|Tyson: A Documentary about Boxing's most controversial Icon
By Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (April 15, 2009)
“When I finish this game,
they will never stop talking about me.”
It has been twenty-four years since “Kid Dynamite” made his professional debut, nearly twenty-three since “Iron” Mike made history in becoming the youngest heavyweight champion of the world, just about
thirteen years since having a worl d title strap, and almost four since “The Baddest Man on the Planet” fought as a professional prize fighter, but all though time continues on, and things as they do change, the name Mike Tyson remains immortalized.
The kid from Brooklyn became an icon in destroying men in the ring in his quest in conquering the fight world; his presence in the ring was that of a lion stalking his prey, his offense was quick and lethal like the venom of a viper, his aura of invincibility kept the boxing world on the edge of their seats, and his controversial antics kept his name in the tabloids.
Tyson, who was known as a devastating power puncher won forty-four of his bouts via knock out, twenty-four of his bouts were stopped in the first round. In his prime Tyson earned the WBC, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles, he was the undisputed heavyweight champion, The Ring magazines heavyweight champion, and twice Ring magazines “Fighter of the Year”.
Although Tyson was at one time boxing’s greatest crowd pleaser, and a blockbuster Pay per View smash, there have always been three sides to Mike, the good, the bad and the down right ugly.
The good came against the likes of Trevor Berbick, Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks, the bad were the ones against Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
The ugly came as a three year stint in prison for the charge of rape, the ear biting incident against Holyfield, and his last two defeats ending his career as a shell of a fighter he once was.
Tyson has been called unbeatable, indestructible, unstoppable and champion of the world, as well as a rapist, an ear biter, one dimensional, insane and an animal.
His glory in the ring has often been overshadowed by his antics out of it. His violent outbursts and verbal assaults have made him the butt of jokes, the star of many parodies, and will most likely keep him as the most controversial fighter in the world.
Tyson inspired many kids as well as young men to want to lace up the gloves and become a fighter, all though often criticized for his sometimes unlawful and distasteful lifestyle, whether good or bad, victorious or defeated, Tyson has been a super star amongst many in and around the boxing world.
His rise and fall in and out of the ring has been well documented=2 0by various boxing scribes, news outlets as well as gossip columns. All though his ways have left many with a bad taste in their mouth, his name is still very marketable, the life and times of Tyson has been under a microscope for all to see.
Many have their opinions on the man and the fighter known as Mike Tyson, but whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny his impact on the boxing world. But along with the outspoken opinions made my many, you have their side of the debate, their take on it all.
And that is why I give two thumbs up for the latest documentary by James Toback entitled, “Tyson”. It is a gritty tell all by not that of others in or around Tyson’s circle, or that of an opinion from a writer, but from the man himself.
Although you see many clips from past interviews from Mike, and once again witness his well documented life in and around the ring, you get a different side of Tyson than that of just a fighter, but more of a man, that of a human being.
He talks of Cus D’Amato, his short lived marriage to Robin Givens, his former promoter Don King, his rape charge, his life in and out of prison, and now his life as a Dad away from the boxing ring. I watched the documentary reminiscing of the past when I would get with the buddies and pitch in and purchase his bouts on PPV, then how I would get pissed when the fight would end as soon as it started. It was a great flick to me which really opened up my eyes to Tyson as a person, and not this icon to the sport. Although there are no surprises in the film, you get all point of views from Tyson on his personal as well as ring life.
Since Tyson has left the sport his name is still brought up in various boxing subjects , and all though many may curse his career due to his controversial image, the one thing you cannot deny, is what Tyson himself said, “They will never stop talking about me.”
Because all though Tyson’s career is long gone and over with, we have not stopped talking about Mike Tyson.
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