Michael Gerard Tyson
(born June 30, 1966, New York City, USA) is a professional boxer.
His once immense promise and skill in
the boxing ring has been hampered by a series of criminal charges.
Born in New York City and brought up in Brooklyn. He was often arrested as a youth for petty crimes and eventually he was sent to Tryon School in upstate New York where he was taught to box by Bobby Stewart. Michael Gerard Tyson proved to be a natural and his physical development (he weighed 200 lb at age 13 and was strong rather than fat) only aided his cause. Stewart knew the respected trainer Cus D'Amato "cus" for his friends and in 1980 D'Amato was introduced to the boy.
Tyson made his debut in the professional ring on March 6, 1985 in Albany, New York. He won the fight in a single round. He had a further fifteen fights in 1985 winning them all by knock-out, and almost all in the first round. He fought twelve times in 1986, cutting a dangerous path through improving ranks of journeyman fighters and already attracting attention and courting media controversy (v. Jesse Ferguson). On November 22, 1986 Tyson was given his first title shot, fighting Trevor Berbick for the WBC heavyweight title it took Michael Tyson two rounds to become the youngest heavyweight champion ever.
Tyson had three fights in 1988. He faced an aged and flabby Larry Holmes on January 22 which finished with a fourth round TKO. He fought an even flabbier man in Tony Tubbs in Tokyo in March, fitting in an easy two round demolition amid promotional and marketing work. On June 27 he produced a good performance against Michael Spinks, Spinks lasted fractionally over 90 seconds before his KO. But Tyson's problems outside boxing were starting to gain prominence too, his marriage to Robin Givens was heading for divorce, and his future contract was being clawed over by Don King and Bill Cayton.
In 1989 Tyson had only two fights amid personal turmoil. He faced the popular British boxer Frank Bruno in February in a below-par fight over five rounds and a one round knockout of Carl Williams in July.
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By 1990 Tyson had lost direction, his personal life was in disarray and he was not training well. In a fight on February 11 with the little regarded James 'Buster' Douglas he lost to a tenth round KO and despite the protests of his manager over a 'slow count' in the eighth round Tyson lost all his belts to Douglas. Tyson's two other fights in 1990 were confidence regaining first round KOs.
In 1991 Tyson fought Donovan "Razor" Ruddock twice, once in March and again in June. There was some controversy over the first fight which Tyson won in the seventh round but at the second fight, which Michael Tyson fought while waiting for a match against the new champion Evander Holyfield, Tyson won on points.
Tyson went on trial in Indiana charged with the rape of a 1991 Miss Black America Contest contestant named Desiree Washington on January 27, 1992 Tyson was found guilty of the rape on February 10 and imprisoned for 3 years. (Under Indiana law, a defendant convicted of a felony must begin serving his prison sentence immedately after the sentence is imposed) As a result, Mike Tyson did not fight again until 1995.
As a Get-out-of-jail opener he won within one round against Peter McNeeley in August and beat Buster Mathis Jr. in three in December. In March 1996 Tyson regained one belt, winning the WBC title from a lumbering Frank Bruno in three rounds. In September Tyson Mike won back the WBA in 93 seconds from Bruce Seldon, having paid Lennox Lewis $4 million dollars to 'step-aside'. On November 9 however he faced a tougher challenge in Evander Holyfield, fighting over eleven rounds Holyfield won with a TKO to become a three-times world champion.
In January 1999 Tyson fought the South African Frans Botha and while Botha initially controlled the fight Tyson landed a single good punch in round five that put Botha down. On February 5 Tyson was sentenced to a year's imprisonment, fined $5,000, and ordered to serve 2 years probation and perform 200 hours of community service for the August 31, 1998 assault on two people after a car accident. He served nine months of that sentence. On his release he fought Orlin Norris in October, where in a farcical scene Norris claimed to have twisted his ankle in the first round and refused to fight on.
