Mike Tyson: A Champion Born With Raw Talent
(Mike Tyson: A Champion Born With Raw Talent/ImageCredits:ZEE5)

Mike Tyson had a controversial yet successful career. During his prime time, he was the youngest boxer to win the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, and International Boxing Federation titles. Knocking out Michael Spinks, Tyson became the lineal heavyweight champion in 1988 in a 91-second bout. To sum up his boxing career, it includes 50 wins, two no contests, and six losses.

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Early Life

Early Life
(Early Lifet/ImageCredits: Alamy)

Tyson had a rough patch from an early age as he was a member of various St. gangs from a young age. In 1978, Tyson was sent to reform school in New York where a social worker Bobby Stewart recognized the talent of Tyson and recommended him to renowned trainer Cus D’Amato – the Hall of Fame Trainer. Cus D’Amato took Tyson under his guardianship at the age of 14 and became the coach and father figure to him. As an immature Tyson compiled a 24-3 record before he entered professional boxing in 1985.  

Tyson learned a peekaboo boxing style from his trainer and guardian, which made his defence unbreakable with his hands close to his cheeks and continuous bobbing motion in the ring. Tyson weighed about 218 pounds and had a height of five feet 11 inches making him short. Although he lacked the classic heavyweight boxer appearance, his aggressiveness and quickness surprised and overwhelmed most of his opponents in the boxing ring.   In November 1985 at the age of 77, D’Amato suddenly died of pneumonia,  before Tyson started to get the fruit of all the hard work and training. Tyson didn't fail to dedicate his victory at WBC to his former trainer. He also paid for his trainer's funeral and paid tribute after winning gold and green belt a year later. After his former trainer, the assistant of D’Amato’s assistant Kevin Rooney took the reigns as the trainer and cornerman to Tyson.

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Records Made to be Broken

Records Made to be Broken
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On 22 November 1986, he made history by becoming the youngest heavyweight champion with a second-round knockout of Trevor Berwick. With this, he claimed the crown of the World Boxing Council. On March 7, 1987, he defeated James Smith and acquired the gleam of the World Boxing Association. After defeating Tony Tucker on August 1st, 1987, he became the undisputed champion of all three sanctioning organisations. He retained his belt against the legend Larry Holmes. He dedicated this win against the former icon and hero, Muhammad Ali, who lost to him in the fight to his career aggressively.

Tyson faced his first defeat in Tokyo in 1990 while facing Buster Douglas. However, to compensate for that defeat he won the next three fights before going to prison for the charge of raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington a year later. Although the sentence was for six years, he only served the first three years inside the prison.

After being released from the present in 1995 he returned to the ring. He went back a year later and won WBA and WBC titles over Groove Seldom and Frank Brewer. The two-time heavyweight champion faced successive defeats to Evander Holyfield in 1996 and 1997 before a solid defeat to Lennox Lewis in 22,002.

Following these back-to-back defeats to Kevin McBride and Danny Williams, Tyson decided to end his career and retire in 2005. After retiring, Tyson became a TV personality with his most famous role in the comedy films The Hangover and The Hangover 2. Between 2008 and 2013 Tyson went on different TV shows and films and released autobiographies to show his life to the world.

Life after Retiring

Life after Retiring
(Life after Retiring/ImageCredits: The Guardian)

However, in 2020, Tyson returned to the ring to face Roy Jones Jr. at the heavyweight in an 8-round exhibition fight. The fight was originally set to take place on September 12, 2020, but got postponed due to the Thanksgiving weekend, November 28 of the same year.

With a combined age of 105, it received criticism from brain experts despite the fight being claimed to be a sparring session instead of a proper fight. The fight took place at Dignity Health sports park in California and ended up with a draw as there were no judges scoring the contest. This sparring session estimated 1.2 million PPV buys and Tyson pursued around $10 million from which he gave a certain percentage 2 to charity. 

He said, "This is bigger than championships, we are humanitarians, we are helping people. I'm happy I got this under the belt and I'll continue to go further and do more." At the peak of his career, Tyson was worth 300 million due to his huge fights. In 2017 he was ranked 11th in the Forbes 2017 list as the highest-paid athlete of all time bringing $635,000,000 while summing up his professional career. However, after the bankruptcy of 2003, he was in the depth of $23 million. However, now he has a net worth of $10 million through films, TV appearances, and autobiographies.