Mike Tyson And Sylvester Stallone Inducted Into International Boxing Hall Of Fame
An audience of approximately 10,000 witnessed a few legendary warriors who fearlessly combated within the square-circle, be further immortalized this past weekend over a 4-day event.
Former boxing world champions Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Kostya Tszu; along with Mexican boxing trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain; referee Joe Cortez and actor Sylvester Stallone were all inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in Canastoa, NY, as they were presented with induction certificates and IBHOF gold rings.
Hip-Hop Wired caught Iron Mike’s inductee ceremony as they as they paid tribute to the “human cannibal.”
Tyson turned pro March 6th 1985 after losing in the 1984 US Olympic Box-Offs to eventual Olympic Gold medalist Henry Tillman. Kid Dynamite won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout and had a record of 27-0 (25 KOs) by the time he challenged for the World Championship.
“I looked at boxing different than most people. It was about destruction and pain and nobody can ever stop me,” Tyson proclaimed. “Back then, I lived by those comments. I was the best in the world and nobody could beat me. It was a weird journey.”
Although his boxing mentor, Cus D’Amato passed away on November 4th 1985, almost a year later Tyson became the youngest man to ever win the World Heavyweight Championship when, at 20 years of age, he knocked out Trevor Berbick in the 2nd round on November 22nd 1986 – dropping him 3 times with just one short left hook – to earn the WBC portion of the crown.
“My frame of mind was to be mean and ferocious inside and outside the ring. I just wanted to win,” asserted Iron Mike. “I had my ego riding on me. I had Cus’ wishes riding on me. Cus used to tell me all this magic was in my hands, and I couldn’t let him down. Winning the title, it was what we planned. A lot of our plans didn’t work out. Olympic champion didn’t happen… but I became heavyweight champion. I wish he could have seen me fight as champion.”
Tyson went on to become the first unified Heavyweight Champion since Leon Spinks – who decisioned Muhammad Ali in February of 1978 for the WBA/WBC Heavyweight Crowns – after defeating James “Bone Crusher” Smith March 7th 1987 for the WBA belt, and beating an undefeated Tony “TNT” Tucker August 1st 1987 for the IBF version. These wins made him the first undisputed Heavyweight Champion to hold all 3 major belts simultaneously.
“Me and Cus would talk about how nobody could beat us and how we were invincible. That was our mind-set. We weren’t afraid of nobody,” Tyson boldly bragged.
Only Joe Louis scored more title-bout 1st round knockouts than Tyson, and Jack Dempsey is the only Heavyweight Champ to have scored more career 1st round knockouts than Iron Mike.
During his prime, Tyson’s fights became electrifying events in the People’s Republic Of Brooklyn – where he was raised – as neighborhoods planned block parties and cook outs around his fight schedule. Bets were often placed not on whether he’d win or lose, but rather if his foe would make it out the 1st round.
They’d gather around TV sets as he applied constant pressure on his opponents with his peek-a-boo style, bobbing and weaving behind his quick, precise piston-like jabs, and two-handed combination punching, body and head attack. Although he barely stands 5’ 10”, with his impeccable timing and fluid footwork he’d often out-jab opposition which stood much taller than him, and he’d place himself in position so he could counter after making them miss.
“My boxing career is just who I am,” Tyson stated. “I grew up as a kid on television, bearing out my soul. I was immature. I couldn’t deal with my feelings except in a fight. Whatever happened in boxing, the good, the bad, the [Evander Holyfield] ear biting — if I died tomorrow, I was overpaid. I have an incredible life. My life is hard to beat.”
As a youth Tyson studied countless hours of fight films with Cus and assistant trainers Kevin Rooney and Teddy Atlas, often emulating some of his favorite fighters’ moves in the ring.
“I’m very grateful to boxing. I just wanted to be a fighter. I wanted to be a great fighter, like the guys I watched on videos, like Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Gans, Roberto Duran. I used to watch those guys, now I’m going in with those guys. I am excited. This is an interesting moment in my life.”
Some say that Tyson peaked on June 27th 1988 when he blitzed lineal Heavyweight Champion Michael Spinks in just 91 seconds.
“I felt I was invincible. I was really ready,” Tyson said of the fight, which at the time was the richest in boxing history. “I had no fear of anything. I was so calm and relaxed.”
“I just wanted to be a great champion, fight guys, knock guys out. I never was thinking it would come to an end. My expectations as an old fighter was to retire and have a bar. I’m just grateful. I came from nowhere, a guy from my background with [my] parents — my mother was a prostitute, my father was a pimp. And I met [original trainer] Cus D’Amato, and this guy took me places I could never dream of going to this day.”
Tyson won a few more fights before getting K.O.’d in the 10th round by a motivated 40-1 underdog James ‘Buster’ Douglas on February 11th 2001 in Tokyo, Japan.
He returned with 4 wins, including a pair of brutal bouts with Razor Ruddock before he was incarcerated in an Indianapolis prison for 3 years on a debatable rape conviction.
Upon release from prison in 1995 Tyson’s record stands at 9-5 (2 no contests) including a pair of losses to Evander Holyfield- the second of which he was disqualified for biting a chunk out of The Real Deal’ ear.
“I just wanted to be in the [record] books with the rest of the guys. All my life, Cus and I talked about fighters: who was a great fighter, what made them great. We wanted to be the youngest [Heavyweight] Champion. I think sometimes I wish I was still fighting and I was 20 years old again.
I think about that periodically. I look at fighters fight and I wonder if they could cut it with me when I was 20? A lot of guys give up now. It seems acceptable for a guy to quit now because he has a cut eye. So what? You have another one. We were more hardcore back then.”
Tyson turns 45 on June 30th, finished with a record of 50-6 (2NC) 44KO s.
“I’m incredibly honored to be in the Hall of Fame. A little sad that I did not do quite as much as I wanted to in boxing, but very honored to be with those all-time greats. But more than honored, I’m just so happy and grateful to still be alive and have a wife and family that loves me so much.”