Mike Tyson

Published on We, March 13, 2024 by Luke Richards

American boxer Michael Gerard Tyson was born on June 30, 1966, competing professionally from 1985 until 2005. Renamed “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” during his early career, he is now known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” Still, he holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, and International Boxing Federation at just twenty. Tyson is widely recognized as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time and an undisputed legend in the boxing world.

Young Mike Tyson

Tyson’s Early Childhood

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, Tyson had a challenging childhood. His mother, an alcoholic, passed away when Tyson was just sixteen years old, and he never met his real father. The first father figure he had was his stepfather, who left the family when Mike was two years old.

Tyson’s mother relocated the family to the eastern side of Brooklyn, known as the area with the highest and worst rates of violent crimes, when his stepfather left. The violent and criminal surroundings had an immense impact on young Tyson. He was first exposed to cocaine when he was eleven years old after joining a local gang called the Jolly Stompers. Additionally, he had been arrested more than thirty times in his teenage years.

Around this time, he was a student at Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York, when former boxer Bobby Stewart spotted him. As Stewart was a counsellor, the only condition he had for Tyson’s ambition to learn from him was a promise to behave himself and put more effort into his studies. As he fully commits to getting the most out of Stewart, he quickly progresses in school and is introduced to Cus D'Amato. Turning to boxing, Tyson’s life makes a turnaround, heading into a new desired beginning.

Professional Career

The first years of his professional career were marked by winning the junior Olympic Championship in 1981 and 1982 and knocking out Hector Mercedez in 1985 in the first round. These were his first steps towards leaving a great impact as a professional fighter. However, the year didn’t go as smoothly as it started. Tyson’s manager and adoptive father, D’Amato, passed away from pneumonia on November 4, 1985. According to many close friends of Tyson, he never truly got over the loss of D’Amato.

Less than two weeks later, after D’Amato was replaced by Kevin Rooney, Tyson restarted his rise up the rankings. In Texas, he scored his thirteenth knockout, dedicating the victory to the man who helped shape him into a professional fighter.

The following year was a successful one for Tyson. He won 25 fights with a knockout or technical knockout. On November 22, 1986, he became the youngest boxing champion in history by snatching the title from Trevor Berbick. Tyson continued to defend his titles in the following years against James Smith and Tony Tucker, after which he made history as the first heavyweight boxer to hold all three major titles.

In 1990, Buster Douglas took away his championship title with a knockout in the tenth round, a first for Tyson. However, he did not back down and bounced back later that year, defeating Henry Tilman and Alex Stewart.

Boxing Match Between Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno

Public Figure Besides Boxing

Outside the ring, Tyson created and was perceived as an intriguing and turbulent character. His unique voice and face tattoo made him widely recognized. This landed him roles in successful movies such as “The Hangover,” where he played himself and showed a humorous and charming side of himself, which got him a new fan base all over again. He starred as a guest on several series such as Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

His show “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” allowed his fans to dig a little deeper into his life when he openly discussed the highs and lows of his turbulent path. It is a Spike Lee-directed movie following the boxer’s life path in a humorous, truthful, and inspiring way.

Additionally, the former boxer was a host of a podcast called “Hotboxin with Mike Tyson”, where he entertained a lot of various guest celebrities like Evander Holyfield, Michael Buffer, Tyson Fury, Snoop Dogg, etc.

Tyson also expanded his business into the cannabis industry. He founded Tyson Ranch in 2016 to remove the stigma from recreational cannabis practice and encourage the plant’s safe usage. The company is also involved in cannabis research and education. Furthermore, in 2022, he teamed up with Holyfield, making an edible cannabis product shaped like Holyfield’s ear dubbed holy ears.

Mike Tyson Knockout Slot Game

Tyson and The Gaming Industry

Apart from pursuing his entrepreneurial side, he followed his entertaining side as well. Mike started performing and filling up the casinos in Atlantic City with his one-man show inspired by the “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” movie in 2014. And given his affinity for Atlantic City, his career really took off when he started competing at the Resorts Casino Hotel.