In 2000 Tyson Mike had three fights. The first was staged in England and against Julius Francis, the pre-fight arguments about whether TYSON should be allowed into the country were more entertaining than the second round KO of Francis. He also fought Lou Savarese in June in Glasgow, winning in the first round and in October the notoriously dirty Andrew Golota, winning in round three, a result that was changed to no-contest after Tyson failed a fight-related drug test. Tyson fought only once in 2001 beating Brian Nielsen in Copenhagen with a seventh round TKO.
Tyson sought to fight Lennox Lewis in 2002 in Nevada but the Nevada boxing commission refused him a license to box as he is facing possible sexual assault charges. A scuffle at a press conference finally removed any chance of a Nevada fight. The fight actually occurred in June in Memphis, Tennessee. Tyson losing in the eighth round by knockout.
On February 22, 2003, Tyson beat fringe contender Clifford Etienne 49 seconds into round one, once again in Memphis. The pre-fight was marred by rumours of Tyson's lack of fitness and that he took time out from training to party in Las Vegas and have a new facial tattoo.
In August 2003, after years of financial struggles, Mike Tyson finally filed for bankruptcy. His bank account has been said to have a total of only 5,000 dollars. Amid all his economic troubles, he was named by Ring Magazine at number 16 among all time best hitters in boxing history in 2003.
On July 31, 2004 Tyson Mike faced the unregarded Englishman Danny Williams in another 'come-back' fight staged in Louisville. Tyson dominated the opening two rounds. The third round was more even, with Williams getting in some clean blows and also a few illegal ones, for which he was penalised. In the fourth round Tyson was surprisingly knocked out, Williams put in over twenty unanswered punches and left the dazed Tyson slumped against the ropes. This was Tyson's fifth career defeat. Shelly Finkel, Tyson's manager, claimed that Mike Tyson had twisted his knee in the final round.
Tyson's record stands at 50 wins, 5 losses and 2 no contests, with 44 knockout wins.
In 1989 Mike was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award.
CANNES, France (AFP) An "intimidated" Mike Tyson won cheers at the Cannes film festival late Saturday after the premiere of a flattering documentary on the former world heavyweight boxing champion's turbulent life.
Tyson, dressed in an elegant dark grey suit with a white pocket handkerchief, mounted the stage ahead of the screening at the world's biggest cinema showcase, flanked by director James Toback.
"I've never experienced anything like this in my whole career," Tyson said as he basked in lengthy applause from the packed house.
"I'm an athlete and this is totally out of my field here -- it's kind of intimidating."
The retired fighter, who has put on weight in recent years and now has a Maori tattoo around his left eye, flew to the French Riviera from his suburban Las Vegas home with a sizeable entourage for the premiere of "Tyson".
The picture combines more than 30 hours of interviews with highlights of his boxing career.
"Jim, he just elicited all this stuff out of me, I don't know how he did it," a visibly moved Tyson said, onstage once again after the screening, as Toback fought back tears.
Toback, best known for his 1978 drama "Fingers" which was remade into a hit French movie in 2005, said he believed he had succeeded in presenting Tyson as a "complex and iconic and noble human being".
He met a teen Tyson in 1985 while directing "The Pick-up Artist" in New York and cast him in two movies, "Black and White" in 1999 and "When Will I Be Loved" in 2004.
Toback interviewed Tyson last year while the ex-champ was in a California rehabilitation clinic for drug and alcohol addiction.
The picture takes Tyson, who turns 42 next month, from his humble beginnings on the mean streets of Brooklyn to his phenomenal rise as a boxing champion, through his epic fall marked by addiction, humiliation in the ring and a rape conviction.
Told entirely from Tyson's point of view, the portrayal allows the gentle giant with the high-pitched voice and a lisp to take the long view of his rocky past and extraordinary career.
He describes his start in boxing as a reaction to vicious bullying when he was a chubby child. "It was kill or be killed," he explains.
Locked up in juvenile detention at the age of 12, he began sparring and was eventually taken on by legendary trainer Cus D'Amato, whom Tyson describes as a father figure who built up his battered self-esteem.
Once his body was steeled by countless hours of training, D'Amato taught him the tricks -- tactical and psychological -- necessary to bring an opponent to his knees.
"I knew all the skulduggery," Tyson says. "Most of these guys lost the fight before it even started."
