Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mike Tyson: The Baddest Man on the Planet

Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American professional boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at 20 years, 4 months, and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after defeating Trevor Berbick by a TKO in the second round. In 1987, Tyson added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker. He was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them. In 1988, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks after 91 seconds. 

Tyson successfully defended the world heavyweight championship nine times, including victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, he lost his titles to underdog James "Buster" Douglas, by a knockout in round 10. Attempting to regain the titles he defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but when he was scheduled to take on the undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield he pulled out due to injury. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and sentenced to six years in prison but was released after serving three years. After his release, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. In 1996, he won the WBC and WBA titles after defeating Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon by knockout. After being stripped of the WBC title, Tyson lost his WBA crown to Evander Holyfield in November 1996 by an 11th round TKO. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting off part of Holyfield's ear. 

In 2002, he fought for the world heavyweight title at the age of 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. He retired from professional boxing in 2006 after being knocked out in consecutive matches against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite having received over US$30 million for several of his fights and $300 million during his career. Throughout his career, Tyson became well known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring. Tyson is considered one of the best heavyweights of all time. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. and No. 1 in the list of "The hardest hitters in heavyweight history". He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. 

Undisputed champion

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 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. 'Tyson mania' in the media was becoming rampant.[25] He beat Pinklon Thomas in May with a knockout in the sixth round. On August 1 he took the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker in a twelve round unanimous decision. He became the first heavyweight to own all three major belts – WBA, WBC, and IBF – at the same time. 

Another fight, in October of that year, ended with a victory for Tyson over 1984 Olympics Super Heavyweight gold medalist Tyrell Biggs by knockout in the seventh round. During this time, Tyson came to the attention of gaming company Nintendo: after witnessing one of Tyson's fights, Nintendo of America president Minoru Arakawa was impressed by the fighter's "power and skill", prompting him to suggest Tyson be included in the upcoming Nintendo Entertainment System port of the Punch Out!! arcade game. The idea was implemented, and in 1987 Nintendo released Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, which was well received and sold more than a million copies. Tyson had three fights in 1988. He faced Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988, and defeated the legendary former champion by a fourth round KO. This was the only knockout loss Holmes suffered in 75 professional bouts. In March, Tyson then fought contender Tony Tubbs in Tokyo, Japan, fitting in an easy two-round victory amid promotional and marketing work. 

Lewis vs. Tyson

Tyson once again had the opportunity to fight for a heavyweight championship in 2002, against Lennox Lewis, who held the WBC, IBF, IBO & Lineal titles at the time. As promising amateurs, Tyson and Lewis had sparred together at a training camp, in a meeting arranged by Cus D'Amato in 1984. Tyson sought to fight Lewis in Nevada for a more lucrative box-office venue, but the Nevada boxing commission refused him a license to box as he was facing possible sexual assault charges at the time. 

Two years prior to the bout, in a post-fight interview following the Savarese fight, Tyson had made several inflammatory remarks to Lewis, "I want your heart, I want to eat your children." On January 22, 2002, a brawl involving the two boxers and their entourages occurred at a press conference held in New York to publicize the planned event. The melee put to rest any chance of a Nevada fight and alternative arrangements had to be made, with the fight eventually occurring on June 8 at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee. Lewis dominated the fight and knocked out Tyson with a right hook in the eighth round. Tyson was magnanimous after the fight and praised Lewis on his victory. This fight was the highest-grossing event in pay-per-view history at that time, generating $106.9 million from 1.95 million buys in the USA.


Post a Comment