, and Lineal titles. Despite being a fan favorite, Tyson lost the fight in the eighth round after being knocked out by a right hook. Lewis was declared the winner after dominating the fight from the start. Tyson accepted the defeat gently and praised Lewis’ performance throughout the game.
Following the Lewis battle, Tyson competed in a few more games. In each of them, he underperformed. On June 11, 2005, he made his last professional appearance in a contest against Kevin McBride. Before the start of the seventh round, he left the match and proclaimed his retirement.
After the Retirement
Mike Tyson took part in a number of exhibition fights after his retirement. His primary motivation for participating was to pay off his obligations. In Las Vegas, he also took part in a number of endorsements and boxing-related entertainment acts. Though he sought to live a normal life away from the spotlight and media attention, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and felony narcotics possession, and he was once again put under the microscope. He was imprisoned for 24 hours and was sentenced to 360 hours of community service. Tyson checked himself into a rehabilitation center to avoid a year-long sentence.
Tyson started acting in film and television after quitting from boxing. He made his big screen debut in 2009 with the film ‘The Hangover,’ in which he made an uncommon appearance.
He was also the subject of a documentary by filmmaker James Toback with the same name. Tyson’s stage play, ‘Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,’ premiered in the theatre with director Spike Lee. Tyson’s personal and professional lives were depicted in the show. In three months, it visited 36 cities.
He collaborated with Larry Sloman on his autobiographies ‘Undisputed Truth’ (2013) and ‘Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato’ (2017).
Mike Tyson founded the Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League in 2020. The league allows retired professional athletes to compete in their respective sports once more.
Achievements & Awards
He currently holds the title of Youngest Heavyweight Boxing Champion. He was 20 years old and 4 months old at the time.
Tyson holds the Junior Olympic record for the fastest KO (Knock-Out) at 8 seconds.
Tyson was named Prospect of the Year by Ring magazine in 1985.
In 1986 and 1988, he was named Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year for his remarkable performance in the ring. In 1989, Tyson was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality.
In 2012, Tyson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his exploits in the professional boxing ring. He has also been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Personal History and Legacy
Mike Tyson is the father of eight children and has been married three times. Robin Givens, an actress, was his first wife. The couple only lasted a year together (from February 7, 1988 to February 14, 1989), as Givens accused Tyson of domestic violence, marital abuse, and mental instability. The couple didn’t have any children.
The following year, Tyson married Monica Turner. Turner sought divorce on grounds of adultery after the marriage lasted five years (from April 19, 1997 to January 14, 2003). Rayna and Amir were the couple’s two children.
Tyson lost his daughter Exodus in a tragic accident in 2009, when she was discovered unconscious and caught in a cord dangling from an exercise machine. She was put on life support and was pronounced dead the next day.
On June 6, 2009, Tyson walked up to the altar for the third time, this time with Lakiha ‘Kiki’ Spicer. Milan is the couple’s daughter, and Morocco is the couple’s son. Mikey, Miguel, and D’Amato are Tyson’s other children (born 1990). He has eight children, including the recently deceased Exodus.
Tyson has bipolar disorder, according to his doctor. He eats vegan and lives a sober lifestyle. His opponents were intimidated by the prospect of his power, fast hands, and recognized defensive talents because of his reputation as a ferocious fighter. He earned the moniker ‘Iron Mike’ for his ability to knock out opponents in the first round.
From 1987 through 1990, he was the undisputed heavyweight champion. He was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles at the same time, and the first heavyweight to unify them all at the same time.
Estimated Net Worth
Mike Tyson has a net worth of $10 million.