Mike Tyson is arguably the most famous heavyweight boxer since Muhammed Ali. Although his two title reigns were relatively short, his brutal style and controversial personality garnered him worldwide fame that has lasted to this day. And he’s bringing his story to the stage.
Mike Tyson Background
Born on January 22nd, 1966, the young Mike Tyson struggled for much of his early life with his father leaving him and his mother dying of a heart attack when he was only 16 years old. Mike was put into the care of boxing trainer Cus D’Amato who saw the potential he had in the ring.
Although a little short for a typical heavyweight of the 1980s, the 5’ 11” Mike Tyson was muscular, powerful, and well-schooled by Cus D’Amato and his subsequent trainer Kevin Rooney. After failing to qualify for the 1984 Olympic team, Tyson turned pro in early 1985 and proceeded to put the heavyweight division on notice by knocking out one opponent after another, sometimes with bouts just two weeks apart.
His ferocious style and highlight-reel knockouts managed to land him a shot at one of the heavyweight belts held by Trevor Berbick. Mike knocked out Berbick in two rounds and at the age of 20 became the youngest heavyweight champion ever. By the following year, Mike had defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony Tucker to become the unified champion.
However, the lineal championship was held by Michael Spinks, so in 1988 Tyson and Spinks met in a heavily anticipated fight that ended in 93 seconds thanks to a devastating right hand by Mike Tyson. This achievement represented the peak of his career and it seemed that no one could dethrone him.
It was here that Mike’s life went into a tailspin. Having lost Cus D’Amato years earlier, Tyson parted with trainer Kevin Rooney and by 1990 had lost his title to Buster Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Tyson subsequently spent three years in jail on rape charges before getting back into the ring and winning another title belt in 1996. However, it was short-lived as Evander Holyfield knocked Tyson out that same year. Tyson got one more shot at the title in 2002, but lost by knockout to Lennox Lewis.
“Undisputed Truth” is a one-man performance by Mike Tyson that in 2013 was made into a movie directed by Spike Lee. The performance by Mike tells about the struggles he went through in life while becoming heavyweight champion of the world. After its debut in 2012 in Las Vegas, Tyson and Lee managed to take the show to Broadway where it ran for a short time. Afterwards, “Undisputed Truth” went on a 36-city tour that started in February of 2013. By November of that year, the film of the show appeared on HBO.
The show itself bares all when it comes to Mike’s troubles in life and it has received praise for its unabashed look at his life. To be fair, the show has its critics as well with Tyson even admitting his performance may not be of the highest standards. Still, “Undisputed Truth” is a look into the life of one of the most dynamic sports figures in the modern era.
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