Mike Tyson has now been in the public spotlight for over 30 years.  His career has transitioned through several periods:

– In the 1980s he was this young, violent punching machine that dominated boxing.
– In the 1990s he was an infamously controversial figure.  Served time in prison, converted to Islam, bit Holyfield’s ear off.
– In the early 2000s Tyson became a tragic figure: he filed for bankruptcy, he was forced to perform boxing “exhibitions” to earn money etc.
– In the last 6-7 years Mike Tyson is now an entertainer, regularly performing in movies, tv shows and cartoons.  He is also a celebrated figure in the world of mixed martial arts, and is treated like royalty whenever he shows up at UFC or Bellator events.

Mike Tyson is a guy that people have always wanted to see for the last 3 decades; here are 7 of his best moments.


7. Infamous Post-Fight Rant

This is the infamous post-fight interview where Mike talked about wanting to eat children and then used the phrase “Praise be to Allah” as an exclamation point on a rant filled with violent imagery.

A little bit of new context for this video came out a few years ago in Mike Tyson’s autobiography.  In the book Mike admitted to using cocaine before this fight. He was only able to pass a post-fight drug test by using a fake penis and substitute urine.  For those of you unfamiliar with this drug test-passing technique try googling it, there are several devices out there that anybody can openly buy.

So now when you watch this video you can know that Mike is hopped up on coke and about to pull a fake penis out of his pants to convince a member of the athletic commission it was really his urine.

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6. Knockout of Michael Spinks

This was a huge fight.  Both Spinks and Tyson were undefeated going into this bout, Tyson held 3 major boxing titles at the time (WBC, WBA, IBF) and Spinks was the Ring champion.

The fight was delayed repeatedly as each side tried to work out financials, but finally Tyson grew tired of having to field questions about why the fight had yet to happen and he demanded his management team work out a deal.

The fight finally took place on June 27th 1988, but it didn’t last long.

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5. Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno 2

This fight, on March 16th 1996, marked Mike Tyson’s return to the top of boxing.  Tyson would defeat Bruno and win the WBC heavyweight title, his 3rd fight since being released from prison following his conviction for rape in 1992.  It had been a rough period for Tyson, having lost his championships to Buster Douglas in early 1990 as well.  Defeating Bruno for the WBC belt marked the end of a long journey for Mike.

His successful return to the top of the boxing rankings wouldn’t last long however.  Tyson’s first loss to Evander Holyfield would be just six months after defeating Bruno.  Tyson would bite Holyfield’s ear off another 8 months after that.



4. Appearance in the Hangover

Boxing fans aren’t going to fully understand why Mike’s appearance in the Hangover is ranked on this list, but this movie did a lot for Mike Tyson.

In the 1980s nobody would believe that Mike Tyson would be re-branded as a quasi-comedian in his 40s, but that’s exactly what has happened.  Tyson’s performance in this movie was so good that he has been regularly appearing in movies and other forms of entertainment ever since.  He even has his own cartoon where he solves mysteries on Netflix.

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3. Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis

Even though this fight really spelled the end for Tyson’s career, it’s still listed as one of his greatest moments because it made so much money.  This was the highest grossing fight of Mike’s career.  Technically more people purchased his second fight vs Evander Holyfield on PPV, but that fight only grossed $100 million and this fight with Lewis grossed $112 million.

Despite the fight’s financial success Tyson ended up filing for bankruptcy the next year.

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2. Tyson vs. Berbick

Mike Tyson was only 20 years old when he defeated Trevor Berbick for the WBC heavyweight championship.  Even though he was so young, nobody considered Tyson an underdog in this fight, and oddsmakers had Berbick as a 3-1 underdog.

The fight wasn’t even close, and judging by Berbick’s face before the fight started he knew what he was in for.  Tyson would dominate boxing for the remainder of the decade.

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1. Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (2013)

11 years after Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis gross $112 million in PPV buys, HBO and Tyson teamed up again, but this time in a very different way.  Tyson, Spike Lee and HBO produced a really incredible movie that documents Tyson’s life in his own words.  It’s sort of a hybrid between an autobiography and a documentary film.

Tyson stands on stage and gives his account of his life, and comes off as very self-reflective, as if the crazy life he has led has given him a very deep and appreciative perspective on life.

Tyson’s whole life in his own words, an absolute must-watch for any Tyson fans.

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.