Mike Tyson

(redirected from Michael Gerard Tyson)
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Tyson, Mike

(Michael Gerald Tyson), 1966–, American boxer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. At the age of 12, Tyson was sent to reform school, where he began to box. In a whirlwind career begun in 1985 when he turned pro, his spare, brutal style (36 knockouts in his first 41 wins) rescued him from the ghetto and made him, at 20, history's youngest world heavyweight champion following his 1986 knockout of Trevor Berbick. His first loss (1990), to unheralded Buster Douglas, punctured "Iron Mike's" aura of invincibility.

Tyson's life since then has been marked by violence, instability, and antisocial behavior in and out of the ring. His conviction (1992) for the rape of a beauty contestant resulted in a sentence of 10 years in prison. Released in 1995, Tyson returned to boxing, winning the World Boxing Council title in 1996. The same year, however, he lost to Evander HolyfieldHolyfield, Evander,
1962–, American boxer, b. Atmore, Ala. Favored to win the 1984 Olympic heavyweight title, but victim of a controversial disqualification, he turned professional and became cruiserweight world champion in 1988.
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, and in a 1997 rematch bit Holyfield's ear, for which he was temporarily banned from boxing. In 1999 he was briefly imprisoned in Maryland for assault. After he sparked a melee at a prefight conference with Lennox LewisLewis, Lennox
(Lennox Claudis Lewis), 1965–, British-Canadian boxer. Born in London, England, to Jamaican parents, Lewis had a troubled childhood and followed his mother to Canada at the age of 12.
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 in 2002, Tyson was denied a license to fight by Nevada, and the bout relocated to Memphis, where Tyson lost. Subsequently, he was not a significant contender.

Bibliography

See his memoir, Undisputed Truth (with L. Sloman, 2013).