Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Boxing legend "Iron" Mike Tyson was one of the worlds most feared boxers when he was at his peak (1987-1990).

2008 Image from

Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson, also known as Malik Abdul Aziz, (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American boxer. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion and remains the youngest man ever to win a world heavyweight title at just 19 years old. Throughout his career, Tyson became well-known for his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring.
Nicknamed "Kid Dynamite", "Iron Mike," and "The Baddest Man on the Planet," Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 13 in the first round. He unified the belts in the splintered heavyweight division in the late 1980s. Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for over two years, before losing to 42-to-1 underdog Buster Douglas in 1990.
Tyson has been quoted saying, “I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally.” Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime neighborhoods. He was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. He was constantly molested by older children in his neighborhood. By the age of 13, he had been arrested 38 times. He ended up at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York. It was at the school that Tyson's emerging boxing ability was discovered by Deshawn Stewart, a juvenile detention center counselor and former boxer. Stewart considered Tyson to be an outstanding fighter and trained him for a few months before introducing him to Cus D'Amato.

Cus D'Amato

Tyson competed at the 1982 Junior Olympic Games, where he won Gold. He fought Henry Tillman twice as an amateur losing both bouts by close decision. Tillman went on to win heavyweight Gold at the Los Angeles Olympics.
'That was when Mike really showed his strength of character. The Olympics would have been something really special.'
-Cus D'Amato
Coming off a narrow points defeat to Henry Tillman in the Olympic Trials, Mike Tyson and his entire sponsoring team were stunned when Tillman managed a second victory over the seemingly invincible man-child. Tillman went on to win the Gold Medal in the Olympic games. Tyson went on to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history, and incidentally to annihilate Henry Tillman in less than one round in their third and final ring meeting. This time as professionals.

The Day The Dream Died...
July 6, 1984

Beginning of the End
Mike Tyson v. Henry Tillman
16 June 1990

Tyson made his professional debut on March 6, 1985, in Albany, New York. He defeated Hector Mercedes with a first round knockout. Fighting frequently in his first two years as a professional, Tyson won 26 of his first 28 fights by knockout--16 in the first round. The quality of his opponents gradually increased to journeyman fighters and borderline contenders, and his win streak attracted media attention, leading to his being billed as the next great heavyweight champion. D'Amato died in November 1985, relatively early into Tyson's professional career; some speculate that his death was the genesis of many of the troubles Tyson was to experience later as his life and career progressed.
On November 22, 1986, Tyson was given his first title fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. Tyson won the title by second round TKO, and at the age of 20 years and 4 months became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Historic fight
Nov 22, 1086

At 2:35 seconds of round number two Michael Tyson had literally sent Trevor Berbick reeling and with him the entire boxing world, as he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Mike Tyson Circa. 1986
Original Autographed Modern Photograph

Mike Tyson Circa 1986 Image
Modern Photograph
Signed by Mike Tyson

Boxing: Mike Tyson vs Trevor Berbick
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Because of Tyson's strength, many fighters were said to be too intimidated to hit him and this was backed up by his outstanding hand speed, accuracy, coordination, power, and timing. Tyson was also noted for his defensive abilities. Holding his hands high in the Peek-a-Boo style taught by his mentor Cus D'Amato, he slipped and weaved out of the way of the opponent's punches while closing the distance to deliver his own punches. One of Tyson's trademark combinations was to throw a right hook to his opponent's body, then follow it up with a right uppercut to his opponent's chin.

Mike Tyson Training Highlight
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Expectations for Tyson were extremely high, and he embarked on an ambitious campaign to fight all the top heavyweights in the world. Tyson defended his title against James 'Bonecrusher' Smith on March 7, 1987, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He won by unanimous decision and added Smith's World Boxing Association (WBA) title to his existing belt.

