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The Youngest, Baddest Man on the Planet

20 years, 4 months and 22 days.

20 years, 4 months and 22 days.  This was the amount of time that elapsed between June 30, 1966 to November 22, 1986, when Mike Tyson needed only 5 minutes 35 seconds to impose his will on Trevor Berbick, becoming the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in boxing history.

Cus D'Amato, Tyson’s mentor who died a year prior at age 77, told Mike if he stayed with him and listened to everything that he said, he would undoubtedly make him the youngest heavyweight champion ever.  Up until this day, Floyd Patterson, who was D'Amato's first famous protégée, held this distinction.

In the fight, Tyson came out with one aim in mind: to get rid of Berbick as quickly as possible. He attacked from the start and his job was made easier when Berbick opted to stand right in front of him instead of moving. The writing was on the wall at the end of the first round when Tyson sent Berbick staggering backwards across the ring with a four-punch combination. Tyson tried to finish it there, but the bell intervened by simply hitting the pause button on a movie that was playing out before the world.

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In a blatant show of bravado, Berbick poked his tongue out at Tyson as he walked back to his corner, although it seemed almost everyone in the arena knew what was about to happen.  A long right hand at the start of the second round had Berbick rocking back on his heels before two more left-rights sent the champion down for the first time. Berbick would pop back up and nod to referee Mills Lane, looking more embarrassed than hurt.  But at that moment, Berbick had to sense that fight was going to be a short one. Tyson continued to hammer away before administering a combination that sent Berbick crashing down as if his legs had been cut from beneath him. When he tried to get up, his legs wouldn't work. He sprawled into the ropes near his corner. Trying to get up again, he flopped into the middle of the ring. Still wobbling, he finally regained his feet, but the referee moved in to stop the fight.


Tyson did not even celebrate. Instead, he simply shrugged and went over to give congratulations to his manager. Perhaps his reaction was not surprising. In the build-up to the fight, he told one interviewer tersely: "I'll win the title as surely as Tuesday follows Monday."


"My record will last for immortality. It will never be broken." – Mike Tyson