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Mike Tyson: Potentially the Greatest of All Time (part3)

Hector Fernandez, Albany, NY, knock-out, first round, 1985

Tyson was on the verge of becoming the youngest heavyweight champion.

“I came from Hell and every match I won was a step out of that world. Each victory would bring me closer to immortal glory.” These are the words of Mike Tyson, former heavyweight boxing champion. He’s part of an “old school” of fighters who fought whoever they could to get out of their state. Tyson was a boxer who carefully studied boxing history in order to create his own.

While fighting many unsanctioned bouts with adults, Iron Mike Tyson was becoming “salty” in the ring. In the meantime, Tyson already dropped out of 11th grade and won two junior Olympic gold medals. After his failure to get onto the 1984 Olympic Team, his manager Cus D’Amato decided that he would become a professional. He then laid the roadmap which would make Tyson the youngest ever heavyweight champion.

With So Much Potential, Mike Tyson Enters the World of Professional Boxing

On March 6th, 1985, Mike Tyson made is explosive debut as a professional boxer with a first round knockout of Hector Mercedes in the first round. Well known in US gambling news, Tyson had a rather strenuous fight schedule for a rookie. In his first year, he had 15 bouts. Out of Tyson’s first 28 bouts, 26 were won by knockout or technical knockout (TKO) with 16 occurring in the first round.

It’s very possible that D’Amato knew of his impending death and wanted to his goal for Tyson realized. Although he coached two boxing legends, D’Amato never felt he had his fair shake in the boxing world. He despised Angelo Dundee claiming that coaching Muhammad Ali “was lucky.” D’Amato, who legally adopted Tyson after his Mother’s death in 1982, saw Tyson as redemption for his treatment by the boxing world.


• Cus D’Amato’s death of pneumonia in 1985 traumatized Tyson.
• Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight ever when he beat Berbick.
• Tyson was able to unify all the Heavyweight division titles in a year.

Tyson went from fight journeymen fighter to borderline contenders. He would go up the list of fighters giving everyone their chance. Already billed as the next heavyweight champion, Tyson was dealt a serious blow when Cus D’Amato died of pneumonia in 1985. Although he knew D’Amato wasn’t well, Tyson was kept from the extent of his bad health. Tyson’s next fight would be his first performance on national television.

In February of 1986, in Troy, New York, America was able to get their first glimpse of Iron Mike as he fought Jessie Ferguson. A fifth round uppercut sent Ferguson to the canvas with a broken nose. Then after a lot of holding, the referee scolded Ferguson for ignoring his commands to fight. Upon Ferguson’s refusal to fight, the bout was ruled a TKO in Tyson’s favor. Nine months later, Tyson got his shot at the title.

Tyson finally got his bout for the Heavyweight Championship of the World

Finally The World Boxing Council (WBC) Tyson was scheduled to have his title fight against Trevor Berbick on November 22, 1986. Gamblers would have more of a time betting on the round Tyson would win in according to US gambling laws. Tyson dominated the round and one critic said Tyson was “fit to stand alongside, Dempsey, Tunny, Louis, Marciano and Ali.”

 Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! was a long time ago

Title defenses for Tyson were easy. In a year’s time, he was the first boxer in his division to hold WBA, WBC and IBF belts at the same time. As Tyson was making history, the world was experiencing a media frenzy of Tyson. His power got the attention of Minoru Arakawa, president of Nintendo of America. The home-game system giant made a deal with Tyson to star in a video games rendition called “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!”

Tyson faced former champion Larry Holmes in 1988 and gave him his first knockdown in 75 bouts. There was more and more interest in Tyson taking on the only legitimate champion left. Michael Spinks, younger brother of Leon Spinks who defeated Ali, was considered a formidable fighter who had never been knocked down in a professional fight. Many people still felt that Spinks could upset the young Tyson.

After a winning a bout in Japan against Tony Tubbs, arrangements were made for Tyson to take on Michael Spinks for the undisputed heavyweight championship. The “super bout” was the richest in history at the time and the world watched as Tyson’s inside strategy faced off again Spinks’ outside strategy. Spinks was unable to match Tyson’s aggressiveness and was knocked out after 91 seconds of the first round. That bout would affect everything from Vegas odds making to online sports betting in the US.

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