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From Brawler to Iconic Boxer: The Legendary Career of “Iron” Mike Tyson

(Mike Tyson knocks out Trevor Berbick in the 2nd round, for the WBC World Heavyweight title, 11/22/1986)

(Mike Tyson knocks out Trevor Berbick in the 2nd round, for the WBC World Heavyweight title, 11/22/1986)

Erick Inzunza, Reporter

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Michael Gerard Tyson, most famously known as “Mike Tyson”, is the youngest heavyweight champion in history to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight championships, at 20 years old. Tyson is considered a “brawler”, which is insulting, since Tyson was actually an aggressive counter puncher, like Gennady “GGG” Golovkin today. The argument can be made that if Tyson wasn’t so side tracked as a celebrity, Tyson would have reigned the heavyweight division. Tyson stands at 5 feet, 10 inches, which is pretty small for a heavyweight. Though Tyson was small, his weight came from his freakishly big muscles, which added power to every punch he threw. Tyson’s devastating power combined with his speed and head movement, made Tyson unstoppable.

 

“With some money I stole, I bought some pigeons,” says Tyson, “and one day, this guy tried to steal my pigeons. I told him to let my pigeons go, instead he popped her neck and threw her on the floor. That was the first time I got into a physical altercation. He was much older than me but I won, so I was proud.”

 

Tyson was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvestan section of Brooklyn. As a little kid, Tyson admits he was ridiculed for his high pitched voice and lisp. Tyson eventually fell into petty crime and ran with a street crew from Brooklyn. Eventually, Tyson was arrested 38 times by the time he was 13 years old. He ended up in Tyson School for boys in Johnstown, New York. While attending the juvenile detention center, he began training boxing with Bobby Stewart, who passed him on to Cus D’Amato, who will soon become Tyson’s father figure. Eventually, Tyson’s mother died when he was 16, Cus D’Amato will soon become Tyson’s legal guardian. Tyson won gold medals in the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympics, winning every single bout by knockout. Tyson also holds the record for the fastest knockout in the Junior Olympics, being 8 seconds.

 

Tyson went professional on March 6th, 1986, winning his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 16 of them in the first round. A year later, he knocked out Muhammad Ali’s successor, Trevor Berbick (31-4-1), in the 2nd round, for the WBC World heavyweight title. He then won the WBA World heavyweight title from Pinklon Thomas (29-1-1), 6 months later and became the unified heavyweight champion when he won Tony Tucker (34-0-0), 3 months later. Tyson became the lineal world champion when he knocked out undefeated Michael Spinks (31-0-0), 91 seconds after the first bell. In 1990, Tyson lost his belts to underdog Buster Douglas (29-4-1). In 1992, Tyson served 3 years for rape, eventually coming out of prison to regain his titles from Frank Bruno (40-4-0) and Bruce Seldon (33-3-0), in 1996, being one of the few boxers to regain his titles, like Muhammad Ali before him.

 

Tyson eventually fought Evander Holyfield (32-3-0), for Tyson’s WBA World heavyweight title. Holyfield knocked out Tyson in the 11th round. The next fight was a rematch, where Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was given a chance to fight for his three titles again, in 2002, against Lennox Lewis (39-2-1). Tyson was knocked out in the 8th round. Tyson ended his professional career, with 50 wins and 6 losses.

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Keeping Colton High School informed and entertained since 1917
From Brawler to Iconic Boxer: The Legendary Career of “Iron” Mike Tyson