Tyson, who went 50-6 with 44 knockouts, became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986 at age 20 and was the undisputed champion from 1987 until 1990, winning his first 37 fights with ferocious force.
"Once I get in the ring, I'm a god," he says.
The now-vulnerable Tyson reflects upon his mistakes, including an unhappy marriage and bitter divorce from actress Robin Givens.
"We were just kids," a milder Tyson now says.
Tyson lost his crowns to Buster Douglas in Tokyo in 1990 and the flaring temper returns when he recounts his three-year stint in prison after his 1992 conviction for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant.
"I may have taken advantage of women before but not of that woman," he insists. "That still bothers me today."
Tyson reclaimed the heavyweight throne but lost to Evander Holyfield in 1996 and bit Holyfield's ears twice in a 1997 rematch, adding banishment to his ridicule.
One final chance to recapture the crown in 2002 resulted in an eighth-round knockout at the hands of Britain's Lennox Lewis.
Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after squandering an estimated 400 million dollars and retired after losses to Britain's Danny Williams in 2004 and American Kevin McBride in 2005.
"I just didn't have it in me anymore," the father of six says. "I lost the desire to be a champion."
The documentary is screening in the festival's "Un Certain Regard" sidebar section and is to be released later this year.
Director James Toback is in the ring with former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson on a feature documentary that traces how the fighter self-destructed and let a fortune and his ring legacy slip away. Toback will prepare "Tyson" using more than 30 hours of recently completed interviews with the ex-champ. The director said his subject pulls no punches in chronicling every aspect of his rise and fall.
Damon Bingham, Harlan Werner, Tyson and Toback are producing. The film will be finished in the fall, and ICM will sell worldwide rights.
Toback told Daily Variety that he's been fascinated by Tyson since they first met in 1985, just as the fighter was about to win his first title at 19. He put Tyson in his movies "Black and White" and "When Will I Be Loved," and they stayed in touch during the fighter's spectacular rise and fall from grace, including his marriage to actresss Robin Givens, Buster Douglas knocking him out in a bout in 1990, the prison term for a sexual assault conviction and biting off Evander Holyfield's ear in the ring.More than one option(Co) Daily Variety Filmography, Year, Role (Co) Daily Variety
After the boxer emerged clean and sober following a recent rehab stint, Tyson and Toback decided it was time to tell his story in detail, from his time under the wing of promoter Don King to his conviction for sexual assault.
"The point is not to polish his image or make a cinematic apology, but rather to get a firsthand look at a very complex and epic story," Toback said.
"He was honest about all the things that have highlighted his life, from the bitter divorce, the ear-biting, prison, to his becoming a sex addict. He is self-aware, smart and a totally fractured personality, and he made himself completely vulnerable."
Tyson said he was "humbled and appreciate that Mr. Toback gave me an opportunity to be involved in this project. I will, to the best of my abilities, give a truthful account of myself."
Tyson is a living legend. His story continues to unfold almost daily, in and out of boxing rings. He was the youngest heavyweight champion of the world a feared boxer who seemed destined to reign for decades. But his lust for beautiful women and insatiable drive for fame and fortune has temporarily knocked him out of the sport, sent him to jail for three years and may permanently doom him to the ranks of the 'has beens.' Still there are those who know Tyson and believe he has the stuff of greatness and is in the process of remaking himself so that once again he may old his head high as a champion.
This hour long program will trace the rise and fall of "Iron Mike Tyson" We will hear his story in his own words, from an exclusive interview, much of which has never been seen before, as he talks about his dreams, desires and demons.
Banned from boxing for a year after nearly biting off Evander Holyfield's ear the former champion is trying desperately to regain his lost glory. To support a new wife and family, he has gone to work in the circus like world of professional wrestling. He's fired promoter Don King and has new advisors who've pledged to steer Tyson away from temptations that led him to walk on the wild side of self-destruction.
Interviews with former boxing champion Jose Torres, trainers Teddy Atlas, Kevin Rooney and one time manager Bill Cayton, HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant and investigative reporter Jack Newfield, provide insightful and first person accounts of Tyson's life story.
