Mike Tyson and the early years
The World renowned boxing champion Mike Tyson had to face a rough couple of years before he became a household name in boxing.
He was only two when his father abandoned him and his family. Lorna Smith Tyson then had to bear the responsibility of raising two sons and a daughter on her own. At the age of sixteen he had to face the death of his mother and then later his sister too
would die of a heart attack at the age of twenty five.
The pain and suffering that Tyson had to endure due to the loss of his family members clearly left a permanent mark upon his personality and he admitted as much when he said:
"I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something. She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her.
Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally".
His early years were spent in a high crime neighborhood where a bone crushing fights weren’t novel a occurrence. Since death was always around the corner and self-defense as necessary as bread and butter, Mike was inducted into the art of fighting at a very
By the time he was thirteen he had been arrested 38 times and petty crime became an everyday occurrence in his life. His latent boxing talent came to his aid in street fights and would later emerge as a fundamental aspect of his personality thereby making
him a boxing icon.
During this time he had been enrolled at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York where he was discovered by the former boxer Bobby Stewart, who would train him for a few months before introducing him to Cus D'Amato, the man who would launch him
into boxing and become his legal guardian.
In his initial years he fought against Joe Cortez in1981 and Kelton Brown in 1982 and won gold medals against both of them but his real professional break came on March 6, 1985 when he knocked out Hector Mercedes in the first round.
After that fight he had a number of continuous successes that would lead to both an improvement in the standards of his opponents as well as a corresponding increase in the media’s interest into the rising boxing star.
Although the death of Cus D’Amatao in 1985 hit him hard, his claim to fame kept on increasing with the passage of time due to the increase in his speed and accuracy. He name was included alongside fighters such as Dempsey and Ali and many of his opponents
were known to be intimidated by him.
His “peek a boo” style which entailed moving in and out of the opponents punches while increasing shortening the distance between his own punches and the opponent led him to deliver crushing defeats to many big names in boxing.
However the zenith of his boxing career was the fight in 1988 against the celebrated Michael Spinks, a previously unbeaten boxing guru who would be defeated by Tyson in the first round after ninety-one seconds of battle.
The later years of his life however in a sense mirror the difficulties that he faced in his childhood years. His marriage to Robin Givens went through a rocky period and would end in divorce. He would go on to fire Kevin Rooney, the man who was known to
be the real genius behind the Mike Tyson that the world knew and loved. And his defeat against Douglas would become known as the fight that brought down one of the most loved names in boxing.
Stars rise and fall. But Tyson has succeeded in securing a permanent place for himself in the annals of boxing and will always be remembered by his victories.