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Mike Tyson is a former heavyweight boxing champion who's served jail time and also appeared in several films.
Mike Tyson - Mini Biography (4:02)
A short biography of Mike Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion, known for his intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior. In 1997, he made headlines for biting Evander Holyfield's ear during a rematch.
By the age of 20, Sugar Ray Leonard had won three golden gloves, a gold medal at the Pan American games, and an Olympic gold medal In 1976, Leonard considered retiring and going to college, but continued to fight, becoming a boxing legend.
A short biography of Muhammad Ali, an American heavyweight boxer and social activist who converted to Islam. Dodging the Vietnam draft, he was the subject of controversy.
George Foreman discusses his fight for the heavyweight championship title at age 45.
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Tyson's life seemed to be looking up, but in 1982 Mike suffered several personal losses. That year, Tyson's mother died of cancer. "I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something," he later told reporters. "She only knew of 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." Around this same Tyson was also expelled from Catskill High for his erratic, and often violent, behavior.
Tyson continued his schooling through private tutors while he trained for the 1984 Olympic trials. Tyson's showing in the trials, however, did not promise great success; he lost to the eventual gold medalist, Henry Tillman. After failing to make the Olympic team, D'Amato decided that it was time for his fighter to turn professional. The trainer conceived a game plan that would result in breaking the heavyweight championship for Tyson before the young man's 21st birthday, breaking the record originally set by Floyd Patterson.
On March 6, 1985, Tyson made his professional debut in Albany, New York, against Hector Mercedes. The 18-year-old knocked Mercedes out in one round. Tyson's strength, quick fists and his notable defensive abilities intimidated his opponents, who were often afraid to hit the fighter. This gave Tyson the uncanny ability to level his opponents in only one round, and earned him the nickname "Iron Mike."
The year was a successful one for Tyson, but it was not without its tragedies. On November 4, 1985, D'Amato died of pneumonia. Tyson was rocked by the death of the man he considered his surrogate father. Boxing trainer Kevin Rooney took over D'Amato's coaching duties and, less than two weeks later, Tyson continued on the path that D'Amato had laid out for him. He recorded his thirteenth knockout in Houston, Texas, and dedicated the fight to D'Amato. Although he seemed to recover well from D'Amato's passing, those close to Tyson say that the boxer never fully recovered from the loss. Many attributed the boxer's future behavior to the loss of the man that had previously grounded and supported him.
By 1986, at the age of 20, Tyson had garnered a 22-0 record—21 of the fights won by knockout. On November 22, 1986, Tyson finally reached his goal: He was given his first title fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. Tyson won the title by a knockout in the second round. At the age of 20 years and four months he beat Patterson's record, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history.
Tyson's success in the ring didn't stop there. He defended his title against James Smith on March 7, 1987, adding the World Boxing Association (WBA) championship to his list of victories. On August 1 he became the first heavyweight to own all three major boxing belts when he won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker.
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