“Iron” Mike Tyson turned 51 years old today.
When you think about the fact that many of his contemporaries in the street are no longer around, it is a paradoxical moment.
Coming from Brownsville, Brooklyn from a broken home forced the young Tyson to fend for himself. His father lived the street life and his mother was a woman distraught from the circumstances life throws. When she died, Tyson was a teen and his angst was taken out on those that ridiculed his now famous signature voice and lisp.
Fighting was an internal trait that Tyson had built up from poverty and when he met famed trainers Cuts D’Amato and Kevin Rooney, they steered the rage into brilliance. Tyson’s first 19 fights were all won by KO or TKO with none going past 6 rounds.
Tyson made everyone feel like Superman watching his 5’10” frame demolish the heavyweight division with a ferocity rarely seen since. In today’s world of safe boxers who win off the point scoring system, Tyson was an old school, playground rumble, knock out styled fighter. The David vs. Goliath myth brought into technicolor.
Mike Tyson discusses with Larry Merchant, 5 ways to land a knockout on your opponent. Tyson’s advice is mixed with highlights from his incredible career. Subscribe for the latest Top 10’s, Promo’s, Series & Tributes. YOUTUBE: http://youtube.com/EditinKing FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/EditinKingBoxing TWITTER: http://twitter.com/EditinKing
His signature black shorts and black shoes became a trademark like Michael Jordan’s long basketball shorts. Tyson was his own man and young enough to be revered as the world’s most dangerous man with a scowl to prove it.
The murder of his close friend Tupac Shakur jarred him into the reality that being famous can be a life-ending detriment. The fact that it happened right after winning his fight against Bruce Seldon in 1996 was part of a wake up call that only rung louder as his professional career roared.
Then it happened, the bite, which celebrated 20 years earlier this week. Evander Holyfield, who had given Tyson his second loss and second knock out, was assaulted by Tyson’s teeth and not his fists. The ear bite felt around the world sent Tyson’s credibility and already shaky public perception of sanity into a tailspin.
Through the ups and the downs, the drug usage and the eventual losses he sustained at the end of his career, Tyson reinvented himself into a street-wise zen figure. His life taught him one thing: peace is better than fame and his search for it began the moment love was withheld from his childhood.
Boxing is a hard game and full of stories that will make you cry. Today on his 51st birthday let’s celebrate the life of a true survivor Michael Gerard Tyson.