Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 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. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them. Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno.
Tyson was well known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior inside and outside the ring. Nicknamed “Iron” and “Kid Dynamite” in his early career, and later known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet,”. Tyson is considered one of the best heavyweights of all time. Tyson holds the third longest unified championship reign in heavyweight history at eight consecutive defenses. He currently ranks #15 in BoxRec’s ranking of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and No. 1 in the ESPN.com list of “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History.” Sky Sports described him as “perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring.” He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Awards and honors
The Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1989 awarded Tyson an honorary doctorate in humane letters: “Mike demonstrates that hard work, determination and perseverance can enable one to overcome any obstacles.”
- Ring magazine Prospect of the Year (1985)
- 2× Ring magazine Fighter of the Year (1986, 1988)
- 2× Sugar Ray Robinson Award winner (1987, 1989)
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality (1989)
- International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2011)
- “Guirlande d’Honneur” by the FICTS (Milan, 2010)
- WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2012)
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