In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.
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This is a 5 star in every category. Great honest, informative, and well written content. This book is a monster 564 pages in small print. This does not mean much if the subject is however Tyson’s story, life and career is so riveting I was interested almost addicted all the way through. If have any interest in boxing or contact sports in general you will know who Mike Tyson is. I think Lennox Lewis’ manager said it best in his quote “Tyson is the most exciting heavyweight fighter to come down in the last 50 years”. Completely true growing up in the late 80’s it was not a question of who could beat Tyson (that would just be the kind of talk that got someone committed#, it was which round they would be knocked out in. He seemed to be born and bred for fighting. He was vicious in the ring; he was not looking to win points, he was looking to come to fight and knock someone out. Then everything went wrong. Starting from his marriage to his publicised allegations and sentencing. Since he came out he was never the same in the ring, but when you read the book you will find that this was the least of his issues. The book is written in the first person, but it is almost like it is written by two different people; like a split personality Iron Mike the conqueror, and Mike the person living in his shadow. One minute is talking about the perks of living it up as the world, the women the money, then Mike talking about the shame of having betrayed the person he was with, yet he is talking about the same topic. Reading the book I saw how this came about. The outward persona Mike projected, and how he lived that persona. Like he said he talked the talk but he walked the walk too. He was almost brainwashed into creating Iron Mike. Finishing the book I keep wondering how Tyson’s life would have been different if Cus had survived. He was the one person Tyson listened to the person who could tell him no and make him stop. The person who was such a perfectionist he would tell Mike what he did wrong even after a first round knockout. Mike describes himself as an extremist #not because he is a Muslim, I will come back to that later). Looking at his life through the book he more than lives up to the statement. From no money to too much, no women to women throwing themselves at him many at a time. The extremes he lived with at an early age he was not prepared for and many people taking advantage of him. Again if Cus had survived he might have had someone in his corner to help him deal with this. Throughout the book Mike comes across a bit naive but does display many street smarts. An example is not hiding his handcuffs when he was sentenced because he knew the image it would project to the inmates inside before he arrived. He also shows great aptitude for learning especially in history and psychological warfare. If he was born a couple of centuries earlier, his name would have been up there with Spartacus or Hercules. Towards the end of the book, we get more of Mike’s perception. The biggest example I can think of how much he has grown is when he talks about his own beliefs. My interpretation is that he is mature enough to understand religion is based on your own perceptions and you need to make your own choices with as much information as you have.
Mike talks openly and honestly about every experience in his life, good or bad, if you question his honesty the last postscript should convince even the harshest critic he has told the truth. It was a really enjoyable and informative read. It is not so much an inspirational tale for me, more of a cautionary one about how to deal with the excesses of success, and having people you can trust around you. Another reviewer said the mark of a good autobiography is the author gives you a better impression of themself after you have read it. I was already a fan of Tyson but after reading this I did have a higher opinion of him than before I read it. A 5 star book by any margin.
Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. Nicknamed “Iron Mike” and “Kid Dynamite” in his early career, and later known as “the Baddest Man on the Planet”, Tyson is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round. Claiming his first belt at 20 years, four months, and 22 days old, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer ever to win a heavyweight title. He was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, as well as the only heavyweight to unify them in succession. The following year, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. In 1990, Tyson was knocked out by underdog Buster Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, although he was released on parole after three years. After his release in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights, regaining the WBA and WBC titles in 1996 to join Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to have regained the heavyweight championship after losing it. After being stripped of the WBC title in the same year, Tyson lost the WBA title to Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ears, one bite notoriously being strong enough to remove a portion of his right ear. In 2002, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight title, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis.
Tyson was known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior inside and outside the ring. With a knockout-to-win percentage of 88%, he was ranked 16th on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and first on ESPN’s list of “The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History”. Sky Sports described him as “perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring”. He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
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