Brooklyn-born Mike Tyson is a professional boxer who fought in the late 80s and early 90s. To this day, he is known as one of the best heavyweight fighters in history. Tyson remains the youngest person to have become heavyweight champion of world, having won the title in 1986 at the age of 20.
Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. He is also referred to as The Baddest Man on the Planet, Kid Dynamite and Iron Mike.
Tyson’s behavior in and out of the ring gained him notoriety. He served three years in prison on rape charges stemming from a 1991 incident. He was also widely scorned for biting off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a 1997 rematch following a loss to Holyfield 7 months earlier. That incident cost Tyson his boxing license, which was later reinstated.
Mike Tyson was born on June 30, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York. He had a troubled childhood, engaged in some petty crimes and ultimately landed at Tyron School for Boys, a correctional facility for underage offenders. There, he met the legendary Cus D’Amato who became Tyson’s coach and a central figure in his life.
On March 6, 1985, Tyson had his first professional fight in Albany, New York. Tyson floored his opponent Hector Mercedes in one round. Of his first 22 professional wins, 21 were via knockout, many of them very early in fights. His ability to knock out opponents in one round earned him the moniker Iron Mike.
On November 22, 1986, Tyson had his first world title shot against WBC champion Trevor Berbick. Tyson knocked out Berbick on the second round making him the youngest world champion at 20 years of age. Tyson then unified the WBA and IBF titles defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker respectively.
Personal setbacks hit Tyson over the next years. He was imprisoned on rape charges against Desiree Washington in 1992, and released on March 5, 1995 after serving his three year sentence. Tyson got back to the ring with his usual success, knocking out a string of opponents.
This led to a title shot again the current heavyweight champ, Evander Holyfield. Holyfield knocked out Tyson in the 11th round of their fight on November 9, 1996. A rematch was held on June 28, 1997. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear, resulting in his disqualification from the bout. His boxing license was revoked by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but later reinstated.
His next fight was against Lennox Lewis in 2002. He lost the match via knockout. Tyson fought three more times, losing twice, before retiring in 2005.
Today, Tyson remains a public figure and seems to have mellowed with age. He played himself in the hit movie, The Hangover, and his one-man show, Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth.