When it comes to boxing legends, they don’t get much bigger than Mike Tyson. At least, in terms of popularity and name recognition.
From a height perspective, though, The Baddest Man on the Planet won’t wow anyone. Still, he showed no fear in taking on (and defeating) taller opponents.
But exactly how tall is Mike Tyson? And how did his height factor into his boxing career? Let’s take a closer look at Iron Mike’s dimensions.
Becoming The Baddest Man on the Planet
Born in Brooklyn, Mike Tyson faced plenty of challenges growing up. At 16 years old, he lost his mother. He grew up in high-crime neighborhoods and found himself in trouble with the law quite frequently.
After compiling a lengthy arrest record by his early teenage years, Tyson found an escape in boxing. Viewed as a prodigy in the sport thanks to his prolific power and intensity, he quickly became a household name.
Before turning pro, Tyson earned gold medals at both the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympic Games. He continued to hone his craft over the next few years.
The New York native then made his professional debut in 1985 at the age of 18. Like many of his future fights did, Tyson’s first one ended in victorious fashion. That set the stage for a dominant first year that included numerous knockouts.
It didn’t take long for him to become a champion, either. In fact, Tyson became the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title when he defeated Trevor Berbick in 1986 at the age of 20 years and four months.
Of course, he went on to become The Baddest Man in the Planet by defeating plenty of legendary boxers in dominant fashion.
His height didn’t stop him from dismantling taller opponents in his prime
Although he may have been at a height disadvantage in some matchups, Mike Tyson didn’t let that stop him from dismantling his opponents.
One of the best examples came in 1988 when Iron Mike took on Larry Holmes at Trump Plaza. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Holmes held a distinct size advantage over Tyson. However, The Easton Assassin’s younger, faster, and stronger adversary proved too much to handle. Tyson dominated with his power and speed to retain his title belts.
Two years later, he took on Frank Bruno at the Las Vegas Hilton. The showdown for the undisputed heavyweight championship pitted the shorter, powerful Tyson against the much taller Bruno.
Tipping the scales at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, Bruno boasted a significant reach advantage. Still, that didn’t stop Tyson from taking down the UK native.
Although Bruno staggered the reigning champion with a nifty combo, he failed to finish the job. Tyson eventually won by technical knockout after pummeling an opponent who entered the fight with a career record of 32-2.
How tall is Mike Tyson?
Mike Tyson became arguably the greatest boxer of all time without having a reach advantage in most matchups. But exactly how tall is he?
The youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history measures in at 5-foot-10. Tyson has a reach of 71 inches.
Although his height may not be ideal, it obviously didn’t stop the New York native from dominating in the ring. In fact, during an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Tyson poked a hole in the theory that shorter boxers are always at a disadvantage against taller opponents.
“Even though we say, ‘This guy has an advantage, a seven-inch reach advantage, a four-inch height advantage,’ no one ever says, ‘He has a four-inch height disadvantage,'” Tyson explained to the host.
Luckily for the 54-year-old, height shouldn’t be a factor when he faces Roy Jones Jr. Tyson’s 51-year-old opponent tips the scales at 5-foot-11, but he does have a reach advantage of three inches.