Mike Tyson is a retired professional heavyweight boxer, famous for being the youngest world champion and an aggressive and fierce competitor. He was born as Michael Gerard Tyson on June 30, 1966 in Brooklyn, NY. He was often bullied and beat up as a child in the streets, so he joined a street gang at a young age and became involved in violence and petty theft. By the age of 13 he had more than 30 arrests on his record and was sent to Tryon School for Boys, a correctional school in upstate New York. At Tryon, he started to train as a boxer with the school counselor Bob Stewart. Tyson worked hard at training and even improved his grades dramatically.
Stewart introduced Tyson to a boxing manager named Constantine D’Amato, who was well known for taking talented young boxers under his wing. He saw Tyson’s potential and assured him that he could become the world champion some day with the right kind of training. Tyson moved in with D’Amato, first studying at school and later under private tutors when he was kicked out. The two developed a close personal bond, more like father and son than trainer and fighter. D’Amato helped to keep Tyson out of trouble and trained him rigorously. Tyson’s mother passed away in 1982, which was a great personal loss. D’Amato was initially training Tyson for the Olympics team, but after Tyson failed to qualify, he turned him professional in 1985. In his first professional fight at the age of 18, he knocked his opponent out in one round. This was later to become his signature style. The winning streak continued, but another and greater personal loss was on the way – D’Amato shortly died of pneumonia.
Though devastated beyond measure, Tyson continued to focus on his career by training with Kevin Rooney. In 1986, at the age of 20 years and 4 months, Tyson won his first title fight and became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. He then won the World Boxing Association championship and International Boxing Federation title to become the first person to hold all three major boxing titles simultaneously. But his personal life was in turmoil and the details were all over the media. He was married to a television actress named Robin Givens in February 1988 but by June, the marriage had turned sour when he was accused of abuse. Later that year, he was sued by two women who accused him of unwarranted advances and inappropriate behavior at a nightclub. By February of 1989, Tyson and Givens were divorced after a long drawn out court case. During this time Tyson was involved in street fights, drug and alcohol abuse and an alleged suicide attempt.
In February 1990, he lost his championship belt to Buster Douglas, when he was knocked out for the first time in his career. In 1991, he was accused of raping Desiree Washington and after a year of court proceedings, found guilty, and sentenced to 6 years in prison. His father passed away while he was in prison and Tyson initially had a hard time adjusting to imprisonment but later improved his behavior dramatically. He converted to Islam while in jail and changed his name to Malik Abdul Aziz. He was released after serving 3 years and continued to train relentlessly. He won the first match he played after his release in just 89 seconds.
The biggest and possibly the most notorious fight of his career was to come soon after; this was the heavyweight title match against Evander Holyfield in November 1996. Tyson lost by a knockout in the 11th round, and challenged Holyfield for a rematch which took place in June 1997. This fight had the largest number of paid television viewers at the time and the match prize money was the highest of all time back then. During the third round, Tyson shocked fans and judges by biting Holyfield’s ears and cutting off a piece of his right ear. He was disqualified from the match, his license was revoked and he was fined $3 million. Other than this he was involved in countless legal brawls and charged with wrongful termination, assault and sexual harassment. He regained his boxing license in 1998, but was jailed again for assaulting two drivers in Maryland. After his release, he was busted on a drug test that revealed he had been smoking marijuana.
Despite the fact that he had made more than $400 million during his career, he filed for bankruptcy in 2003 because of his whimsical and lavish lifestyle. That year, he was also divorced for the second time due to claims of adultery by his wife Monica Turner. After a series of losses, Tyson finally retired in 2005. He made money by doing exhibition matches and product endorsements. In 2006, Tyson was arrested for drunk driving and possession of narcotics, and sentenced to 24 hours in jail, 360 hours of community service and 3 years of probation. Tyson has appeared in Hollywood TV shows and movies such as “The Hangover”, “Entourage”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and a Broadway show titled “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth”. Tyson is the notorious bad boy of boxing, but his skills and moves in the ring have made him one of the most famous athletes in the world. He is currently married to Lakiha Spicer and has two children with her.