This is a no holds barred faced paced special which reveals more than the story of a sports figure, it is the story of our time, of a true tale spiked with greed, corruption and power.
"Iron" Mike Tyson articles And Information
The Information And Views You Need To Read:
EVEN ALI MAY HAVE FALLEN TO THE PRIME OF TERROR TYSON BOXING'S No.1 EXPERT ON IRON MIKE'S UK VISIT Barry Mcguigan THE Mike Tyson roadshow hits the UK next month at ?210 a ticket. Bargain.
I reckon punters will be queuing around the block in London, Birmingham and Manchester just to catch a glimpse of the fighter once crowned youngest heavyweight champion of the world.
Amid the hysteria that surrounds every move that Tyson makes, it is easy to lose sight of how good he was when he dropped Trevor Berbick on the seat of his pants to win the world title at just 20 years old.
Danny Williams would not have made it through the first round had he encountered Tyson in the days when his ferocity was at its height.
Kevin McBride would have been dispatched all too briefly as well. No disrespect to either.
Indeed I would contend that had he met any of his conquerors in his prime, Tyson would have had too much for them.
That is one of the questions I would put to him were I lucky enough to be seated at a table in his company next month: "Mike, would you have beaten Lennox Lewis in your heyday? Or Holyfield?"
In my view the answer is yes.
You just have to watch the video of his early reign to see how destructive Tyson was.
When he worked with Kevin Rooney he had brilliant lateral movement. He could slip punches superbly, make opponents miss then hit them with half a dozen punches.
Most heavyweights land with one or two. Tyson unloaded with fearsome combinations. Technically that was the secret of his greatness.
Another question for you, Mike? "Which of the Hall of Fame heavies would you have liked to have fought?" I would have loved to have seen Tyson in with Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Riddick Bowe at his best.
In a recent survey Tyson did not feature in the lists of top 10 heavyweights provided by great trainers. He is in mine.
I remember my father returning from an annual trip to New York with tales of a 16-year-old heavyweight he had seen in the Catskills.
He went up from New York with Rudy Greco, a lawyer who used to work with fighters at Gleesons gym, where my dad would spend much of his free time watching the boxers work out, checking out those in my division.
Rudy was a good friend of Cus D'Amato. He told my dad he had to see this kid. When my father came home he told me to put my mortgage on this teenager becoming the next heavyweight champion.
That kid was Tyson.
After losing to McBride, Tyson admitted the fight had left him. He could not do it any more. I would want to ask if it hadn't left him by the time he entered the ring with 40-1 outsider Buster Douglas in Tokyo in 1990?
And I would like to know what he would change about his past so that he might have prolonged his reign.
I would also like to know how a man blows $300million.
Though sadly I think I can hazard a guess at what the answer to that might be...
Don't forget that you can visit Bary's official website at www.barrymcguigan.com
WHO'S THE GREATEST HEAVYWEIGHT?
NAME CAREER RECORD
Joe Louis 1931-1951 69-3 (55 KO)
Rocky Marciano 1947-1955 49-0-0 (43 KO)
Muhammad Ali 1960-1981 56-5-0 (37 KO)
Harry Holmes 1973-2002 69-6-0 (44 KO)
Mike Tyson 1985-2005 50-6-0 (44 KO)
Lennox Lewis 1989-2003 41-2-1 (32 KO)
Mike Tyson Vs Lennox Lewis
All this pre-fight chatter, Mike Tyson’s threat to crush skulls and such, seems to have riled the emotions of the ex-champ’s fans and Lennox Lewis followers. Folks are also weighing in on Elvis’ beloved Memphis.
So before the bad boys come to blows, let’s head to the Mailbag.
Lewis is going to destroy him because Tyson has hardly fought in the last seven years. Add this to the fact that he has hardly trained and he’s also been living an unhealthy lifestyle, and you end up with a fighter that can’t be focused 100 percent. -- Robert Nicolson, Aberdeen AB123AX
You’re right about Tyson’s workload, but he has trained seriously for the title shot. And what’s this about unhealthy lifestyle? I’m sure Mike had early lights out when he was doing jail time.