Mike Tyson
Vintage Original Autographed Cover
March 1987 Issue

Mike Tyson Vs Bonecrusher Smith Part II
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Tyson mania' in the media was becoming rampant. He beat Pinklon Thomas in May 1987 with a knockout in the sixth round.

Boxing Mike Tyson Vs Pinklon Thomas
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

On August 1 1987 he took the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker in a twelve round unanimous decision.

Mike Tyson vs Tony TNT Tucker
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

He became the first heavyweight to own all three major belts — WBA, WBC, and IBF — at the same time.

Tyson Coronation Ceremony
Vintage Original Proclamation from the Ceremony

Bad Intentions
The Mike Tyson Story
by Peter Heller
New American Library
A Division of Penguin Books
New York. 1989. 378 pp. . Illust.

Another fight in 1987 was in October that ended with a victory for Tyson by knockout in the seventh round, against 1984 Olympics Super Heavyweight Gold Medallist Tyrell Biggs.

Mike Tyson v Tyrell Biggs

By many accounts, Mike Tyson continued to harbor the bitter frustration of his 1984 Olympic trial defeat, even after his record breaking performance as a professional. With the making of the fight with Tyrell Biggs, the Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist at the 1984 games, and a bitter exchange of words in the media came Tyson's opportunity to exact some measure of retribution.
Tyrell Biggs under the able guidance of Angelo Dundee was a superior athlete and built much in the mold of Muhammad Ali. Taller, with a longer reach and stiff jab, Biggs had the tools to fend off the small always on rushing Tyson. For two minutes of round number one Tyrell Biggs did just that, but Tyson was not to be denied. By round three the bloodied and battered Biggs could have been a knockout victim at any moment. Instead Tyson was to say later, " He does not show any class as a professional boxer, so I made him pay for his actions with his health." Seven long rounds, and two knockdowns later the end came for Tyrell Biggs at 2:59 of round number seven. It was Tyson's first defense of the unifed title.
Tyson had three fights in 1988. He faced Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988, and defeated the legendary former champion by fourth round knockout. This was the only knockout loss Holmes suffered in 75 professional bouts.

Mike Tyson Vs Larry Holmes
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In March, Tyson then fought contender Tony Tubbs in Tokyo, Japan, fitting in an easy two-round victory amid promotional and marketing work. On June 27, 1988, Tyson faced Michael Spinks. Spinks, who had taken the heavyweight championship from Larry Holmes via a 15-round decision in 1985, had not lost his title in the ring but was not recognized as champion by the major boxing organizations. Holmes had previously given up all but the IBF title, and that was eventually stripped from Spinks after he elected to fight Gerry Cooney (winning by a 5th-round TKO) rather than IBF Number 1 Contender Tony Tucker, as the Cooney fight provided him a larger purse. However, Spinks did become the lineal champion by beating Holmes and many (including Ring magazine) considered him to have a legitimate claim to being the true heavyweight champion. Tyson knocked out Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. Spinks, previously unbeaten, would never fight professionally again.

Tyson vs. Spinks
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

In late 1988, Tyson fired longtime trainer Kevin Rooney, the man many credit for honing Tyson's craft after the death of D'Amato. Without Rooney, Tyson's skills quickly deteriorated and he became more prone to looking for the one-punch knockout, rather than using the combinations that brought him to stardom. He also began to head-hunt, neglecting to attack the opponent's body first. In addition, he lost his defensive skills and began to barrel straight in toward the opponent, neglecting to jab and slip his way in. In 1989, Tyson had only two fights amid personal turmoil. He faced the popular British boxer Frank Bruno in February in a fight where Bruno managed to stun Tyson at the end of the 1st round, although Tyson went on to knock out Bruno in the fifth round. Tyson then knocked out Carl "The Truth" Williams in one round in July.
In 1989, Tyson was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Central State University in Ohio.
By 1990, Tyson seemed to have lost direction, and his personal life and training habits were in disarray. In a fight on February 11, 1990, he lost the undisputed championship to James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo. Tyson was a 1/42 favorite, but Douglas was at an emotional peak after losing his mother to a stroke 23 days prior to the fight, and fought the fight of his life. Tyson failed to find a way past Douglas's quick jab that had a 12-inch (30 cm) reach advantage over his own. Tyson did send Douglas to the floor in the eighth round, catching him with an uppercut, but Douglas recovered sufficiently to hand Tyson a heavy beating in the subsequent two rounds (after the fight, the Tyson camp would complain that the count was slow and that Douglas had taken longer than ten seconds to get to his feet). Just 35 seconds into the 10th round, Douglas unleashed a brutal combination of blows that sent Tyson to the canvas for the first time in his career. He was counted out by referee Octavio Meyran.

Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

The knockout victory by Douglas over Tyson, the previously undefeated "baddest man on the planet" and arguably the most feared boxer in professional boxing at that time, has been described as one of the most shocking upsets in modern sports history.
Tyson was arrested in July 1991 for the rape of Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, in an Indianapolis hotel room. Tyson was convicted on the charge on February 10, 1992.
Under Indiana law, a defendant convicted of a felony must begin serving his prison sentence immediately after the sentence is imposed. He was given a sentence of six years and was released in March 1995 after serving three years. During his incarceration, Tyson converted to Islam.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Loved By Few, Hated By Many, Respect By All...
Mike Tyson's return to the ring following his incarceration

With Mike Tyson's return to the ring following his incarceration, the King organization undertook a juxtapositon approach to the marketing of Mighty Mike.
As Tyson's entourage sported "Kick Ass" hats, and the Loved by Few...logos, the King organization promoted Team Tyson A Family Affaire, a line of men's clothing and the Mike Tyson Fan Club.
As someone once said of Jerry Lee Lewis, " If Jerry Lee had had a Colonel Parker he would have been bigger than Elvis." Then, after a moments thought the person went on, "Ah, but Jerry Lee wasn't managable" and Mike Tyson could not be packaged he was his own creation.
(From Mike Tyson Fan Club Flag)
After Mike Tyson lost a final court appeal to keep records of his recent psychiatric examinations private, the Nevada Athletic Commission released the reports on Tuesday, October 13. A team of doctors concluded that Tyson, who has petitioned Nevada boxing regulators to be relicensed, was fit to box again. Below you will find the September 30 report prepared by the independent group of specialists assigned to examine the former heavyweight champion.
(10 pages at
Upon release, Tyson turned his attentions to a ring-return and after just two fights, he was matched against Frank Bruno for the WBC title. Tyson had beaten Bruno in 1989 and seven years after the first fight, he had fewer problems, winning in three rounds.

Mike Tyson
Circa 1995

Mike Tyson v Frank Bruno II
16 March 1996

Eight months later, in what was supposed to be an easy night's work, the new champion was dethroned by Holyfield and as staggering as the result was, it was merely a prologue to what took place in the rematch. The second fight, in June 1997, saw Tyson disqualified for biting his opponent's ear twice - the loser was later fined and suspended for his actions.

Mike Tyson v Evander Holyfield
9 November 1996
MGM Grand
Modern Color Photograph on Kodak Paper 2000-7574

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield (1st fight)
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield (2nd fight)
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Since then, there has been further time in jail, more controversy and a split with King. Many hoped that Tyson would finally be able to silence his critics, but his display against Lennox Lewis showed otherwise. Sadly, with financial problems now surrounding him, there is every chance that Tyson will fight on. That would be sad for boxing and dangerous for him because one of the most fearsome fighters in history no longer packs a punch.
(Story from BBC SPORT at, Published: 2003/04/30 15:40:57 GMT, © BBC MMVIII)
Since then, the former world boxing champ has fought in several lackluster matches including an 8th round loss to Lennox Lewis in 2002. Tyson also suffered a knock-out in the fourth round by British boxer Danny Williams in 2004.

