Tyson: The Concise Biography of Iron Mike
by Frank Oliver
In his prime Mike Tyson was the most dominant fighter the sport of boxing had ever seen. At twenty he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history after winning his first nineteen fights by knockout, half of them inside the first round.
This biography covers Tyson’s life and professional career, beginning with his criminal childhood, through to his amateur career, his meteoric rise to heavyweight champion, his shock fall from grace and eventual retirement from boxing in 2005.
Mike Tyson was destined for a life of crime before he was rescued from a juvenile detention centre by the legendary trainer Cus D’Amato who guided him through an amateur career that fell just short of an Olympic title.
His professional career began in 1985 with nineteen straight knockouts in little over a year before he destroyed Trevor Berbick to become heavyweight champion. With the most brutal punching boxing had ever seen Tyson unified the title the following year to become the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
After demolishing everyone in the heavyweight division Tyson was widely considered to be unbeatable until his shock loss to the 42 – 1 underdog Buster Douglas in 1990. His first loss is still considered the biggest upset in sport. It triggered a fall from grace for the once invincible fighter, who allowed fame and fortune to erode the desire and professionalism that made him so successful.
His life spiralled further out of control when a conviction for rape led to three years imprisonment and the loss of his prime years as a boxer. His career after that was filled with controversy as he recaptured and lost the title once more before being banned for biting off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a 1997 title fight.
The final decade of Tyson’s career included time in jail, bans from boxing, and fights against lacklustre opponents in an effort to pay off massive debts. As he became disinterested in the sport his skills eroded and he began to lose against even average opponents. At the time he retired in 2005 he was still the biggest draw in boxing.
This book is part of the Biography Shorts Series - Concise, fast paced biographies with no padding. At around 10,000 words they are designed to be read in about an hour.
- Frank Oliver, April 2012
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