Mike Tyson (American boxer)
Mike Tyson is a boxer who was once the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He is still the youngest man to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), and World Boxing Council (WBC) titles at the age of 20 years old as of 2012. He was the first person to hold all three titles at the same time.
Mike Tyson’s full name is Michael Gerald Tyson, although he goes by the moniker, Iron Mike. He is a 20-year-old American boxer who became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at the age of 20. Tyson converted to Islam and took the Muslim name Malik Abdul Aziz while in prison, according to reports (though some sources report the adoption of a different Islamic name, Malik Shabazz). Tyson, on the other hand, has said that he converted to Islam before going to prison, but has made no attempt to address the media’s lie.
Tyson was sent to a reform school in upstate New York in 1978 after being a member of several street gangs since he was a child. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1966.
Bobby Stewart, a social worker and boxing fan at the reform school saw his potential and introduced him to famed trainer Cus D’Amato, who became his legal guardian. Tyson had a 24–3 amateur record before turning professional in 1985.
Tyson was instructed by D’Amato to box in a peekaboo technique, with his hands close to his cheeks and a continual bobbing motion in the ring, which made his defense nearly impregnable. Tyson was small and squat, and he didn’t have the conventional heavyweight boxer’s build, but his unexpected speed and aggression in the ring outclassed most of his opponents.
With a second-round knockout of Trevor Berbick on November 22, 1986, he became the World Boxing Council’s youngest heavyweight champion in history (WBC). When he defeated James Smith in 1987, he won the World Boxing Association (WBA) title.
Tyson was fully acknowledged as champion by all three sanctioning organizations after defeating Tony Tucker on August 1, 1987. (WBC, WBA, and International Boxing Federation [IBF]).
Tyson teamed up with notorious promoter Don King after the murders of D’Amato and manager Jimmy Jacobs. He successfully defended his world heavyweight championship ten times, defeating past champions Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks along the way.
Tyson married actress Robin Givens in 1988, but the pair separated in 1989 due to charges of physical violence. Tyson was then charged with a slew of assault and harassment offenses.
Tyson lost the belt to James (“Buster”) Douglas in a technical knockout in the 10th round on February 11, 1990, in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history. Tyson bounced back with four consecutive victories after the setback. He was accused of rapping a beauty pageant competitor in 1991, and he was found guilty of the allegation in 1992.
Tyson returned to boxing after his release from prison in 1995, and in 1996, he reclaimed two of his championship titles with an easy victory over Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. Tyson lost for the second time in his professional career on November 9, 1996, in a highly anticipated contest with two-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, via technical knockout in the 11th round. He was disqualified in a rematch against Holyfield on June 28, 1997, after biting his opponent’s ears twice, and he lost his boxing license as a result of the offense.
Tyson was finally relicensed, and on January 16, 1999, he returned to the ring, knocking out Franz Botha in the fifth round. Tyson, on the other hand, was sentenced on February 6 to one year in prison, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $2,500 fine after pleading no contest to charges of assaulting two elderly men following a 1998 car accident. Tyson served only a few months of his one-year sentence before being freed.
Nevertheless, Tyson’s self-control problems continued. After the referee stopped a fight in June 2000 with American Lou Savarese, Tyson continued punching and inadvertently injured the referee. In comments made to the press after this fight, Tyson outraged boxing fans with bizarre and vicious remarks about British heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
In his October 2000 bout with Andrew Golota, Tyson won in the third round, but the fight was later declared a no-contest because Tyson tested positive for marijuana. Tyson had only one more fight between October 2000 and his June 2002 fight with Lewis.
This bout had been tough to plan. Both guys were under contract with several promoters and cable television firms. During a news conference, Tyson had assaulted and bitten Lewis, which had a calming effect. The sanctioning authorities of the United States state that generally conduct big boxing contests denied Tyson a boxing license due to his legal issues (such as Nevada).
No one knew Tyson’s talent level because it had been so long since he had faced a fighter of his caliber. Lewis decided the battle when he put Tyson on the canvas twice throughout the bout before knocking him out in the eighth round.
Tyson won his final professional fight in 2003, a 49-second knockout in the first round. He filed for bankruptcy later that year, claiming to be $34 million in debt after earning an estimated $400 million over his career. Tyson lost his last two fights in 2004 and 2005, and he retired after the latter. After pleading guilty to cocaine possession and driving under the influence charges stemming from a 2006 incident, he served 24 hours in jail in 2007.
Tyson’s personal and professional escapades were chronicled in the documentary Tyson, which premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and in Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, a one-man stage act that he first performed in Las Vegas in 2012. (The musical was later staged on Broadway, under the direction of director Spike Lee.) He also participated in a variety of television shows and films as himself, notably the blockbuster comedy The Hangover (2009) and its sequel (2011), as well as the animated television show Mike Tyson Mysteries (2014–20), a satire on the numerous Scooby-Doo cartoon series. Larry Sloman co-wrote his memoirs Undisputed Truth (2013) and Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato (2017). Tyson is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.