This is a special guest post courtesy of Spencer Blohm, an entertainment blogger for Direct4TV.com where he covers everything from sports and fashion to movie and television reviews and celebrity profiles. He lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Former undisputed Heavyweight boxing champion (1986 to 1990), Mike Tyson, is an infamously polarizing public figure, and his notorious legacy continues to grow.
The volatility of his personal life only adds to the intrigue of his rogue persona. To honor his momentous contributions to the world of popular culture, here’s a quick overview of Tyson's turbulent road through fame as "Iron" turns 47 years young today (June 30, 2013)
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The Rise of Mike Tyson
Under the intimidating moniker of "Kid Dynamite," Tyson reigned supreme in the world of heavyweight boxing by the time he was just 20 years old (he still holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF titles). In 1988, he simultaneously dominated the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association and the International Boxing Federation.
He is the only man in history to concurrently hold the three titles.
His first 19 matches were consecutively won by knockout. As a result, he earned an exalted reputation for his ability to be dangerously terrifying.
The Fall of Mike Tyson
Public adulation turned into embitterment in 1991 when Tyson was convicted of violently raping a beauty queen. Desiree Washington, a champion of the Miss Black Rhode Island pageant, testified against him in court, which led to an incarceration of three years.
In reference to an opponent, Tyson later remarked about the incident, "He called me a 'rapist' and a 'recluse.' I'm not a recluse."
Tyson re-entered the ring after being released from prison, but the attempt at a comeback did not improve his public relations. He lost a notable bout against Evander Holyfield; however, he had the opportunity of a rematch.
Unfortunately, Tyson belligerently bit off a piece of his opponent's ear during this event (it would have tasted better with sauce on it).
During his time in prison, the former champion converted to Islam. Although this was intended to rectify his damaged image, he eventually nullified any possible benefit by saying, "My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want his heart, I want to eat his children, all praise be to Allah." Tyson also became a steadfast vegan, espousing a devout love for animals.
Tyson has had four marriages in his life. His first wife, Robin Givens, accused him of spousal abuse in court, labeling him as manic-depressive. In contrast, Tyson claims the divorce ensured because he caught Givens in bed with Brad Pitt. Overall, he has fathered eight children. One of his daughters was found strangled by a cord on a treadmill, in what was determined to be a tragic accident. Eleven days after losing his child, he got re-married in Las Vegas to Lakiha Spicer.
Resurgence in Popular Culture
The retired boxer made his re-emergence into media awareness with a cameo appearance in, "The Hangover." Despite acting in the film, his tattoo artist sued the production studio for copyright violations when it depicted his signature face tattoos on another member of the cast. He won the case, and successfully had the scene removed, even though his performance remained intact. The movie launched Tyson back to the status of a cult icon.
Tyson has described a profound personal affinity with pigeons. He trains them as pets. His ex-wive traumatized him by cooking one of his prized companions. He seems to have conquered the grief, because he is currently developing an animated detective comedy for Adult Swim that will star him alongside a pigeon sidekick.
One Man Show
HBO has announced they are producing a new project with Tyson that will showcase his display of redemption. "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" will debut during 2013. The autobiographical series will recount his entire career. Describing the upcoming show, Tyson stated, "People have said the story mesmerizes."
Indeed, even it 47, it always mesmerizes.