The man, the myth, the living legend of the fistic family… ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, who else would it be? The name known throughout the boxing world and a force to be reckoned with, a savage beast in the ring and even more unpredictable out of it. The boxing world had already witnessed the rise and fall of ‘King’ Mike, busting and bruising the heavyweight division until the breakdown of Tyson in Tokyo at the hands of the unknown James ‘Buster’ Douglas, but the real downfall was just beginning. Two confidence building wins after the Douglas debacle and Tyson was set on the journey back to the belt.
March 18th 1991 at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Tyson was set to face the 6’3” Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock, 24-1-1, who had previously knocked out his last ten opponents. The pre-fight shenanigans would display the side of Tyson that would be his trademark out of the ring, his lack of ability to keep his outrageous thoughts to himself. Tyson told Ruddock “You know you’re a transvestite, and you love me, I’m going to make you my girlfriend.” This would be just a taste of the many verbal assaults Tyson would display. After nineteen rounds, four knockdowns, two wins and one controversy stoppage over Ruddock, this would be the last bout the fight world would witness of ‘Iron’ Mike for four years.
Tyson was set to face the conqueror of the only man that beat him sixteen months prior and was anticipating getting his heavyweight title back from Evander Holyfield on November 8th 1991. But instead Tyson would encounter one of the biggest knockouts he would ever face in his career was from a small framed eighteen year old Miss Black America contestant named Desiree Washington, who claimed Tyson raped her in his hotel room on July 18th 1991. And the courts agreed on the rape charges and found Tyson guilty of the crime February 10th and sentenced the former heavyweight champion to a six year sentence in an Indiana State Prison.
After a four year absence from the ring Tyson would be a free man March 25th 1995 and once again under Don King he would begin his ascent to the top of the heavyweight division. The return of the “Baddest Man on the Planet” was going down at the MGM Grand in Vegas the summer of ’95 against little known Irishman Peter McNeeley. The return was more hype than fight in a highly publicized minute and fifteen second circus act with the ‘Hurricane’. Then came a solid beat down over highly overmatched power-puff punching Buster Mathis Jr. But Tyson was back and the boxing world was in a frenzy to see if the ‘Iron’ man could reach greatness once more.
Convicted rapist, it didn’t matter, as a lot of people doubted the rape conviction. All the fans wanted was the bad man back. They wanted blood, brutality, knockouts and most of all entertainment, and that was the one thing Tyson could provide. It didn’t matter if it was against stiffs, journeymen, any overmatched opponent or a world class champ, they wanted to see the hard hitting, trash talking, high octane heavyweight in action, and action with a whole mess of so called misinterpretation was in the works for the boxing world.
The Tyson saga was continuing to unfold right in front of their very eyes for all the world to see.
Also See: Part 1: Mike Tyson: Twenty-Years of ‘Iron’ Mike
Other Tyson Headlines from this Week:
Mike Tyson To Join Thai Kickboxing?
Mike Tyson eyes June comeback in Washington
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