By Spencer Blohm
Mike Tyson, known as “Iron Mike” during his days dominating the boxing ring is turning 47 on June 30th. In light of Tyson’s birthday, let’s take a look back at the boxing legend, who has had an up-and-down career to say the least.
Tyson has long had supportive fans and very strong detractors. He became the only boxer in history to hold all three big titles in 1988 when was WBC, WBA and IBF champ, and is still the youngest to have done so at 20 years old. His fights were typically over so quickly that they were letdowns, and fans would ponder whether it was worth it to pay to watch “Iron Mike” annihilate opponents in just a few ticks of the clock. There might have been plenty of fighters over the years with more grace and strategy, but none with more power. He’s been married four times, all rather tumultuous relationships and has eight children.
Against the Ropes
It all came crashing down for Tyson when he was arrested on rape charges in 1991. He was convicted of assaulting the Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington and eventually served three years in prison. Reactions to this event in the media and among fans ranged from assertions that he was framed to shock at what was regarded as too short a short sentence.
Love him or hate him, Mike has made efforts to rehab his image lately, and he does seem genuine in his attempts – and they seem to be working.
Hitting the Road
Tyson is currently touring the country in a one-man stage show billed “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.” The play is getting good reviews for what is seen as a legitimate attempt to explain his past without too much apology or hubris. His candor is refreshing and is even bringing a level of sympathy for him unlike any he’s had in recent years. He’s not likely to convert hardcore haters but he may win a few people over.
The show is slated to come to HBO, and more fans will have the chance to hear his side of his life story when it airs. HBO subscribers that aren’t boxing fans at all will likely tune in just as much as fans will since Tyson has become such a household name. The Tyson story is inherently compelling, somewhat sad, and above all, undeniably full of drama. The man who said “I’m on the Zoloft to keep from killing y’all” is trying to slightly soften his image.
Now this could be really entertaining: Tyson is also set to star in an animated show that’s being called “Mike Tyson Mysteries”, which will air on Adult Swim next season. The story line has Mike solving mysteries along with a foul-mouthed pet pigeon. Of course Tyson, incidentally, raises pigeons in real life, and it’s easy to imagine the hilarious potential plots and one-liners possible, especially since Tyson has shown a willingness to poke fun at himself lately (as in his cameo in The Hangover). The network says Tyson will voice the character and also make live-action appearances.
Author Bio: Spencer Blohm is an entertainment blogger for Direct2TV.com, where he covers everything from movie releases and reviews to celebrity profiles to forgotten horror and comedy films from the 1970’s and 80’s. He lives in Chicago.