The former American heavyweight boxing champion Michael Gerard Tyson was born on 30th June 1966 in New York, USA (Charlotte Observer, 2007). His father Jimmy Kirkpatrick abandoned his mother Lorna Smith Tyson and his family, before Mike was born (Puma, 2005). Kirkpatrick expired in 1992 (Charlotte Observer, 2007). This resulted in the family facing great economic hardships.
The family was forced to wander around in many places in search for a suitable place. However finally settling in a violent locality in Brownsville, which was considered as the worst locality in the USA? There, the family endured an extremely hard life without which was devoid of heating and hot water system.
Tyson led an early life of crime and gang affiliation. When he was 9 he joined a street gang and was arrested many times by the law-enforcement agencies. Tyson`s mother was never happy with his son`s activities which resulted in great emotional and psychological problems for the young Tyson.
At the age of 12, Tyson joined a reform school in Johnstown, New York where his boxing abilities were noticed by Bobby Stewart, a former boxing trainer. He developed immense the love for boxing and got significant training in this sport.
His Boxing Skills
Tyson`s boxing skills were quite evident in boxing at the very young age. He displayed great power with agility. Stewart introduced Tyson to Cus D`Amato, one of the leading boxing trainers who noted Tyson`s natural boxing talents and took him under his protégé. It was under his supervision Tyson was able to transform into the future boxing champion. When he was 16 he lost his mother. Consequently, D`Amato took the guardianship of Tyson.
Career & Accomplishments
Tyson accomplished a lot of things in his long checkered career, through which he was able to amass a large fortune.
In 1982, Tyson was declared the Junior Olympic Games Heavyweight Champion. A couple of years later he was awarded the title of the National Golden Gloves champ. In 1986, when Tyson was 20, he was crowned by first World Boxing Council (WBC) as the youngest champion in the boxing history. He was acclaimed by the media for his incredible professional success.
The tremendous boxing career of Mike Tyson`s brought impressive wealth for him. He averaged more than $10 million dollars per fight. Tyson was able to attract large numbers of people to watch his fights. Tyson quickly became quite famous in the boxing world.
Tyson`s volatile character and fighting style in the boxing ring were instrumental for huge paydays for him. Though the exact sum of money he was paid is indefinite, the large number of prizes for the boxing events with the sponsorship deals he made with the large business companies like Pepsi and Nintendo were estimated to be around 300 to 400 million dollars.
Comeback & Spending
Subsequent to a few flying years in the boxing world, Tyson`s behavior caused public, legal, and economic problems for him.
As a consequence of non-conformist behavior, Tyson was found guilty of misbehavior and was sentenced to 6 years in jail in 1992. However, he was released after three years of detention. With his comeback to boxing arena, he fought Peter McNeeley in his first fight following his release from prison. Tyson was able to defeat him and earned an incredible US $25 million. Tyson continued his winning spree in boxing and was able to win huge paychecks.
His Extravagant Spending
Tyson spent lavishly in Cars, homes, pets and valuable items and commodities. He made many poor financial decisions regarding his enormous wealth. Tyson had a lazy and unscrupulous approach in the spending of the money.
Tyson`s downfall started in the 1990`s. This was the period when he was constantly noted in the headlines of various media channels as he faced serious financial and professional problems. A number of poor decisions caused Mike Tyson downfall as noted the analysts.
As earlier noted, Tyson`s spending behavior was uncontrolled and undisciplined. Together with that, his professional career was unmanageable to him as well. When Tyson lost a match to Evander Holyfield, he constantly asked for a replay. When he was able to win the re-match, Tyson bit Holyfield`s ear, which made him disqualified for this wrongful act and subsequently his boxing license was cancelled. The financial loss accrued comprised of US $3 million as a penalty, apart from irrevocable harm to his already dwindling reputation.
