On his way down in the ring and in his career.
When we think of the unthinkable very few can top the Buster Douglas knockout that put Mike Tyson on the canvas in the 10 th round. Up until this point any boxer going past the 3 rd round had done well as very few achieved this.
Mike Tyson became the youngest World Heavyweight Boxing Champion at the age of 20 years and 4 months. In 1986 he stopped Trevor Berbick for the WBC title and the following year in 1987 he added the WBA and IBF titles. he became the first heavyweight boxer in history to hold all 3 bets at the same time and unify them. He was that dominant and quite frankly no one could live with him in the ring.
Short and very stocky allowed him to come in at his opponents from a different angle. His uppercuts were insanely powerful and fun to watch.
Tyson's boxing style was suited to his frame build as he was short and stocky and with his aggression it allowed him to get in close and personal. Normally after his first barrage the opponents would be covering up and he would just physically overpower them with his brute strength.
Happy days with his mentor and trainer Cus D'Amato
His first 19 professional fights were all won by knockout and 12 of them in the first round. This got him the recognition he deserved as when you first start fighting they ease you in slowly raising the quality of fighter for each fight as you beat them. His professional career started in 1985 so it took him just two years to have every title available. This is rapid as most boxers these days fight every 6 months if they are lucky. Promoters select fights more about protecting their fighters as it is a nasty crooked sport and nothing seems as it really is. Tyson had come from nowhere and was a massive draw card for the sleezy promoter Don King.
Pay per view was the new thing in his armory and he was coining the money from the big fights. Fighting fans were excited by the new kid on the block with his explosive power. Everyone loves a good knockout and this new kid was delivering. i am sure everyone has seen his greatest hits collection at some point and if you haven't it is worth a look just for entertainment.
Things started to unravel though and looking back on his career he had lost his father figure of Cus D'Amato who was more than just his trainer. He was instrumental in focusing Tyson, channeling his aggression through his gloves onto his opponents. His peek a boo style left very few challengers to his crown. In 1988 he fired Kevin Rooney who had been in his corner for years and the only person left from the Cus Damato era plus manager Bill Cayton He had moved over to be guided by Don King and his career was going to head one way now.
In his personal life away from the ring he was going through a messy divorce with actress Robin Givens. He was less busy in the ring considering how many fights he had to get to become champion and in 1990 only fought twice and won both but it wasn't quite the same Tyson of old.In 1991 Tyson was defeated and lost his world titles to Buster Douglas in what must be described as one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. The odds of 42-1 for a Douglas win show you how much of an underdog he really was. Personally there had to be something else going on and someone made serious bucket loads of money.
The people inside Tyson's camp say that things spiraled out of control as he didn't train as much as he used to and was living the high life. We forget that he was only 25 at this time and had wealth and fame beyond his wildest dreams. His body was still in great shape but his mind wasn't in the game anymore and was on the downhill slide.
Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and spent 3 years locked up and got out early in 1995. Everyone expected to see the old Tyson as they had been starved of his knockouts. In the meantime a certain Evander Holyfield had gained the heavy weight crown and he wasn't a true Heavyweight as we know it. The heavy Weight division was light on boxers and Holyfield jumped up a weight division to box as a heavy weight. This is not always successful but if we are honest who was around at the time? Tyson was meant to fight Holyfield in 1991 but sustained a rib injury sparring o the fight was called off.
Probably the lowest point of his career at the time as he spits out his gum guard and bites Holyfields ear.
In 1995 he was on his comeback trail and regained the WBA and WBC World Heavy weight belts. In 1997 he lost his WBA title after being disqualified for biting a chunk out of Evander Holyfields ear. He had sunk to new lows and his career was in tatters. he fought a few more times trying to regain the World Titles but lost them both. he eventually retired from boxing in 2006 a bankrupt and broken man.
His tattoo reminds me of a certain film lol.
Over his career he had earned in the region of $300 Million and I know he probably didn't receive it all as that is how Don King works. Tyson is just another example of boxers going off the rails as soon as Don King gets hold of them. He could have been one of the greats and just needed a decent manager and trainer to keep him on the straight and narrow. It is sad to see what could have been and should have been as he had all the talent required.