Mike Tyson had an exceptionally illustrious career in boxing. However, just like his fights in the ring, his entire life was filled with numerous controversies. He became the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles, but after a few high-profile controversies, his career spiraled down the lane.
He has revealed many such instances in his autobiography titled “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.” Starting right from using a fake penis to claims of rape, the decorated boxer has had his fair share of controversies.
Here, we take a look at the top 10 controversies of Mike Tyson that were responsible for the downfall of boxing’s young prince from the echelons of boxing fame to the purgatory of shame and embarrassment. Take a look:
#1. Ear We Go
This was perhaps Tyson’s most controversial moment in his long career. It came in a rematch against Evander Holyfield in the year 1997. Tyson was knocked out by Holyfield a year earlier, and that didn’t go down well with him. As his revenge, he bit his opponent’s right ear and was later disqualified by the referee. Although he later apologized for his violent reaction, Mike admitted that his apology was not sincere and he had no remorse for the incident.
(Image Courtesy: The Sun)
Many people know that Tyson was addicted to cocaine. However, what is still relatively unknown is the fact that he fought numerous bouts under the influence of cocaine. More controversially, he used a fake penis to fool drug testers. He revealed in his autobiography that he spent significant parts of his career under substance abuse most notably before fighting Frank Bruno in 1996. He addressed the fake penis that he used to fool drug testers as his Whizzer.
(Image Courtesy: Daily Mirror)
#3. The Rape Sentence
In the fall of 1992, Tyson’s career was hit by yet another major controversy. He was sentenced to six years in jail as he was convicted of rape charges. The sentence was later reduced to three years, but Iron Mike has always insisted that the attack was made up. Tyson was eventually released early due to lack of evidence against him.
#4. A Disturbed Household
In an interview with Barbara Walters in 1989, Tyson and his then wife Robin Given made rather surprising revelations to the whole world. Given said that she was very fearful of her husband (who sat next to her), and also admitted that their relationship was torture on her. She eventually divorced him just a month after the interview, unsurprisingly.
(Image Courtesy: ABC News)
#5. I’ll Kill Him
Tyson announced his intentions before his fight with British heavyweight Lennox Lewis in the summer of 2002. He said that his intention was to “fight professionally but to kill him.” Many people have testified since then that this was not the first time that Iron Mike entered the boxing ring with such vengeful thoughts in his head. Ironically though, he was knocked out by Lewis in the eighth round.
(Image Courtesy: The Sun)
#6. Final Payday
Mike’s professional came to an end in 2005 following a shameful defeat at the hands of Irishman Kevin McBride. If you look at the match, you’ll see that Tyson was completely out of shape and was just not his usual self in the ring. He later revealed that he had not even trained for the match. Nonetheless, he still made a hefty $5 million from the game and admitted that he took on his opponent only for the cash.
(Image Courtesy: Robert Rolih)
#7. Weight Issues
After his retirement, Iron Mike chose the party life. His entire life would revolve around partying, and because of a diet consisting of ice cream, Oreos, and alcohol, at his heaviest, he weighed 172 kg. Although he is much healthier now and has already reduced almost half of what he gained, Tyson claims that he left drinking for a while to follow a healthy lifestyle. However, in the later parts of his autobiography, he said that he couldn’t resist the temptation of alcohol for long and started drinking soon. He even called himself a “vicious addict.”
(Image Courtesy: Complex)
#8. No Love For Fans
Tyson says that on more than one occasion if he encountered any obsessive fans who followed him around or asked for an autograph when he was in a bad mood he would "kick his ass." He expresses regret for doing so, referring to himself at this time as a "disrespectful, ignorant monster." Another example came in 2003 when he said: "If I weren't on coke, probably nothing would have happened. But I was, so I chased them into the lobby and up the escalator. We got to the top of the escalator, and I knocked one of them out with one punch.
#9. Behind Closed Bars
Tyson claims that while serving his sentence for rape, he started a relationship with his drug counselor, beginning when he gave her $10,000 to fix the roof of her house. He also had sexual relations with a string of visitors while he was in prison before the guards eventually caught him. As a result, outside visitors were banned for him.
(Image Courtesy: The Telegraph)
#10. Friend Of Luis Suarez
We all know that Tyson is a fan of biting other people if the time comes. When footballer Luis Suarez bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, which resulted in a 10-match ban for him, he managed to gain himself a new Twitter follower; Mike Tyson. The former heavyweight champion immediately followed Suarez after the incident to potentially compare notes on their gnashing style.
(Image Courtesy: standard.uk)
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The most legendary boxer ever.