Tyson faced some critical times in his life, regarding some of his professional activities. His unprofessional and unethical behavior in and out of the boxing arena severely affected his boxing career. He frequently had to face court trials and was apprehended various times throughout his career. He would have brawled with normal people, misbehave with hotel staff, and frequently find himself in the jail. The problem with him was that each time he found himself in hot water Tyson would have to compensate more money as penalties and compensations. Tyson always paid a considerable sum of money to courts, attorneys, ex-wives, and his private body of staff. For instance, once a court ruled against him for sacking his staff for a half a million dollar fine.
Now, it was the time for Tyson`s to review his life, when he was going broke down economically and professionally. Although his boxing license was restored to him, Tyson was unable to earn sufficient money to sustain his lifestyle. Tyson possessed extremely lavish lifestyle, and fiscal freedom requires him to earn about US $400 thousand monthly to sustain it. As a result of financial crunch he faced, Mike Tyson filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1993 by stating that he was unable to pay his huge bills any longer.
Tyson, who made about $300 million in his professional career, became a bankrupt 20 years later. Tyson not only was a broken man however he was in fact in debt for about US $400 million. An article in the NYT stated Tyson owed the tax authorities more than US $17 million, US $800, 000 to his ex-trainer, and huge sum of money to many people.
All these events caused serious difficulties in Tyson`s life. He was constantly in the media headlines, and was in and out of the prisons. Tyson wasted a large sum money within a few decades of his career and had very little left with him.
Tyson lost many of his close friends and family during these years, which make him feel lonely and broken. He was quoted to have said that that he liked being poor more than wealthy.
Mike Tyson is famous for his fierce and distinctive nerve-racking boxing style with his contentious conduct in and outside the boxing ring. He is rated one of the best heavyweight boxing champion the world ever produced (Eisele, 2007).
A 1998 rating by Ring Magazine put Mike Tyson at number 14 on the boxers list. Tyson was rated No. 16 on The Ring Magazine`s greatest boxers of all time (Eisele, 2007). In Ring Magazine`s list issued in 2002, Tyson was rated at No. 72. Moreover in 2003, the same Magazine rated him No. 16 the greatest boxers of all time (Boxing.about.com. 2012-04-09).
Tyson`s immense power and bullying feature earned him the boxing sports most dynamic attraction (Campbell, 2011). A lot of sports researchers think Tyson as the last wonder of heavyweight boxing champion (Quenqua, 2012).
Though Tyson was known as a formidable boxing champion all over his prime period, he was deficient of discipline and self control in and out of the boxing ring that caused various private problems and long periods of detentions in the jails. When released from the prisons, Tyson was unsuccessful to regain his previous reputation as a strong fighter. His greatest impact in the boxing profession was as a fighter throughout the 1980s, as the latter part of his boxing profession was marred by the controversies, though he finally recaptured two title belts.
The magazine “USA Today” in its article on 3 June 2005 quoted Tyson says that his whole life had been a waste and failure. He added that he wanted to be a missionary (Saraceno, 2005).
Tyson continued to make his presence in the media by sponsoring many websites and organizations. He has also performed various boxing exhibitions in Las Vegas as well many exhibition boxing bouts to recompense his huge debts.
Tyson has been lawfully married couple of times and has many children. His first marriage was with Robin Givens just last for about a year. The second marriage for Tyson with Monica Turner lasted for about five years.
In Popular Culture
At the climax of his reputation and profession in the late 1980s and most of the 1990s, Tyson was considered by sports writers as the most acclaimed sports figures in the world. Aside from his many sporting achievements, his offensive and contentious behaviors in and out of the ring and his private lifestyle have been a focus of the public view. Consequently, Tyson had been presented himself in countless media programs.
Tyson evolution in life has been continuing. In 2008, in an award-winning documentary `Tyson`, he spoke of how he had changed after embracing to Islam. He claimed to become more modest and more acquiescent since that what Islam has taught. Tyson has become more reflective, thoughtful and philosophical in his approach to life.
