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Mike Tyson – Complete Biography 2022

Who is Mike Tyson?

Michael Gerard Tyson (Mike Tyson) was born on 30th June, 1996 and became the youngest American heavyweight boxing champion of the world in 1986. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. Claiming his first belt at 20 years, four months, and 22 days old, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title. His tenure lasted from 1985 to 2005. He lost his title in 1990 and was convivcted on the charge of rape and thus imprisoned for three years. And He is also known for his scandalous temper, such as when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during a rematch in 1997. He has appeared in several movies and a Broadway show on his life, became a best-selling author and launched a successful cannabis business.

In his early years he earned the titles, “Iron Man” and “Kid Dynamite” and later came to be known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet.”  Similarly he is the only heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA. WBC and IBF titles simultaneously. Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. In 1990, Tyson was knocked out by underdog Buster Douglas, a very unfortunate event marking history.  

In 1992

however, Tyson was put behind the bars on being suspected for rape. He was to originally serve for a total of six years but got released after three years. In 1995 upon his release, he indulged himself in comeback fights and regained his WBA and WBC titles to join Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman, the only men who rewon a heavyweight championship title after loosing it. Tyson unfortunately lost the WBA title in a fight with Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage.

In 1997 in a rematch, Tyler was disqualified after he bit Holyfield’s ear. His bite was so full of power that he managed to take off a portion of the right ear of his opponent. In 2002 while fighting for the world heavyweight title, the boxer lost by knockout to Lennox Lewis. He is renowned for his fierce and intimidating style. There are many controversial issues amongst which he entangles himself both within and outside the boxing ring. His knockout-to-win percentage is 88%. ranked 16th on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and first on ESPN’s list of “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History.” He even has his name reserved in the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Hall of Fame. 

Life of the young Mike Tyson

He was born in Fort Greene Brooklyn, New York to Jimmy Kirkpatrick and Lorna Tyson.  Kirkpatrick was from Grier Town, North Carolina (a predominantly black neighborhood), where he was one of the neighborhood’s top baseball players. In Brooklyn after marrying Tyson’s mother and having his three children, Kirkpatrick gambled, used to stay out late in the streets and frequently visited pool halls. When Michael was only two years old, his father abandoned them and left his mother to care for him and his two other siblings, Rodney and Denise.

Due to the extreme financial distress when Tyson was only 10 years old, the Tyson family was forced to move to a small neighborhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn which was known for its high crime rate. Tyson’s diminutive stature and shy temperament often landed him as a target of bullies. To make his way through this type of society, his only survival mechanism was to learn his own street style fighting. However, this led him to the path of criminal activity itself as he became a member of the gang called Jolly Stompers. As an 11 year old his task was to clean out cash registers while the rest of the members held victims at gunpoint. He frequently got caught by the police due to these trivial criminal acts and by the age of 13 he had been arrested more than 30 times. 

Unacceptable behavior Of Mike Tyson

As a consequence of his unacceptable behavior, he was administered into a recovery school in New York, known as the Tryon School for Boys. Over there he encountered a counselor, Bob Stewart who was also an amateur boxing champion. Tyson pleaded with Stewart to teach him how to use his fists. After many refusals, Stewart agreed on the condition that Tyson would not betray him and use his new skills for illegal purposes and instead pay more attention to his school work. Determined to set his life on the right path, Tyson, who had been previously classified as learning disabled, maintained his work ethic and soon raised his reading abilities to the seventh grade level in just a few months.

He was so committed to learning everything about boxing that he would often slip out of bed way past his curfew to practice a few punches and perfect his stroke. When Tyson was 16 years old his mother died leaving him in the care of boxing manager and trainer Cus D’Amato who became his legal guardian. Tyson regretted not having been close to his mother or knowing her personally even though she struggled all her lifetime to raise her children single-handedly.

According to Tyson

According to Tyson his mother was never particularly proud of him for his achievements. She only saw him as a wild kid running through the streets, wearing new clothes that he did not pay for. He felt an emotional void due to this lack of connection with his mother after her demise.   

Entry into the Boxing World

Stewart introduced his protegee, Tyson, to boxing manager Constantine “Cus” D’Amato, who had a gym in Catskill, New York. D’Amato was known for investing personally in aspiring boxers by providing them accommodation and sustenance in the home he shared with Camille Eward.

He helped successful boxers like Patterson and Jose Torres to rise up their career ladder, and he immediately recognized Tyson as a promising candidate, telling him, “If you want to stay here, and if you want to listen, you could be the world heavyweight champion someday.” Their relationship thus transitioned from professional trainer and boxer to that of a father and son. D’Amato took him under full care at the age of 14 after Tyson was released from his term at the Tryon School in September 1980. Thus began a rigorous training schedule for Tyson.

Catskill High School

During the day he was sent to Catskill High School and in the evening to train in the ring. D’Amato also registered Tyson in amateur boxing matches and “smoker’s” (non-sanctioned fights) so that the young boxer could learn how to deal with older opponents as well. However, due to his violent behavior he was expelled from Catskill High School but continued his schooling through private tuition and trained for 1984 Olympic Trials. Nevertheless Tyson failed to secure a position in the Olympic Team as he lost to Tillman, the eventual gold medalist. Now D’Amato believed that Tyson should turn into a professional fighter. 

On the Route to a Professional Boxing Career 

Tyson made his professional debut in Albany, New York against Hector Mercedes on 6th March, 1985. The 18 year old Tyson knocked Mercedes out just in the first round. Tyson’s extreme defensiveness and strong punches often scared his opponents who were afraid to be hit by him. Thus, he earned the title of “Iron Mike” since he gained the ability to swipe out his rivals in just one round.

D’Amato taught him the peekaboo boxing style in which he kept his hands close to his cheeks and moved with an intimidating bobbing motion in the ring. He was 5 feet and 11 inches tall and weighed 218 pounds meaning he lacked the physique of a classic heavy boxer but his assertiveness and agility in the boxing ring made his presence overbearing for others. This year Tyson also had to face several setbacks such as the tragic death of his surrogate father and trainer Cus D’Amato on November 4, 1985 from pneumonia. Kevin Rooney replaced D’ Amato and less than two weeks later Tyson was raising his level in the heavyweight boxing rankings.

His thirteenth knockout

His thirteenth knockout was recorded in Houston, Texas and he dedicated the fight to D’Amato, his mentor and guardian who changed his life. Those who were well aware of Tyson’s temperament and feelings could tell that he never really recovered from the loss of D’Amato and initially the boxer felt somewhat lost without his support and motivation.   

On November 22, 1986 he was named as the youngest heavyweight champion in history, with a second-round knockout of Trevor Berbick, to claim the crown of the World Boxing Council (WBC). Subsequently on March 7, 1987, after defeating James Smith, Tyson won the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt. On August 1, 1987, after crushing Tony Tucker in a fight, Tyson was a champion at all three sanctioning organizations: (WBC, WBA, and International Boxing Federation [IBF]). 

Mike Tyson’s Marriage and other Complications

The boxer’s rise to fame made him the center of attention in the media and he started entering the Hollywood circle of stars. From here on he began dating the actress, Robin Givens and on February 7, 1988 they got marry in New York. However, his boxing game was gradually declining and out of frustration he blamed his long-time trainer Rooney for this mess and thus fired him in mid-1988. Simultaneously his marriage was also straine and rumors about spousal abuse began resurfacing in June, 1988.

Given and her mother demanded access to Tyson’s money for a down payment on a $3 million home in New Jersey. The same year police were call to Tyson’s home after he outrageously threw his furniture out of the window in order to force Givens and her mother out of the house. Givens and Mike Tyson appeared in an interview with Barbara Walters where Givens described her marriage as “pure hell,” and soon she announced that she would be filing for divorce. However, Mike Tyson countersued for divorce and an annulment leading to a months-long court process. 

After this he faced further complications with other women for instance in 1988 he was sue for his inappropriate attention towards two nightclub patrons, Sandra Miller and Lori Davis. The women sued him for grabbing and insulting them while dancing. 

After six years of marriage Mike Tyson

After six years of marriage with his second wife, Monica Turner filed for divorce in 2003 the reason being adultery. That same year he filed for bankruptcy because of his unnecessary spending, multiple trials and bad investments which had landed him in hot waters. Thus, to pay off his debts he returned to the boxing ring in a series of fights. He could never really get rid of his hard-partying and out of control ways and so in 2006 he was arrest in Scottsdale, Arizona for crashing into a police SUV. When the police search his car suspecting him to be drunk driving, they found cocaine and drug tools throughout his car. On September 24, 2007, Mike Tyson pleaded guilty to possession of narcotics and driving under the influence. He was sentence to 24 hours in jail, 360 hours of community service and three years’ probation.

Screen Appearances and A Successful Cannabis Business

In 2009 he starred in the hit comedy “The Hangover” with Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms. This positive appearance opened up more opportunities for Mike Tyson to act, including guest spots on such television series as Entourage, How I Met Your Mother and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2012, Tyson made his Broadway debut in his one-man show Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth, directed by Spike Lee.

In 2016, he made a successful entry into the cannabis industry by launching Mike Tyson Holistic Holdings. His business includes the 407-acre Tyson Ranch in California, which the ex-champ reportedly aims to transform into a bustling resort for marijuana enthusiasts. In April, 2020 he announced that he would continue his boxing training and compete in matches for the vital purpose of giving charitable donations. 


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