The Big Fight
Tyson will demolish this so-called champion who has a glass jaw and tends to drop his hands as the fight goes on. Tyson wins in 3! No need for a rematch the public won't bite! -- Jim Anders
If Mr. Tyson connects, you can bank on a rematch. And plenty of suckers will line up to catch it.
I really think that you went overboard with your characterization of Lewis. You do not become a champ by running scared. You might be confusing being a gentleman with being scared. Lewis is a well-schooled fighter, and he has Emanuel Steward in his corner. I know Emanuel Steward and he would not train a fighter that was running scared. -- B. R. Sickles
Lewis deserves kudos for handling himself with class. Nice touch parading around town with his mom, Violet, too. And Emanuel Steward is the best man in either corner. So take it to him, champ.
As far as everyone saying Lewis has a suspect glass chin [and] being knocked out twice, well then Tyson has a suspect glass chin [and] also he was knocked out twice by Douglas and Holyfield. -- Eugene Schwartz
Sounds like a draw to me. Then again, I’ll give the nod to Buster Douglas-Evander Holyfield over Oliver McCall-Hasim Rahman. Hey, just picture a simultaneous KO. Great theater, huh?
I think Tyson will win by an ear. -- Jeane Corbin
Maybe not. Pre-fight talk sounds like he’s focused south of the border.
Holyfield is crazy! Lennox ain’t scared! Lennox is gonna rip off Tyson’s head and if Tyson even tries to bite Lennox, he’ll go so crazy and probably even give him permanent brain damage. -- Alex
Please, fess up, you’re not really a Lewis fan. You sound like an Iron Mike guy.
The City of Memphis may have a lot a stake, but don't be too worried. Have you ever been to Tunica, Miss.? Casinos stand to make a killing fight week. And, if you think for one second that Memphis officials have received or negotiated some kind of kickbacks, you need to stop drinking so much. The fight is great for the city of Memphis. Let's just hope that the fight is as good as all the hype, which is very unlikely. -- Dan Johnson, Knoxville, Tenn.
Wow, casinos, kickbacks and heavy drinking -- let’s be careful. So far, Memphis has turned in a terrific performance. Let’s just hope the fight and the aftermath isn’t too ugly.
You are having a championship fight, one of the biggest ever, in a town that has never seen an event this big. It boggles my brain why ticket brokers have not hyped the city as well as the fight. You have a city like Memphis, the new store on the block, and you are charging $900 more per ringside seat then you would have to pay in Vegas. Vegas is a five-to-six-hour drive from Los Angeles. Memphis is a three-hour flight from Los Angeles. Would you go shopping at a more expensive store that is further away? The tickets are not selling because Memphians can not afford them, and you are asking the celebrity clients to go further, spend more, in city that they do not know. The ticket brokers should have done a better job hyping not just the fight but the city, too. -- Jason Netschi, Memphis
Don’t blame the ticket brokers, they’ve already taken it on the chin and in the pocketbook.
You conveniently left off so many details in this Memphis-slamming article. You mentioned one of our very few sports-related claims to fame is a NCAA regional. How about the two Final Fours and numerous Sweet 16s by the University of Memphis? You then failed to mention the St. Jude golf tournament, the men’s tennis tournament, which now includes women, and our national reputation for producing great basketball players from our high schools. So what if the Grizzlies are losers for now? I guess every city that has received a losing franchise from another city should apologize. -- Steve Metaxas, Lakeland, Tenn.
Hey, I love this place. But the local sports resume reads like Charlotte, Oklahoma City . . . Louisville.
Memphis has an inferiority complex like you would not believe. The attempts to gain NFL teams surely have not helped. Neither have the various other franchises: XFL, Arena, Canadian, WFL in football. Too many bogus hoop teams to count. But, in spite of this, and mostly due to Mayor Willie Herenton’s third-term leadership, Memphis is stepping up. The people are incredibly hospitable. It is not a myth. -- Rob Cooper, Memphis
You nailed it on all counts, but we’re not qualified to speak about Mr. Mayor. Just glad he had free time to handle emcee duties at the weigh-in.
"Iron" Mike Tyson