WILKES-BARRE — Mike Tyson, once the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, has led a public life that took him from the dim boxing gyms of upstate New York to Madison Square Garden.
Along the way in the 1980s and 1990s there were nightclub scenes, days in court and a personal life filled with trouble. Despite the self-inflicted turmoil, Tyson accomplished something no boxer had ever done before: he won the three biggest belts in prizefighting—the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles.
Following are highlights of Tyson’s life and career from the website biography.com:
• Mike Tyson, born on June 30 1966, and was the youngest person at age 20 to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
• He lost the title in 1990 to little-known Buster Douglas in Japan and later served three years in prison over rape charges.
• He subsequently earned further notoriety by biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during a re-match in 1997.
• He has gone on to appear in several films, including a documentary on his life.
• As a youth, he frequently ran into trouble with police over his petty criminal activities, and by the age of 13 he had been arrested more than 30 times.
• Tyson’s bad behavior landed him in the Tryon School for Boys, a reform school in upstate New York.
• In 1980 he was introduced the aspiring boxer to legendary boxing manager Constantine “Cus” D’Amato, who had a gym in Catskill, N.Y. D’Amato immediately recognized Tyson’s promise as a heavyweight contender. The relationship between D’Amato and Tyson was more than that of a professional trainer and a boxer—it was also one of a father and son. D’Amato took Tyson under his wing, and when the 14-year-old was paroled from Tryon in September 1980, he entered into D’Amato’s full-time custody.
• By 1986, at the age of 20, Tyson had garnered a 22-0 record—21 of the fights won by knockout. On Nov. 22, 1986, Tyson finally reached his goal: his first title fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. Tyson won the title by a knockout in the second round. At the age of 20 years and four months he beat Patterson’s record, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history.
• Tyson married television actress Robin Givens on Feb. 7, 1988, in New York. The marriage was tumultuous and ended in 1989.
• Tyson’s winning streak came to an end on Feb. 11, 1990, when he lost his championship belt to boxer Buster Douglas in Tokyo, Japan.
• In July 1991 Tyson was accused of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black American contestant. Eight months later Tyson was found guilty on one count of rape and two counts of deviant sexual conduct in Indiana. Tyson was released on March 25, 1995, after serving three years of a six-year sentence.
• On June 28, 1997, Tyson bit off the right ear of Evander Holyfield during a match. His license was suspended and he was fined $3 million.
• On March 5, 1998, the boxer filed a $100 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York against Don King, accusing the promoter of cheating him out of millions of dollars. King and Tyson settled out of court for $14 million. Tyson allegedly lost unknown millions in the process.
• After losing several more fights throughout 2003 and 2005, including one to Lenox Lewis after Tyson threatened to “eat his children,” Tyson announced his retirement.