Boxing can make someone a star in one night, but there are a few boxers who have the star power for generations. Mike Tyson is one of the most prominent names on that list. The American-born boxing great is regarded as the “Baddest Man on the Planet” and “Iron Mike.” He is one of the most celebrated boxing heavyweights of the world. People think they know everything about their favorite stars because lives of celebrities are like open books. However, many important things in the life of their favorite personality are still away from the fans’ eyes.
10 “The Baddest” Followed “The Greatest”
Mike Tyson was fond of Muhammad Ali’s boxing skills. He idolized Ali in his younger days and always wanted to become like him. He saw Muhammad Ali losing to Larry Holmes in 1980 when he was just 14 years old, and promised Ali that he would avenge his loss. Holmes agreed to fight Mike Tyson 7 years later. Muhammad Ali was at the ringside as the ‘Guest of Honor’ for this fight. Ali talked to Tyson before the fight and said, “Get him for me.” Tyson would defeat Holmes in the 4th round of the fight via knockout. Tyson later called it “the greatest moment of his career.”
9 Amateur Excellence
Mike Tyson started his career as an amateur boxer. He participated in the Junior Olympics for two consecutive years, winning 2 gold medals in 1981 and 1982 by beating Joe Cortez and Kelton Brown. He also won the National Golden Gloves in 1984, beating Jonathan Littles. His amateur boxing career ended prematurely after his two straight losses against Henry Tillman.
8 Starting Young
Mike Tyson moved to professional boxing when he was just 18 years old. He made his professional debut against a Puerto Rican boxer Hector Mercedes. Tyson beat Mercedes in the first round by technical knockout. His first year in boxing made him a star, and he never looked back from any fight in the first year of his career. He went on to box 15 times in his first professional boxing year, winning all bouts.
7 Unrivaled and Undisputed
Mike Tyson became a household name in the first two years of his professional boxing career. Mike Tyson won 27 fights before challenging Trevor Berbick for the WBC heavyweight championship in 1987. Tyson would win his first 19 fights all by knockout or stoppage, and would spend his first four years undefeated. Tyson beat Berbick in the 2nd round of the fight via TKO and became the youngest WBC heavyweight champion.
In his next fight, he defeated James Smith and won the WBA heavyweight title thus unifying both championship. Mike Tyson beat Tony Tucker in the next fight and won the IBF heavyweight title, unifying the major belts Mike Tyson stayed undisputed heavyweight champions till 1990 when Buster Douglas ended his reign at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, where Douglas would knock out “The Baddest Man on the Planet” in the tenth round.
6 Big Bucks
Mike Tyson earned the title of “highest paid athlete” in 1990 when he surpassed all other players including NBA legend Michael Jordan. The net worth of Mike Tyson in 1990 was $28.6 million, earning $27 million from boxing in 1990 despite losing the heavyweight belts.
5 Saturday Night’s All Right for Bitin’
There is no doubt that Mike Tyson is one of the greatest boxer of all time. But he would tarnish his star power on more than one occasion. One such infamous incident occurred in 1997 when Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of his opponent Evander Hollyfield’s ear. Tyson was punished for this move and fined over three million dollars. His boxing license was also suspended which was later reinstated after one year. In January 2002, Mike Tyson did the same when he bit Lennox Lewis on his leg in a heated argument during a pre-fight press conference.
4 All Creatures Great and Small
It might seem strange, but the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” has a soft spot for animals and birds, including racing pigeons. He spent $100 to purchase a flock of racing pigeons during his early days of boxing. In a documentary, Tyson would explain his bond with the common bird: “The first thing I ever loved in my life was a pigeon. I don’t know why…I feel ridiculous trying to explain it.” Tyson also loved tigers and had them as pets in his home in the 1990s.
3 The Dark Side of “Iron” Mike
Mike Tyson and controversies went side by side throughout his boxing career. Mike Tyson was incarcerated for six years in jail, along with a probation period of four years, being found guilty of raping an 18 year-old by the name of Desiree Washington in July 1991 in Indianapolis. He remained in the custody for three years from 1992 to 1995, when he was released early on good behavior.
2 Can I Get a “WOOOOOOO!!”
Oddly enough, Mike Tyson and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair are business partners. Tyson has developed a strong relationship with the retired wrestler and has often been seen with him. Along with Flair, Tyson established a line of cannabis called “Tyson 2.0 Cannabis Line.” His company owns a significant share in WWE Hall of Famer Nature Boy Ric Flair’s company, Flair’s Drip INC. This partnership allowed Tyson 2.0 to launch cannabis flowers and other edible products under the banner of Nature Boy Ric Flair’s company. The business is launched in 2021 in October 2021 and can be found in legal cannabis dispensaries across the United States.
1 A Squared Circle of a Different Sort
Mike Tyson along with Henry Cejudo, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort, among others, just showed up on AEW Dynamite (pro wrestling). pic.twitter.com/6JhpWC1uUU
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 28, 2020
Iron Mike Tyson has a great appreciation for professional wrestling. He made numerous appearances in WWE and AEW, the leading professional wrestling companies of the world. His first appearance in WWE was in 1998. He also participated in the WWE ring occasionally. His most unforgettable moment came in 1998 in a match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14. The WWE also added Tyson in the celebrity list of WWE Hall of Famer at WrestleMania 28 in 2012.
Tyson made a few appearances in AEW. In his most recent participation, he joined the Inner Circle, a wrestling group of legendary wrestler Chris Jericho, on an episode of AEW Dynamite.