Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Mike Tyson was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time. I’m not old enough to remember him in his prime, but I certainly remember the beginning of the end of his career. Perhaps the most recognizable event of his downward spiral happened 15 years ago yesterday when he bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear. We’ve heard that it’s now water-under-the-bridge between the two men but I can’t help but think that Evander holds more than a little grudge against “Iron” Mike.
Just today, Mike Tyson tweeted “.@holyfield‘s ear would’ve been much better with his new BBQ sauce. check it out realdealbbqsauce.com #TGIF.” Here are a few other people that probably hate Mike for knocking them the f*ck out.
1. Michael Spinks (1988)
Supposed to be his biggest test and the one destined to take Iron Mike down, it took Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round to hit the ground with a blank stare and very little bowel control. Having the distinction of ‘never going down in his career,’ Michael Spinks went down faster than Sasha Grey. The fight happened on June 27, 1988 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With this win, Tyson kept his IFB, WBA and WBC heavyweight titles.
2. Michael Johnson (1985)
The fight on September 5, 1985 against Michael Johnson ended 39 seconds into the first round with an epic Mike Tyson knockout, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was this fight that started the real ascension. Though regional boxers had an idea of who he was, it was this fight that forced boxing sports writers to ask – is Mike Tyson legit?
3. Larry Holmes (1988)
Larry Holmes is a legend. It was through the talent of guys like Holmes and Tyson, that the frow-bound douchebag know as Don King was able to develop his stolen fortune. On January 22, 1988, Tyson defeated Larry Holmes 175 seconds into the 4th round by technical knockout. Larry Holmes took a beating. Lesser men have fallen after 1 upper-cut, but Larry took it like a champ. Multiple consecutive upper-cuts and hooks are another story. With that result, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tyson kept the IFB, WBA and WBC heavyweight titles.
4. Trevor Berbick (1986)
Near the one year anniversary of Cus D’Amato’s unfortunate death, Trevor Berbick received a savage beating that is visible on almost EVERY Tyson knockout compilation. On November 22, 1986 Tyson defeated Jamaican Trevor Berbick by technical knockout, 155 seconds into the second round, winning his first title for the World Boxing Council (WBC).
5. Henry Tillman (1990)
Few men can claim that they beat Mike Tyson, Henry Tillman is one of them. Unfortunately, it was when they were amateurs. More unfortunately, Henry Tillman bragged about it in the late 1980’s. As payback, Tyson emasculated Tillman in 167 seconds into the first round of the June 16, 1990 fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mike hits this guy so hard, he actually runs over to make sure he isn’t dead.
6. Marvis Frazier (1986)
On July 26, 1986, Mike Tyson got to his 25th knockout 30 seconds into the first round. In this fight against Marvis Frazier, in Glens Falls, New York, Marvis later confessed to local papers that we was too scared to actually hit him. It’s ok Marvis, you are not alone. I have heard the turn ‘crumbling like a deck of cards’ but never had a visual aid for it – wait 30 seconds into round 1.
7. Don Halpin (1985)
The third victory by knockout in the Tyson’s career happened on May 23, 1985. After the bone clubbing of Don Halpin, in Albany, Nova York, one Albany sports writer decreed that “Michael Tyson is the best fighter that no one will ever hear of.” Great call…that is why you write the sports section in Albany.
8. Lou Savarese (2000)
One from the punk years, on June 24, 2000, 38 seconds into the first round Tyson beat Lou Savarese by technical knockout. It was technical because Mike had knocked out everyone in the ring. Even after the referee had called the end of the fight, Tyson kept punching his adversary and eventually threw the referee himself on the floor. Though being in Glasgow, Scotland, where hooliganism is badge of honor, an older wiser Mike Tyson will probably admit that this was not one of his proudest moments.
9. Eddie Richardson (1985)
The 12th knockout in Tyson’s career was in the fight against Eddie Richardson, 77 seconds into the first round, on November 13, 1985 in Houston, Texas. This win made it possible for Mike Tyson to get his first nationally televised fight in the next year. They didn’t know who yet, but the powers-that-be saw dollar signs. Iron Mike was born.
10. Clifford Etienne (2003)
In his last professional victory, Tyson knocked out Clifford Etienne 49 seconds into the first round on February 22, 2003 in Memphis, Tennessee. Watch the video, no more needs to be said.
11. Tony Tubbs (2003)
Having already beaten Holmes earlier in the year, in this fight, Tyson grew a little too comfortable with fighting in Tokyo, Japan because of this fight – and it becomes his eventual downfall. At the end of the second round, “Tubby” Tony Tubbs physically cannot stand up. In a TKO that showed the subtle power of Mike Tyson knocks Tubbs out with the ‘Where’s Waldo’ short punches.