Thursday, August 27, 2009

From Dawn To Dusk

The Hero For some and the idol for the youngsters of the time of 80's through out till the 90's, the greatest boxer the world's sports history has ever seen the Biggest name once Mike Tyson (Michael Gerard Tyson)

Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is now a retired American boxer. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion and remains the youngest man ever to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles. He won the WBC title at just 20 years old, 4 months and 22 days old, after defeating Trevor Berbick by a TKO in the second round. Throughout his career, Tyson became well-known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior both inside and outside the ring.

Nicknamed Kid Dynamite, Iron Mike,and "The Baddest Man on the Planet, Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 12 in the first round. He unified the belts in the splintered heavyweight division in the late 1980s to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Tyson lost his title when he lost to 42-to-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas in February 11, 1990, in Tokyo, by a KO in round 10.

Tyson made his professional debut on March 6, 1985, in Albany, New York. He defeated Hector Mercedes via a first round knockout. Fighting frequently in his first two years as a professional, Tyson won 26 of his first 28 fights by knockout - 16 in the first round. The quality of his opponents gradually increased to journeyman fighters and borderline contenders, and his win streak attracted media attention, leading to his being billed as the next great heavyweight champion. D'Amato died in November 1985, relatively early into Tyson's professional career; some speculate that his death was the genesis of many of the troubles Tyson was to experience later as his life and career progressed.

Tyson's first nationally televised bout took place on February 16, 1986, at Houston Field House in Troy, New York against journeyman heavyweight Jesse Ferguson. Tyson knocked down Ferguson with an uppercut in the fifth round that broke Ferguson's nose. During the sixth round, Ferguson began to hold and clinch Tyson in an apparent attempt to avoid further punishment. After admonishing Ferguson several times to obey his commands to box, the referee finally stopped the fight near the middle of the sixth round. Initially ruled a win for Tyson by disqualification (DQ) of his opponent, the ruling was subsequently "adjusted" as a win by technical knockout (TKO) after Tyson's corner protested that a DQ win would end Tyson's string of knockout victories, and that a knockout would have been the inevitable result. The rationale offered for the revised outcome was that the fight was actually stopped because Ferguson could not (rather than would not) continue boxing.

On November 22, 1986, Tyson was given his first title fight against Trevor Berbick for the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship. Tyson won the title by second round TKO, and at the age of 20 years and 4 months became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Because of Tyson's strength, many fighters were said to be too intimidated to hit him and this was backed up by his outstanding hand speed, accuracy, coordination, power, and timing. Tyson was also noted for his defensive abilities. Holding his hands high in the Peek-a-Boo style taught by his mentor Cus D'Amato, he slipped and weaved out of the way of the opponent's punches while closing the distance to deliver his own punches. One of Tyson's trademark combination's was to throw a right hook to his opponent's body, then follow it up with a right uppercut to his opponent's chin; very few boxers would remain standing if caught by this combination. Boxers knocked down with this combination include Jesse Ferguson and Jose Ribalta.

Tyson attempted to defend the WBA title against Evander Holyfield. Holyfield was in the fourth fight of his own comeback after retiring in 1994 following the loss of his championship to Michael Moorer (who subsequently lost to George Foreman by knockout during his first defense). It was said that Don King and others saw Holyfield, the former champion, who was 34 at the time of the fight and a huge underdog, as a washed up fighter.

On November 9, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tyson faced Holyfield in a title bout dubbed 'Finally.' In a surprising turn of events, the supposedly "washed-up" Holyfield, who was given virtually no chance to win by numerous commentators, defeated Tyson by TKO when referee Mitch Halpern stopped the bout in round 11. Holyfield made history with the upset win by being the second person ever to win a heavyweight championship belt three times. However Holyfield's victory was marred by allegations from Tyson's camp of Holyfield's frequent headbutts during the bout. Although the headbutts were ruled accidental by the referee, they would become a point of contention in the subsequent rematch.

And who could forget what happened in the rematch between the two great athletes. On June 28, 1997 The highly anticipated rematch was dubbed "The Sound and the Fury," Tyson received $30 million and Holyfield $35 million — the highest paid boxing purse ever till 2007.Soon to become one of the most controversial events in modern sports, the fight was stopped at the end of the third round, with Tyson disqualified for biting Holyfield on both ears. The first time he bit him the match was stopped, but then it resumed. However after the match resumed Tyson did it again; this time Tyson was disqualified and Holyfield won the match. One bite was severe enough to remove a piece of Holyfield's right ear, which was found on the ring floor after the fight. Tyson later stated that it was retaliation for Holyfield repeatedly head butting him without penalty. In the confusion that followed the ending of the bout and announcement of the decision, a near riot erupted in the arena and several people were injured in the ensuing melee.

After the Holyfield rematch Tyson was on the verge of losing his license to fight, he literately pleaded and asked Holyfield to forgive him. And eventually the jury at the World Boxing federation relieved him from that.

On February 22, 2003, Tyson beat fringe contender Clifford Etienne seconds into round one, once again in Memphis. The pre-fight was marred by rumors of Tyson's lack of fitness and that he took time out from training to party in Las Vegas and get a new facial tatoo. This would be Tyson's final professional victory in the ring.

In August 2003, after years of financial struggles, Tyson finally filed for bankruptcy. In 2003, amid all his economic troubles, he was named by Ring Magazine at number 16, right behind Sonny Liston, among the 100 greatest punchers of all time.

On July 30, 2004, Tyson faced the British boxer Danny Williams another comeback fight, this time staged in Louisville Kentucky. Tyson dominated the opening two rounds. The third round was even, with Williams getting in some clean blows and also a few illegal ones, for which he was penalized. In the fourth round, Tyson was unexpectedly knocked out. After the fight, it was revealed that Tyson was trying to fight on one leg, having torn a Ligament in his other knee in the first round. This was Tyson's fifth career defeat. He underwent surgery for the ligament four days after the fight. His manager, Shelly Finkel, claimed that Tyson was unable to throw meaningful right-hand punches after the knee injury.

On June 11, 2005, Tyson stunned the boxing world by quitting before the start of the seventh round in a close bout against journeyman Kevin McBride. After losing the third of his last four fights, Tyson said he would quit boxing because he no longer had "the fighting guts or the heart anymore."

On the front page of USA Today on June 3, 2005, Tyson was quoted as saying: "My whole life has been a waste - I've been a failure." He continued: "I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country. I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down. Tyson began to spend much of his time tending to his 350 pigeons in Paradise Valley, an upscale enclave near Phoenix Arizona.

Tyson has stayed in the limelight by promoting various website companies. In the past Tyson had shunned endorsements, accusing other athletes of putting on a false front to obtain them. He has also done entertainment boxing shows at a casino in Las Vegas and started a tour of exhibition bouts to pay off his numerous debts.

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