It Was Never Fun to Fight Mike Tyson… Even if You Were on His Team…

Mike Tyson is without a doubt one of the most legendary boxers of all time. His heyday was from the late 80s into the early 90s, during a period where he absolutely dominated the heavyweight division. Despite his relatively short stature, he was able to effectively use his frightening raw power to become the undisputed champion.

He was truly a fearsome opponent. 44 of his 50 wins came via KO. Almost every Tyson fight was an action fight, making him one of the most watchable fighters of his era. While he was undoubtedly top of the pile during a period where the heavyweight division was quite thin, it doesn’t take away from his own remarkable abilities.

Below is footage of his insane hand speed and fierce power. You really did not want to stand in front of ‘Iron Mike,’ because he would put you out cold, be you friend or foe.

No Mercy

In the terrifying footage above, it is believed that Tyson is preparing for his rematch with Donovan Ruddock. The commentator explains how tough it was to be one of Tyson’s unfortunate training partners, because of his cruel streak. He says:

“His sparring partners have suffered pain and humiliation, and lack of compassion isn’t going to suddenly reappear tonight.”

The poor guy gets absolutely blasted, with Tyson’s coaches jumping in to intervene and save the helpless individual. Is that too much? Or do you think Tyson’s intensity is justified by the results?

Grudge Match

It’s worth bearing in mind the context behind this fight. This was a grudge match of the highest order. It wasn’t some fake UFC narrative where the fighters pretend they hate each other and then laugh all the way to the bank. Nope, this was between two fighters who loathed each other, especially with what happened in their first fight.

Their first meeting ended after Tyson landed a six-punch combo which saw the referee intervene. However, Ruddock was not dropped and appeared healthy enough to continue. This caused a furious scuffle between Ruddock’s corner and Tyson’s trainer Richie Giachetti. Meanwhile, referee Richard Steele had to be led away by security for his own safety.


A rematch was finally organized and set to determine who would fight the undisputed champion, Evander Holyfield. Tyson infamously said he would make Ruddock his ‘girlfriend’ – an unfortunate choice of word considering his incarceration for sexual assault.

He would beat Ruddock by unanimous decision, breaking his opponent’s jaw in the process, although Tyson himself would suffer a perforated eardrum. It was a brutal old-school war and deserves to be remembered by fight fans, especially with all the nonsense and theatrics of the modern era.

Afterward, negotiations took place between the Holyfield and Tyson camps to fight for the undisputed championship – which Tyson formerly held. However, after ‘Iron Mike’ was sentenced to six years in prison in the worst of circumstances, the fight was put on hold for years. They would eventually fight, with a fading Tyson losing twice back-to-back to Holyfield. A tarnished legacy.

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