Michael Gerard Tyson was once the heavyweight champion of the world. His notorious behavior on and off the ring has spawned interest in his fights, some of which are regarded as the best bouts in the world of boxing.
Tyson was born on June 30, 1966 in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He was a product of a broken family and grew up in a crime-infested neighborhood in New York City. At only the age of 13, he had already been arrested 38 times for robbery and theft. He was committed to the Tryon School for Boys where he made use of his street-acquired brawling skills to begin boxing. His skills in the sport were promising that he was trained for a few months by the institute’s counselor, Bobby Stewart, who was a former boxer himself. He was later to introduced to Cus D’Amato, who was his first coach. D’Amato later became his legal guardian when Tyson’s mother died.
Tyson faired good during his amateur career. In 1985, only at the age of 19, Tyson competed professionally. His career began with a bang when he made his first knockout beating Hector Mercedes only during the first round. He acquired his first major world title in 1986 when he beat Trever Berbick to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. That fight put Tyson in the record as the youngest boxer in boxing history, to become a heavyweight champion, only at the age of 20 years and 4 months.
Throughout his entire career, Tyson was well-known for his KO wins. In 1888 and 1889, the 5’11.5-footer won all fights with KOs. His unmatched skill in boxing earned him praises from fans and critics alike that he was given the title “Kid Dynamite” and the more popular “Iron Mike”.
One of the most upsetting moments in his career was when he lost to underdog James Douglas in Tokyo. Douglas even managed to send Tyson to the canvas. The loss was blamed on Tyson’s disarrayed personal life and training. However, in his next bouts, Tyson again showed the world that he was still the champ. In a 1991 Las Vegas match, he won over World Contender No. 2 Danovan Ruddock via a referee decision to stop the fight during the 7th round. Thereafter, the Tyson-Holyfield match up was brewed.
Another alias Tyson was known for was “Baddest Man on the Planet” and he proved it true when he was convicted in 1992 for raping a beauty queen in Indianapolis. This event temporarily ended Tyson’s career, who was later released in 1995 after 3 years of detention. In that same year, his fans awaited for his comeback fight against Peter McNeeley, which he won without difficulty.
In 1996, he won both the WBC and WBA titles. In that same year, the long awaited Tyson-Holyfield dubbed “Finally” was arranged. Tyson’s claim to victory was, however, futile when he was defeated in the 11th round. The second match titled “The Sound and the Fury” was in 1997 in Las Vegas, where to everyone’s surprise, Tyson bit Holyfield on both ears during the 3rd round. Tyson’s unexpected, aggressive bite even cut a chunk off Holyfield’s right ear, which was later found laying on the floor. When interviewed, Tyson said that his violence was spurred by Holyfield’s unpenalized head butts for several times. Tyson’s public apology was not enough for the Nevada State Athletic Commission that his license was revoked for more than a year, fined US$3 million and ordered to pay the costs of the suit.
His career resumed in 1999 after his license was given back in 1998. From 1999 to 2000, he won controversial fights amidst constant apprehension by authorities by reason of his violence and drug addiction. In 2002, Tyson struggled to prove his winning ability when he fought against Lennox Lewis, who at that time, held all 3 world heavyweight titles. In the 8th round, however Lewis knocked him out.
In 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy though he had more than $300 million earnings from boxing. He lost in a fight against Danny Williams in 2004. In 2005, Tyson lost his last career fight to underdog Kevin McBride by quitting during the 7th round. After that fight, Tyson retired from boxing.
Tyson is considered by many critics as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Throughout his entire career, he had 58 fights. Of these, he won 50 times and 44 are amazing wins by KO. He only lost 6 times.
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