Since Muhammad Ali, no heavyweight boxer has captivated the world like Mike Tyson. Not only did Tyson win many fights, but he knocked out the vast majority of his opponents. His sheer power and skill made him one of boxing’s biggest stars ever. Here’s a quick look at Tyson’s career, including the staggering amount of boxing matches he won.
The early years
Tyson’s boxing coach, Cus D’Amato, was not only his trainer and mentor. He was also Tyson’s legal guardian. D’Amato had trained Tyson since he was 13, and 5 years later, he felt Tyson was ready to box professionally. D’Amato died not long after Tyson’s debut.
Despite this, Tyson knocked out all 15 men he fought in his first year of boxing. Of those 15 knockouts, 11 came in the first round, which just shows how easily Tyson knocked out his foes. In 1986, Tyson started fighting against better boxers, but he still knocked every single one of them out. By the one year anniversary of D’Amato’s death, Tyson had beaten 27 men, knocking them all out except one.
Not long after, Tyson, at the age of 20, won his first championship title ever by knocking out Trevor Berbick in the second round. This knockout not only marked the start of Tyson’s historic title reign, but Tyson also became the youngest heavyweight champion ever.
The title reign
For the next two years, Tyson beat everyone in his path. He also won the heavyweight title from other boxing organizations, becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Although the competition was more difficult, Tyson handled everyone with ease. He defended his title nine times, winning seven of them by knockout. Nobody could even compete with Tyson’s skills inside the ring.
Tyson was still boxing the same way his longtime trainer D’Amato had taught him, using his hands and head movement for defense and then relying on his speed and power to get the knockout. His so-called Peek-a-boo boxing style, allowed him to knock out almost anyone. No matter his opponents’ size, Tyson could knock them out while easily avoiding attacks.
That was until Tyson’s 38th professional fight when he faced Buster Douglas. Douglas weathered the storm and tired Tyson out. In the 10th round, Douglas was able to land the finishing blows against a fatigued Tyson, thus ending Tyson’s reign.
Conviction and return
Tyson rebounded from his first-ever loss with four straight wins before his career came to a halt when he was convicted of rape. Tyson served three years in prison for his crimes. When he got out, he returned to boxing.
His comeback fight was against the knockout artist Peter McNeeley. In just 90 seconds, McNeeley’s coach had to step into the ring to stop the fight as Tyson beat up McNeeley so badly. Despite his criminal history, this return fight was a sensation. Over 1.5 million Americans bought the pay-per-view to watch it, reports Sports Illustrated.
Tyson knocked out three more men before he faced Evander Holyfield. Holyfield, like Douglas, tired out Tyson and then knocked him out in the later rounds. In their rematch, Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear, which disqualified him and got him banned from boxing for a year.
After that incident, Tyson’s career was on a steady decline. Not only did America lose interest in him, but other boxers were able to beat him. In his next 10 fights, Tyson won six of them. However, he tested positive for marijuana in one of them so technically, he only won five.
Finally, after throwing in the towel in the sixth round in 2005, Tyson officially retired from boxing. His final record stands at 50 wins, six losses, and two no contests.