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Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. Nicknamed “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” in his early career, and later known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet”, Tyson is considered one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Claiming his first belt at 20 years; four months, and 22 days old, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title.
Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round; and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. He was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles; as well as the only heavyweight to unify them in succession. The following year, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, including victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas; who knocked him out in the tenth round.
Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991; but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas in 1990 to win the titles) due to a rib injury.
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In 1992, Tyson convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, although released on parole after three years. After his release in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. He regained the WBC and WBA titles in 1996, after stopping Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. With his defeat of Bruno, Tyson joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali autographs, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman as the only men in boxing autographs history to have regained a heavyweight championship after losing it. Stripped of the WBC title in the same year, Tyson lost the WBA title to Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson banned for biting Holyfield’s ears; one bite notoriously being strong enough to remove a portion of his right ear.
In 2002, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight title again at the age of 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Also, Mike Tyson signed memorabilia retired from professional boxing in 2006; after being stopped in consecutive matches against journeymen Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite having received over $30 million for several of his fights and $300 million during his career. Additionally, at the time the media reported that he had approximately $23 million in debt.
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Tyson, known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behaviour inside and outside the ring. He holds the sixth longest unified championship reign in heavyweight boxing history at 8 consecutive defences. BoxRec ranked him as the world’s top 10 heavyweight 12 times, and placed him at No.1 from 1986 to 1989. Furthermore, his victory over Larry Holmes received a 5-Star rating from BoxRec. Ranked 16th on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and first on ESPN’s list of “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History”. Sky Sports described him as “perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring”. In addition, he has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
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