46th Birthday Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (also known as Malik
Abdul Aziz) (born June 30, 1966) is a retired American professional
boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world
and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF
heavyweight titles at 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Tyson won his
first 19 professional bouts by knockout, with 12 of them occurring in
the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after defeating Trevor
Berbick by a TKO in the second round. In 1987, Tyson added the WBA and
IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker. He was the first
heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles,
and the only heavyweight to individually unify them.
In 1988, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael
Spinks in the first 91 seconds of the fight. Tyson successfully defended
the world heavyweight championship nine times, including victories over
Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. Tyson lost his titles to 42-to-1 underdog
James "Buster" Douglas on February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan, by a
knockout in round 10. Tyson continued in his quest to regain the titles,
defeating Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991. Tyson was then scheduled to
take on the undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield but pulled
out due to injury.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington, for which he
was sentenced to six years in prison but was released after serving
three years. After his release, he engaged in a series of comeback
fights. In 1996, Tyson won the WBC and WBA titles after defeating Frank
Bruno and Bruce Seldon by knockout. After being stripped of the WBC
title, Tyson lost his WBA crown to Evander Holyfield in November 1996 by
an 11th round TKO. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified
for biting off part of Holyfield's ear.
In 2002, he fought for the world heavyweight title at the age of 35,
losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Tyson retired from professional
boxing in 2006 after he was knocked out in consecutive matches against
Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003,
despite having received over US$30 million for several of his fights and
$300 million during his career.
Throughout his career, Tyson became well known for his ferocious and
intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior both
inside and outside the ring. Tyson is considered to have been one of the
best heavyweight boxers of all time. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring's
list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. and No. 1 in the ESPN.com
list of "The hardest hitters in heavyweight history". He has been
inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing
Hall of Fame.
Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York City. He has a brother, Rodney, who
is five years older than he. His sister, Denise, died of a heart attack
at age 25 in 1991. Tyson's father, Jimmy Kirkpatrick, abandoned his
family when Tyson was 2, leaving his mother, Lorna Smith Tyson, to care
for them on her own. The family lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant until their
financial burdens necessitated a move to Brownsville when Tyson was 10
years old. Tyson's mother died six years later, leaving 16-year-old
Tyson in the care of boxing manager and trainer Cus D'Amato, who would
become his legal guardian. Tyson has been quoted saying, "I never saw my
mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew
me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes
that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or
know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing
emotionally and personally."
Throughout his childhood, Tyson lived in and around high-crime
neighborhoods. According to an interview in Details his first fight was
with a bigger youth who had pulled the head off one of Tyson's pigeons.
He was repeatedly caught committing petty crimes and fighting those who
ridiculed his high-pitched voice and lisp. By the age of 13, he had been
arrested 38 times. He ended up at the Tryon School for Boys in
Johnstown, New York. It was at the school that Tyson's emerging boxing
ability was discovered by Bobby Stewart, a juvenile detention center
counselor and former boxer. Stewart considered Tyson to be an
outstanding fighter and trained him for a few months before introducing
him to Cus D'Amato.
Tyson was later removed from the reform school by Cus D'Amato. Kevin
Rooney also trained Tyson, and he was occasionally assisted by Teddy
Atlas, although he was dismissed by D'Amato when Tyson was 15. Rooney
eventually took over all training duties for the young fighter.
Tyson's brother is a physician assistant in the trauma center of the Los
Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He has
always been very supportive of his brother's career and was often seen
at Tyson's boxing matches in Las Vegas, Nevada. When asked about their
relationship, Mike has been quoted saying, "My brother and I see each
other occasionally and we love each other," and "My brother was always
something and I was nothing."
Although Mike Tyson dropped out of high school as a junior and never
graduated, in 1989, along with Don King, he was awarded an honorary
Doctorate in Humane Letters from Central State University, in
Wilberforce, Ohio by university President Arthur E. Thomas.
Tyson competed at the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympic Games, and won the
gold medal twice: in 1981 against Joe Cortez and in 1982 against Kelton
Brown, whose corner threw in the towel within the first round. He holds
the Junior Olympic quickest knockout record with 8 seconds. In addition
he won every bout at the Junior Olympic Games by knockout.