Top 20 Mike Tyson Stories That Defined Boxing’s Wild Man

Darren - August 3, 2020

Top 20 Mike Tyson Stories That Defined Boxing’s Wild Man

Darren - August 3, 2020
Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

11. The Face Tattoo

In 2003, Tyson got his distinctive face tattoo. His tribal marking is one of the most famous in the world. Three reasons influenced his decision. First, he liked the warrior culture of New Zealand’s Maori people and wanted to adapt it. Second, he thought it just looked cool.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

But this wasn’t Tyson’s first choice. He wanted to get hearts on his face instead of the tribal marking. However, the artist was able to convince him otherwise, and finally, Tyson agreed. Now thousands of people across the world also have the same ink on their faces.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Beating Up Don King

King is one of the most notorious promoters in boxing history. However, he had many fallouts with ‘Iron Mike.’ In his book ‘Undisputed Truth,’ Tyson explained how King said something on the highway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Tyson’s natural reaction was to stomp him unconscious in the back of the car.

Mandatory Credit: The Fight City

Then the police stopped them. However, Tyson claims to have had a brick of cocaine and half a pound of marijuana in the car with him. Of course, he was as high as a kite. Fortunately, police were too excited to see Tyson that they quickly gave up on their official duties and just took photos instead.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

9. The Tigers

The former heavyweight champion has a well-documented love of animals including a special appreciation for tigers. During the height of his fame and decadent lifestyle, Tyson bought three tigers and spent lavish amounts of money on their welfare.

As you can see from the clip above, Tyson even wrestled with the big cats even though they were more than capable of ripping him apart. He was a real-life Tiger King before we even heard of Joe Exotic. But in the end, he gave them up after he went bankrupt.

Mandatory Credit: Boxing Scene

8. The Lou Savarese KO

One of the most iconic moments in Tyson’s fight career, he destroyed Savarese at just 38 seconds of the first round. It was a devastating performance and the shortest professional fight he ever took part in. But that wasn’t the craziest part.

Then ‘Iron Mike’ ranted at Jim Grey about what he was going to do to Lennox Lewis. Furthermore, he praised Allah and went off on a tirade about his frightening skills. This infamously ended with him saying that he wanted to eat Lewis’s children. It was shocking but scintillating.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. The Lennox Lewis Press Conference

In 2002, Tyson agreed to fight Lewis for the undisputed title. However, Tyson was no longer the same force of nature and Lewis won by KO in round eight.  Even so, the press conference before the fight provided some real drama. ‘Iron Mike’ stormed out and charged at Lewis.

This resulted in a major melee on the stage with both men’s teams involved. Then a fan in the audience said that Tyson should be in a straight jacket. Needless to say, Tyson didn’t like this and went on the most explicit rant that you will ever listen to. Honestly, we can’t even quote it here but you can watch it above.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Coverts to Islam

People frequently speak about ‘Iron Mike’ and Muhammad Ali at the same time. It makes sense because they’re the most iconic heavyweights of their individual eras. However, religion is another aspect that brings them together. Tyson followed in Ali’s steps by converting to Islam. He even adopted the name Malik Abdul Aziz.

Mandatory Credit: DAZN

To sum up, it happened while Tyson was serving time for rape. NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon visited Tyson in prison and vouched for the boxer’s sincerity in his conversion. Furthermore, Tyson has completed his hajj, a mandatory visit to the sacred Islamic city of Mecca.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

5. Trevor Berbick KO

This was the finish that transformed Tyson into the youngest heavyweight champion of all-time. At the age of just 20 years and four months, a legend was born. The young man totally dominated this fight from start to finish, dropping Berbick in the second round.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Berbick scrambled back to his feet but Tyson landed a devastating combination that sent him crashing to the canvas. A right hook to the ribs and a left hook to the head forced referee Mills Lane to stop the fight. Nobody had seen anything as ferocious as this before.

Mandatory Credit: Boxing Daily

4. The Teddy Atlas Fallout

Atlas and Tyson do not have a good relationship. In sum, it all came about when Tyson was 15 years old and allegedly groped the buttocks of Atlas’s 12-year-old niece at the Catskill Boxing Club. Atlas worked there as an assistant trainer and responded furiously to Tyson’s action.

Mandatory Credit: Sportscast

The story goes that he pulled out a .38 pistol and held it to Tyson’s head. Then he warned the teenager that if he ever laid his hands on another member of Atlas’s family, he would kill him. However, in the end, Tyson had the last laugh because Catskill dismissed him and Kevin Rooney became the young man’s head coach.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. The Buster Douglas KO

During Tyson’s heyday, he was a whirlwind of destruction. He was 37-0 before he ran into Buster Douglas. Then, on Feb 11, 1990, in the Tokyodome in Japan, we saw one of the most stunning upsets in sporting history. Douglas knocked Tyson out in the tenth round of their clash.

After firing trainer Kevin Rooney, Tyson was a mess. Furthermore, he admitted to smoking a lot of marijuana and meeting several prostitutes in Tokyo during the run-up to the fight. Afterward, Douglas couldn’t capitalize on his achievement and went off the rails quickly himself.

Mandatory Credit: Sportscasting

2. Biting Holyfield’s Ear

To sum up, this is Tyson’s most shocking moment inside the ring. Outgunned against Evander Holyfield, he bit his opponent’s ear in the third round. Then the referee deducted two points but allowed the fight to resume. However, Tyson responded by immediately biting off a chunk of Holyfield’s other ear.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

Referee Lane Mills immediately stopped the fight. The state of Nevada stripped him of his boxing license and hit him with a $3 million fine. It was appalling but also somehow played into Tyson’s cult of personality. In the end, Tyson and Holyfield became good friends.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

1. Sexual Assault Conviction

The darkest moment of Tyson’s life so far, it’s amazing that he has successfully come back from it. When you consider the era that we live in, it’s insane that ‘Iron Mike’ has somehow managed to avoid cancel culture and the whole MeToo movement.

Mandatory Credit: The Times

He served three years in prison from 1992 to 1995 after a court convicted him for the rape of Desiree Washington. An emergency physician confirmed that her condition showed signs of rape. Furthermore, investigators found evidence in the boxing legend’s limousine. However, Tyson maintains his innocence to this day.