But even before that, he was associated with online games and casinos. A legendary boxer like Tyson is prone to being a character in a game or developing his game series, and the gaming industry capitalized on his popularity, turning it into Mike Tyson-inspired slot machines, roulette, and blackjack.

The Mike Tyson Roulette and Mike Tyson Blackjack are Inspired Gaming creations. The games are quite regular and have some added features. The roulette has an addition of a Knockout bonus round and extra bets, and the blackjack offers Tyson Tips, where the boxer himself will personally advise you on playing the hands you are dealt.

Inspired Gaming also designed a Tyson slot machine called the Mike Tyson Knockout slot - a fruit-based machine packed with features including wild symbols, free spins, and bonus games.

Recently, Rabona Casino appointed Mike Tyson as their new brand ambassador. This new agreement will provide players with unique branded bonuses and boxing streams, enhancing the gaming experience overall and bringing a new level of casino excitement. Mike Tyson is just one of the many celebrities who decided to advertise as casino brand ambassadors and present the iGaming industry in its true colours. Top10DesCasinos highlighted the most prominent public figures, including Mike Tyson, who stepped into the casino universe and attracted an even bigger fanbase, both fans of the sport and casino players.

Public Accusations and Imprisonment

The boxer’s career and personal life took a sudden turn when he was accused of raping Desiree Washington in 1991 and found guilty a year later. He was sentenced to six years in prison, which was extended by fifteen days more because of an altercation he had with a certain guard while serving the sentence. While he was incarcerated, Tyson turned to Islam, changing his name to Malik Abdul Aziz.

However, the boxer did not serve the initial six years but was released earlier in 1995. He immediately returned to boxing, knocking out both McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr.

In 2023, on the heels of the Me Too movement, Tyson found himself embroiled in another scandal involving sexual assault. The anonymous woman sued Tyson for $5 million.

Boxing Match with Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson

The Fight

After losing by a knockout in 1996, Tyson challenged Holyfield to a rematch, not knowing that that would be the most infamous battle that would define his career. The fight was scheduled in 1997 and had the highest viewership at that time.

The audience and judges were startled when Tyson started biting Holyfield’s ears in the third round, severing a part of his right ear. In addition to being disqualified and having his license revoked, he was fined three million dollars. Tyson got his license back in 1998 but was later arrested again for hitting two vehicles in Maryland.

Boxing Retirement

His fight with Lennox Lewis made up a lot of fuss since the two had previously had some public quarrels, which nearly got the fight cancelled. But it was held in 2002, resulting in Tyson losing the fight by a knockout.

After two more defeats by Danny Williams and Kevin McBride in 2005, Tyson decided to announce his retirement. Tyson ended his career with 50 wins out of 58 fights, 2 no contests, and 6 losses by.

  • Buster Douglas in 1990.
  • Evander Holyfield in 1996 and 1997.
  • Lenox Lewis in 2002.
  • Danny Williams in 2004.
  • Kevin McBride in 2005.

In June 2011, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Mike Tyson Giving Speach in International Boxing Hall of Fame

Final Thoughts

The man who went publicly through many ups and downs lost it all and managed to come back once again. Growing up in poverty and a dysfunctional family, he didn’t have any support whatsoever, but Mike devoted himself to making it out of that environment and succeeding in his dream of becoming a professional boxer.

His manager and later adoptive father, Cus D’Amato, served as a pillar in his professional and personal victories. And, with his passing away, the boxer found himself alone all over again and began to deviate from the path of life's glory. Tyson turned to drugs and alcohol and served prison sentences as well. But somehow, this charismatic showman grew stronger and bounced back as a businessman and entertainer.

Nowadays, Mike Tyson is a brand connected with many products, industries, and inspiring stories.