In the dawn of a new era, the formidable Michael Gerard Tyson became the youngest ever world heavyweight champion on November 22, 1986.
The 20 year-old had steamrolled his way through the top division without remotely looking like being trouble to eventually secure his destiny – a world title shot.
Tyson would meet Trevor Berbick for the WBC championship four months after leaving his teenage years behind and was primed to make history. The massive puncher took just five minutes to smash Berbick to bits, overhaul the great Floyd Patterson’s record, and strike fear into the hearts of the boxing world.
Instant A-list celebrity status hit Tyson almost as hard as the ferocious fighter concussed Berbick and the new champion would rule with an iron fist that would come with a nickname to match his awesome persona.
‘Iron’ Mike spent four years as an unbeatable and invincible force in the sport and arguably could have ruled for a decade or more had outside influences and problems not reared their ugly heads.
A now infamous 1990 loss to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo, in which Tyson should have been awarded an eighth round knockout win following an extra-long count, put the brakes on a reign that is up there with the best around and will hopefully forever overshadow some of the more notorious shenanigans that followed in the years to come.
As time has gone by, Tyson is more revered than ever as fans and media alike recognize his achievements will be tough to dislodge.
The top division is still suffering something of a lull since the likes of Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Tyson retired and the latter has found himself appreciated for his awesome reigns in the 80’s and 1990’s.