Tyson vs Lewis documentary
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

His last bout on June, 11 2005 vs Ireland's Kevin McBride was thought have finally ended Tyson's career when he was pushed to the canvas by the 6-foot-6, 250 pound McBride.
In 2006, Tyson announced his part in the mixed martial arts PRIDE series of exhibition fights at the Alladin Hotel in Las Vegas. While Tyson's 2006 return to the ring is being popularly described as a freak show, or Sideshow Mike, the former champ now refers to himself as simply a working "entertainer."
And in yet another reincarnation of the boxer's career, Tyson is also said to be embarking on a foray into Bollywood, where he is slated to appear in a music video promoting the film comedy "Fool n Final", subsequently leading to talks regarding Tyson starring in full-fledged Bollywood film roles.
In August, Tyson fought in the legal arena against charges of DUI and cocaine possession following his arrest by Scottsdale, Arizona police in 2006.
The following year, Tyson got the full Hollywood treatment at the Cannes Film Festival with the world premiere of Tyson, a documentary about the controversial boxer's life and career.
(copyright © 1999 - 2009)

Mike Tyson's Pictures
Several pictures of Mike Tyson

Tyson established an impressive list of accomplishments, mostly early in his career:
National Golden Gloves Champion Heavyweight 1984
Undisputed Heavyweight champion (held all three major championship belts; WBA, IBF, and WBC) — August 1, 1987 – February 11, 1990
WBC Heavyweight Champion — November 22, 1986 – February 11, 1990, March 16, 1996 – 1997 (Vacated)
WBA Heavyweight Champion — March 7, 1987 – February 11, 1990, September 7, 1996 – November 9, 1996
IBF Heavyweight Champion — August 1, 1987 – February 11, 1990
Youngest Heavyweight champion—20 years and 4 months
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year—1988
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality—1989
Ring magazine Prospect of the Year—1985
Amateur record: 24-3
Pro record: 49-3-0-1 (43 KOs)

Muhammad Ali VS Iron Mike Tyson?:

©2008 Mike Tyson - The best for Videos, News,
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Mike Tyson vs Muhammad Ali (Battle of the Greats)
Made by Matt Locke
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Tyson V Trevor Berbick 1986
Tyson V Mitch Green 1986
Tyson V James "bonecrusher" Smith 1987
Tyson V Tony "TNT" Tucker 1987
Tyson V Mike Spinks 1988
Tyson V Larry Holmes 1988
Tyson V Frank Bruno I 1989
Tyson V James Douglas 1990
Tyson V Donovan Ruddock 1 and 2 1991
Tyson V Buster Mathis 1995
Tyson V Peter McNeely 1995
Tyson V Evander Holyfield 1996
Tyson V Bruce Seldon 1996
Tyson V Frank Bruno 2 1996
Tyson V Evander Holyfield 2 1997
Tyson V Orlin Norris 1999
Tyson V Francois Botha 1999
Tyson V Andrew Golota2000
Tyson V Lou Savarese 2000
Tyson V Jules Francis 2000
Tyson V Brian Nielsen 2001
Tyson V Lennox Lewis2002
Tyson V Cliff Etienne2003

Copyright © 2008 In Case You Didn’t Know

Mike Tyson Tribute Page

The true tragedy of Michael Tyson's professional life does not lie in squandered potential, nor criminal behavior, but rather in the sad fact that he, perhaps the greatest of all heavyweight fist fighters, was just simply born too late.
In a society that scrutinizes it leaders into mediocrity, that expects it's war's to be without casualties, it's violence to all be correographed by Hollywood, there is no place for a true fist fighter. As modern society glorified Dempsey and mourned Ketchel , they villified, condemned and crucified the one last true keeper of the flame. In truth , Michael Tyson spent more years exiled from the ring than Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali combined. His remarkable talent sacrificied on the pyre of public opinion.
-Michael Gerard Tyson, on 'The Last American Fist Fighter' by Harry Shaffer.

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