Mike Tyson is a star. There can be no doubting it. His career has spanned professional sports, movies, and back again to professional sports. Whether it’s his signature tattoos or memorable voice, Tyson is great at creating a splash.
With each turn he creates buzz. From his early days as a teenager boxing in the big leagues, to his roles as a film star, Iron Mike just cannot seem to escape the heat of the spotlight
Let’s pay tribute to the Baddest Man on Earth by reviewing the highlights of his career and where he is now.
Early Career Stardom
As a young man, Michael Gerard Tyson was a huge star. It is not only that he was very successful as a boxer. His magnetism extends far beyond his wins and losses.
For example, during his first year in professional boxing, he was already airing on ABC, at only age 18. He not only won his fights, but he won them with pizazz.
Of his first 28 matches, he won 26 by TKO or Ko and 16 of them in the first round. This was fighting like America had never seen before.
When he was only 19 years old he went up against a former world title challenger, Marvis Frazier. This was a big fish for such a young man. He managed to knock him unconscious in 30 seconds after landing a legendary opening uppercut.
This man was made for the movies from the beginning.
After he became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Tyson-mania really set in. After gaining the biggest boxing titles, including the WBA, WBC, and IBF, he went on to have a Super Nintendo game named after him.
Once you have an NES game, you know you’ve hit it big time!
However, his career began a stark downturn at this point. With controversies over his marriage and his contract fights leaking into the news. This culminated when Mike Tyson raped Desiree Washington and went to jail.
Tyson converted to Islam while in prison and began his moral recovery.
Return to Stardom
Once out of prison, it was easy for Tyson to start winning fights again. And generating buzz.
In fact, as one way to measure it, his first comeback fight was the most successful up to that point. It grossed more than $96 million worldwide. It even set a US record at $63 million in pay per view profit. The fight only lasted 89 seconds.
A big moment in Tyson’s career came from the much-anticipated Holyfield fights. Because Tyson was on a hot streak and was so beloved by fans, everyone assumed he would win. Oddsmakers, raking in the money, gave Holyfield almost no chance of winning, especially given that he was coming out of retirement for this fight.
Holyfield’s win was not without controversy. He headbutted Tyson several times, but the referees ruled them accidental.
Tyson continued his boxing career until 2005 when he retired in typical celebrity fashion. It was a dead-heat boxing match, and he quit in between the sixth and seventh rounds.
However, he is back in 2020, and creating just as much buzz with oddsmakers as before. Wherever he goes, the cameras seem to follow.
Especially if it is on a movie set.
Tyson has had a successful Hollywood career as well. Whether as actor or producer, Mike Tyson’s brand has been significant in bringing in extra profit for cinematic productions.
Tyson’s biggest hit came with Hangover and Hangover II. He starred in both blockbusters as himself, with incredibly memorable cameos.
In fact, when working as an actor, he almost always plays himself. He has had cameos in How I Met Your Mother, Scary Movie 5, and Rocky Balboa to name a few.
But of course, no boxing champion turned movie star’s career would be complete without his own animated mystery-solving series. Think Scooby-Doo for adults.
This series, Mike Tyson Mysteries, started in 2014 and has four whole seasons. Mike Tyson stars as the show’s animated protagonist playing, you guessed it, himself. It is truly a gem for anyone who has not found time to catch an episode.