Who is Mike Tyson? To a younger generation of people who never watched him fight in his prime, he’s the guy you saw punch out Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. Those of you who did get to watch Iron Mike go to work in the 1980’s and early 1990’s remember him as the most feared fighter on the planet, a man who towered over the heavyweight division for over half a decade.
That long-term shift in perception reflects the duality of Tyson’s life, even at his peak. When he had it all going for him in the ring, Tyson was a force of nature, leaving men bloodied and battered on the canvas. But he never found a way to channel the rage that fueled him, and it led to some shocking, even criminal missteps in his personal life. Jailed for rape in 1992, Tyson came back battered physically and mentally from his time in prison, and paid for his transgressions as his career spiraled down the drain. There was nothing more compelling than a Tyson fight when he had it all working, but once he lost his edge, he resorted to goon tactics in a desperate attempt to stay relevant.
Think you know Tyson? Maybe you do, at least on the surface. But there’s a lot more to the man than meets the eye, and there are enough crazy stories from his life to last at least six lifetimes. He is both the youngest heavyweight champion ever and a man whose mental state sometimes bordered on insanity, a hip-hop hype man and a Phil Collins aficionado. Love him or hate him, Tyson is probably one of the most fascinating people alive, and that's what makes the idea of the soon-to-come Tyson biopic so fascinating.
These are some of the best, craziest, and sometimes deranged things you may not know about one of the greatest boxers ever.