After dominating the heavyweight scene in the mid to late eighties, Michael Gerard Tyson has finally claimed his rightful place among the greats of the sport of boxing, an honour the youngest ever heavyweight champion thought would never come.
Tyson turned pro in 1985 and ripped his way through the heavyweight division with un-nerving viciousness until he claimed the WBC Title as a 20 year-old in 1986, demolishing champion Trevor Berbick in just over five minutes.
He unified the heavyweight division within a year, the first man in history to hold three belts simultaneously and defended his titles with the same ferociousness until that fateful night in 1990, when his wild lifestyle caught up on him and his boxing career would never recover.
After losing the titles in a controversial fight to James “Buster” Doulgas, a 33/1 underdog, Tyson fought four more times, until his life outside the ring saw him incarcerated for almost four years until his return in 1995.
Tyson regained versions of the world title two more times over the next year, with victories over Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon, before embarking on his infamous pair of battles with Evander Holyfield, both of which would end without triumph.
After his second bout with Holyfield in 1997, Tyson would wait another five years for another shot at the world heavyweight title. His final attempt ended in desperate failure for “Iron” Mike and he never fully came to terms with the fourth loss of his career and would lose twice more before retiring in 2005.
It should be said that his achievements from 1985-1990 will almost certainly out-weigh the latter part of the New Yorker’s career, something Tyson had always said would not happen as he had always doubted whether he would ever make it to the hall of fame.
With his problems out of the ring, Mike had believed that politics and the powers that be would block his path to the Hall of Fame, but the 44 year-old has now been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and can be assured his legacy will remain intact.
In my view, the way he took apart all of the boxers in his path, some of which were six to eight inches taller than Tyson and heavier (as Tyson, at 5ft 10″ is not a tall heavyweight be any means), was a testament to the power and speed of the man, who sent a shiver of fear down the spines of all in the heavyweight division at that time.
People would say that some boxers would have lost against Mike, even before the bell had gone as Tyson had instilled the fear necessary to throw even the most skilled boxers out of their game plan and get inside their heads enough to take them apart with relative ease.
His power was and has been unrivalled since, it makes me wonder what might have been if Tyson would have had the skills to go with the power, he may well have been the complete fighter and the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time.