Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is a retired heavyweight boxer, media personality, pigeon lover and general odd duck, known for being the youngest-ever heavyweight champion of the world at twenty years old, a record he still holds to this day.
Tyson's life is generally split in into three parts — his complete dominance of the boxing world (1985-1991), his fall from grace after a series of lawsuits and legal troubles (involving multiple stints in jail for rape, assault and battery, cocaine possession, and driving under the influence) which coincided with his dominance fading as better opponents stepped on to the scene (1991-2005), and his eventual reemergence as a bizarre media darling with occasional acting gigs.
Speaking of the latter, he is quite frequently cast as himself, and stars as a nuttier version of himself on Mike Tyson Mysteries. He also hosts the Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson video podcast where he interviews musicians, celebreties, boxers and MMA fighters alike while smoking them under the table. Oh, and he had an infamous moment when he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear.
The HBO movie Tyson tells the story of his rise to fame and (initial) fall from glory. He is also the Trope Namer for The Tyson Zone (though the term itself was coined by The Sports Guy) because of all the aforementioned scandals.
Tropes associated with Mike Tyson:
- Adam Westing: As seen in The Hangover and Mike Tyson Mysteries, Tyson enjoys poking fun at his own reputation. He even has a one-man Stand-Up Comedy tour where he tells stories about his old fame and generally has a laugh at his own Cloud Cuckoo Lander persona.
- Ax-Crazy: Mike was a very unstable individual who often was very unpredictable in how he would present himself, as he could go from being reserved to violently insane in a split second if one were to anger him. He is also a convicted rapist and was a self confessed wife-beater back in the day.
- Badass Boast: During a post-fight interview with Jim Gray, after being asked if it was frustrating to him to end his fight against Lou Savarese as quick as it did, Mike drops a brutal, almost memetic one-of-a-kind speech.Mike Tyson: I didn't train for this fight. I trained probably, two weeks or three weeks for this- for this fight. I had to bury my best friend, and I dedicate this fight —I wasn't going to fight— I dedicate this fight to him. I was gonna rip his heart out, I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious and most ruthless champion there's ever been, there's no one can stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No, I'm Alexander — he's no Alexander. I'm the best ever. There's never been anybody as ruthless. I'm Sonny Liston, I'm Jack Dempsey, there's no one like — I'm from their cloth. There's no one that can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart, I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah.
- Berserk Button:
- Practically anyone who mentions Muhammad Ali in a negative point of view.
- Mentioning past incidents from his younger years (like his rape conviction or the more infamous things he said when he was young) in a conversation that has nothing to do with them is a good way to piss him off, too. A certain reporter found that out the hard way.
- Blood Knight: In his younger days he had an unusual obsession fighting others and enjoyed demolishing anyone who stood against him. His urge to fight extended to become his normal attitude being someone who cared nothing more than just to fight, even though it was less about having a good match on an equal playing field but moreso just getting the chance to just brawl whenever he wanted to.
- Brooklyn Rage: He was born and raised in Brooklyn and his short fuse was legendary.
- The Dreaded: In his prime, every other fighter was terrified of Mike for his terrifying strength, incredible speed and extremely aggressive fighting style. That he was a complete loose cannon outside of the ring at the time didn't help his reputation.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He used to have horrible anger issues which would cause him to lash out at everyone he would come into contact with. Nowadays he's very calm and learned to control himself when it comes to his anger and not letting it boil up inside him anymore.
- Heroic Build: Even at thirteen years old he was incredibly muscular and built for his age. His physique only improved with age to where in his prime, he barely had a neck because his trapezius and upper back was so huge.
- I Am a Monster: Mike has been known to have accepted who he was as a person in the past, that being a very violent and aggressive individual.
- I Hate Past Me: Now that Mike has grown older and been away from the cutthroat boxing world, he has admitted on many occasions that he isn't exactly proud of the coke-binging, women-beating alcoholic he used to be, and reminding him of who he used to be for browbeating purposes is the only real way to get Mike angry anymore.
- Improbable Age: Became heavyweight champion of the world at only twenty and is still the youngest person ever to hold that title.
- Lightning Bruiser: In his prime as a boxer, this was Tyson's bread and butter. Despite his unconventional physique for a heavyweight (as described below), Tyson possessed a horrific kind of strength that was paired with (if not outright boosted by) the kind of speed you would normally find in the lower weight divisions. His knockouts were almost universally highlight reel worthy by virtue of his speed and brutality.
- Made of Iron: They don't call him "Iron Mike" for nothing, as he is very durable being able to take on large amounts of devastating hits and can continue fighting.
- Man Bites Man: Possibly his most famous example being that he bit both of Evander Holyfield's ears during their second fight in retaliation after Holyfield kept head-butting Mike.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Mike is incredibly muscular and it definitely helped him in back when he was fighting regularly. Especially after being released from prison he grew in size and his larger muscles were used for additional power to seriously damage his opponent with his already impressive strength.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Only relatively speaking, given he fought at Heavyweight. Compared to the average person, Mike Tyson is a looming presence. But at a mere 5'10", he was dramatically undersized compared to most of his contemporaries (most of his opponents were north of 6'2" with his final championship bout against the 6'5" Lennox Lewis). He typically fought at a weight between 215 lbs to 225 lbs, which offset the height disadvantage somewhat because Tyson's sheer muscleboundness made him heavier than men who had several inches on him. This actually gave Tyson an advantage when paired with Cus D'Amato's Peekaboo style, as this made him a much harder target to hit due to his relatively short height, and combined with his constant maneuvering, it built up momentum quicker for his powerful knockout blows.
- Red Baron: "Iron Mike", "Kid Dynamite", "The Baddest Man on the Planet".
- Referenced by...: His infamous speech trash-talking Lennox Lewis is heavily referenced in God Hand, with the theme song going "my defenses are impregnable, my style is impetuous"; the mooks will say "You're not Alexander!" when starting a scrap with the hero Gene.
- Revenge by Proxy: His famed beatdown of Larry Holmes, who years before had roughed up a then well past his prime Muhammad Ali. Tyson, a huge fan of Ali, swore that one day he'd get big and give Larry what for in payback. He got his wish in 1988 and proceeded to utterly dismantle Holmes, handing him his only career knockout.
- Teach Him Anger: How his old trainer, Cus D'Amato, taught him how to be such a vicious and ruthless fighter was by hypnotizing him to be such a monster in the ring; he made him read history books about old conquerors such as Alexander The Great and Genghis Khan (Though Mike has admitted he just came to like reading historical works anyway) to understand the mindset that took them to "the top". This allowed him to better adopt a cruel and animalistic way of acting when dealing with other people and when he was in the ring.
- Vocal Dissonance: One of the most famous and oft parodied vocal discrepancies in media: Tyson's hyper-muscular, bulldog looks and devastating punching power are offset by a high-pitched voice with a trademark lisp. This has led to Memetic Mutation, with memes often showing Tyson in various contexts but with the name of said contexts changed such that any -s is now -th (for example, a meme of Tyson's face photoshopped onto a Prince album cover with the caption "Printhe").
- Worthy Opponent: Even at his most violent and arrogant, he tended to give his opponents their due if they proved tough enough; note his post-fight interviews against Donovan Ruddock and James Douglas, in particular. After shooting a scene with him for IP Man 3 where he fractured Mike's finger with an elbow block, Mike acknowledged Donnie Yen as one of the few people who could legitimately beat him in a fight (though Donnie would say more or less the same of Mike, and that Mike's punches hurt even when toned down for the shoots).