Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.
Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. On February 11, 1990, in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Tyson lost the championship to lightly regarded James Douglas, who scored a technical knockout in the 10th round. Tyson rebounded from the loss with four straight victories. In 1991, however, he was accused of having raped a beauty pageant contestant, and he was convicted of the charge in 1992.
Following his release from prison in 1995, Tyson resumed boxing and in 1996 regained two of his championship belts with easy victories over Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. On November 9, 1996, in a long-anticipated bout with two-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, Tyson lost for the second time in his professional career, by a technical knockout in the 11th round. In a rematch against Holyfield on June 28, 1997, he was disqualified after he twice bit his opponent’s ears, and, as a result of the infraction, he lost his boxing license.
Tyson eventually was relicensed, and he returned to the ring on January 16, 1999, when he knocked out Franz Botha in the fifth round. On February 6, however, Tyson was sentenced to one year in jail, two years of probation, and 200 hours of community service and was fined $2,500 after he pleaded no contest to charges that he had assaulted two elderly men following a 1998 automobile accident. Tyson was released after serving just a few months of the one-year sentence.
Nevertheless, Tyson’s self-control problems continued. After the referee stopped a fight in June 2000 with American Lou Savarese, Tyson continued punching and inadvertently injured the referee. In comments made to the press after this fight, Tyson outraged boxing fans with bizarre and vicious remarks about British heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. In his October 2000 bout with Andrew Golota, Tyson won in the third round, but the fight was later declared a no contest because Tyson tested positive for marijuana. Tyson had only one more fight between October 2000 and his June 2002 fight with Lewis.
Also Read: Sports News