Iron Mike Tyson: a force to reckon with
Aside from Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao, There is no one in the boxing industry who did not know Iron Mike Tyson. Mike is one of the few boxers who has dominated the heavyweight division. His strong personality and charisma are the reasons why many fans love him. Through this blog, we will dig deeper into who Mike Tyson really is.
Who is Mike Tyson?
Michael Gerard Tyson, most commonly known as Iron Mike Tyson, was born in the streets of New York on June 30, 1966. Unlike other athletes who had good family support and backgrounds, Mike, on the other hand, had the opposite. Mike’s biological parents are Lorna Smith Tyson, who was suspected of being a prostitute, and Purcell Tyson, who was a mere cab driver. Mike had an older brother named Rodney Tyson and an older sister named Denise Tyson. However, the father that Mike knew was Jimmy Kirkpatrick, whom his mother met in Brooklyn.
Through Jimmy, he had a stepbrother named Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick. By the time Mike was born, Jimmy had left Tyson’s mother, which resulted in a decline in their financial capabilities. Because of this, Mike’s family had no choice but to leave Bedford-Stuyvesant and move to Brownsville. After six years, Mike’s mother died and left him in the care of renowned boxing trainer and manager Cus D’Amato, who later became his legal guardian.
Mike’s childhood was never easy. He had to endure the high crime rates on the streets of New York, and by the time he reached the age of thirteen, he had already been arrested several times. Despite this unfortunate circumstance, his boxing potential was seen here when he attended Tryon School for Boys. Bobby Stewart, a former boxer who was a juvenile detention center counselor at the time, is the one who saw something in Mike. Bobby had the privilege of training Mike for a few months before introducing him to D’Amato who further widened Mike’s Boxing career.
Who inspired Mike Tyson?
When asked this question, the obvious answer is Muhammad Ali. There was a lot of time when Mike talked about Ali’s greatness and how he inspired him, especially in an interview on the Arsenio Hall Show back in 1989. This is where both fighters, Mike and Ali, had the opportunity to talk to each other, joined by the host, Arsenio Hall, and another boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard.
Ali was asked who would have won if both of them had fought each other in their primes. “I was the dancing master, and I wasn’t that powerful, But I was so fast. If he hits me, [pretending to be knocked out], That’s if he catches me.” This answer shocked Mike, but as a fan himself, he answered Ali with another compliment, saying, “I’m vain [laughs], I know I’m great, but can I tell you something? In this situation, every head must bow, every tongue must confess: This [referring to Ali] is the greatest of all time.”.
However, there are a lot of people who don’t know that there are a few boxers who also inspired Mike Tyson and made him what he is today. These are “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Roberto Durán. Mike said that it is true that Muhammad Ali is the one who inspired him to be a fighter. But when he saw Leonard and Durán fighting each other several times, that’s when he said to himself, I want to be like those guys. No fear and ready to beat each other to the death.
Mike Tyson’s career
The career of Iron Mike Tyson, as we describe it, is a successful one. Every time he has a match, he is frequently the favorite of various sportsbooks around the globe. He dominated the heavyweight bout and knocked out several great fighters and champions throughout his career. Here are some of his great achievements and a few losses that defined him over the years.
- Knocked out Hector Mercedes in round 1
- Knocked out Trent Singleton in round 1
- Knocked out Don Halpin in round 4
- Knocked out Rick Spain in round 1
- Knocked out John Alderson in round 1
- Knocked out Larry Sims in round 3
- Knocked out Lorenzo Canady in round 1
- Knocked out Mike Johnson in round 1
- Knocked out Donnie Long in round 1
- Knocked out Robert Colay in round 1
- Knocked out Sterling Benjamin in round 1
- Knocked out Eddie Richardson in round 1
- Knocked out Conroy Nelson in round 2
- Knocked out Sammy Scaff in round 1
- Knocked out Mark Young in round 1
- Knocked out David Jaco in round 1
- Knocked out Mike Jamison in round 5
- Knocked out Jesse Ferguson in round 6
- Knocked out Steve Zouski in round 3
- Won against James Tillis in a unanimous decision
- Won against Mitch Green via unanimous decision
- Knocked out Reggie Gross in round 1
- Knocked out William Hosea in round 1
- Knocked out Lorenzo Boyd in round 2
- Knocked out Marvis Frazier in round 1
- Knocked out Jose Ribalta in round 10
- Knocked out Alfonso Ratliff in round 2
- Knocked out Trevor Berbick in round 2 and attained WBC heavyweight title
- Won against James Smith via unanimous decision and attained WBA heavyweight title
- Knocked out Pinklon Thomas in round 6 and defended WBA-WBC title
- Won against Tony Tucker via unanimous decision defended WBA-WBC title and attained IBF heavyweight title
- Knocked out Tyrell Biggs in round 7 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Larry Holmes in round 4 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Tony Tubbs in round 2 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Michael Spinks in round 1 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Frank Bruno in round 5 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Carl Williams in round 1 and defended world heavyweight title
- Knocked out by James Douglas in round 10 and lost world heavyweight title
- Knocked out Henry Tillman in round 1
- Knocked out Alex Stewart in round 1
- Knocked out Razor Ruddock in round 7
- Won against Razor Ruddock via unanimous decision
- Won against Peter McNeeley via disqualification
- Knocked out Buster Mathis Jr. in round 3
- Knocked out Frank Bruno in round 3 and attained WBC heavyweight title
- Knocked out Bruce Seldon in round 1
- Knocked by Evander Holyfield in round 11 and lost WBA heavyweight title
- Lost against Evander Holyfield via disqualification
Iron Mike’s success amidst the storm
Despite having a rough past, it did not affect Mike’s success in boxing. He did mention that, having never felt the love of his mother, it was never an obstruction to his career, but it still affects him personally and emotionally. Weathering the storm is a difficult task. But Mike overcame it. It only shows that even if everything is going wrong, it’s up to us if we are going to let it stop us or if we are going to handle it just like Mike did.
Also read: Success of Athletes: Nature or Nurture?