Imagine Boxing Blogs

The life and times of Mike Tyson

We look back at the highs and lows of one of the great boxers in history

Posted Mar 02, 2011 by Legends

Mike Tyson

This time last year, 43 year old Iron Mike Tyson, previously the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and the youngest fighter ever to win the WBC, WBA and IBF titles was thought to be considering a comeback. Sources spoke of his first fight in five years and his opponent was mooted as Evander Holyfield. It was to be the fight of all fights with Don King, Tyson’s former promoter, ironing out the details for a return to the ring in late 2010.

Here we are in 2011 and no sign of a comeback but we thought we would mark the anniversary of the rumours and look back on the highs and lows of one of the world’s most famous boxers.

Tyson retired in 2005 after refusing to return to the ring against Irish boxer Kevin Mcbride. Tyson suffered 6 losses in his 58 bout career as a pro boxer; Evander Holyfield and British heavyweights Danny Williams and Lennox Lewis were three opponents that knocked out Tyson.

Iron Mike has had what could be described as a turbulent career; he grew up in Brooklyn and fought professionally for the first time in 1985 (26 years to the day this coming Sunday). He then went on to win 26 of his first 28 fights by knockout with 16 of these knockouts happening in the first round. At this point, the boxing world could see this was a star to watch, even if he was still young.

He won his first WBC title at just 20 years old and is still the youngest fighter ever to do that. Many attribute his ferocious power and determination in the ring to his tough upbringing which saw Tyson’s father abandon the family at an early age coupled with the brutal bullying that Tyson suffered as a child due to his high voice and lisp. These factors allied with high-crime surroundings sent a young Mike into a downward spiral of petty crime and violence which saw him arrested 38 times before the age of 20.

Tyson’s mother died when he was 16 years old leaving Mike in the custody of boxing manager and trainer Cus D’Amato.

Tyson’s amateur career Tyson started in the early ‘80s when the young boxer competed in the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympic games winning the gold medal twice and achieving the world record for the fastest Olympic knockout at just 8 seconds.

The late ’80s and early ‘90s were the peak of ‘Tyson mania’ where the American boxer picked up a string of titles in very quick succession beating the likes of James Smith, Pinklon Thomas and Tony Tucker.

In 1992 Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, he served three and then embarked on a series of comeback fights – one of which was the infamous Tyson Holyfield I which saw Holyfield lose part of his ear.

Tyson declared bankruptcy back in 2003 despite earning a reported $30million per fight at his peak. Last year there were rumours of a ‘second’ comeback although this never materialised but he has remained in public life after an the eponymous documentary of 2009 that won several awards, as well as his small part in the hit Hollywood comedy, The Hangover.

For better or for worse, we certainly haven’t seen the last of iron Mike.

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