At present, Mike Tyson is endeavoring to fight for his salvation for his remaining life. Presently he is married to Lahika Spicer, who appeared to have made a great impact on Tyson life. Now, he is espousing a less negative lifestyle that included a vegetarian diet. Tyson now claims that he has quit the drugs.
Following his presentation in the shows Hangover 1 and Hangover 2, Tyson seems to be staging a late life return. Tyson has now dedicated himself to these shows for the love for pigeons. He competed against other fans of pigeons. Tyson has significantly changed from the posture of the enthusiast that was biting people facing millions of people.
At present Tyson has engaged himself spending his time studying various subjects namely history, philosophy, and literature. Mike Tyson now leads a rather simple and ordinary life in a Las Vegas community. He can be seen as an ordinary man with a wife and children. In spite of his fame and past spending, Tyson has worked against many challenges and has become a normal person.
Financially, Tyson has learned a lot to live within his resources. As he is now without the multi-million dollar prize winnings, Tyson has quit his lavish lifestyle. Appearing on the American documentary “The View”, he stated, he was completely insolvent and broken. He follows a remarkable life and has a good wife to take care of him.
It could be stated that Tyson`s religious life has considerable impact on him and changed him considerably. Moreover, in spite of being insolvent and broken financially he is happy within his means.
Tyson`s Ethical Philosophy: An Analysis
It is important to note that Tyson was brought up in a violent locality of Brooklyn. His pitiable early days were beset with many failures, troubles, and disappointments. However, he acquired much fame and wealth by taking up the boxing profession and became one of the most renowned heavyweight boxing champions in the world. With such a huge fame and financial success, his lifestyle was highlighted with lavish spending that lasted for long. His lack of strong financial literacy was noticeable in many aspects of his life. Tyson made many awful financial decisions in his life.
Moreover, he continued to divorce wives with little or no regard for love and companionship which showed his reluctance to reconcile. All such tendencies cost him millions of dollars.
Tyson got much disgrace when he bit boxer Holyfield in while fighting. Insolvency in 2003 made him a mockery in public eyes in spite of being a celebrity.
Of late on the other hand, his positive and philosophical lifestyle has changed him from complete despair into a life of contentment and pleasure. A lot people now consider Tyson that he is better-off now that he ever was. Indeed that is not as regards money however what is really significant in his life spiritual happiness. The fanatical journey Tyson experienced should be a model for everyone that showed poor financial condition on a significant scale.
It is to be noted that Mike Tyson was once worth more than US $300 million, then in debt for about 27 million dollars. Poor financial literacy was noticeable all over Tyson`s life. His life history offers a unique example of an extreme aspect of lifestyle variations.
Tyson has espoused positive and philosophical lifestyle that has brought a new change in his lifestyle i.e. from complete despair into a life of contentment and pleasure. A lot people now consider Tyson that he is better-off now that he ever was. Indeed this is not as regards money, however what matters him most is a life of spiritual happiness. The philosophical journey Tyson made should be a model of inspiration for everyone to follow a truly happy life.
Campbell, B. (2011). “Taking a true measure of Tyson`s legacy”. ESPN.
Eisele, A. (2007). “50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time”. About.com.
Eisele, A. (2003). “Ring Magazine`s 100 Greatest Punchers”. About.com.
“Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick: Breaking through in North Carolina high school football,” Charlotte Observer, 2 March 2013.
Puma, M. (2005). Sportscenter Biography: `Iron Mike` explosive in and out of ring, ESPN.com, 2005-10-10.
Quenqua, D. (2012). “The Fight Club Generation”. New York Times.
“Ring Magazine`s 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years”. Boxing.about.com. 2012-04-09.
“Ring Magazine`s 100 Greatest Punchers”. Boxing.about.com. 2012-04-09.
Saraceno, J. (2005). Tyson: `My whole life has been a waste`. USA TODAY, 6th February.
Mike Tyson as a philosopher Author`s Name