Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
Mike Tyson was one of the most controversial and successful heavyweight boxers of all time.
LITTLE ROCK — "No one can match his strength, his endurance or his aggressiveness. You make it sound like he's indestructible. Yes, he is."
Of course, this is just several lines of dialogue from the film "Rocky IV" (1985), in which Nicoli Koloff (played by the late Michael Pataki) describes the undefeated Russian fighter Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) to a reporter.
Koloff could have been describing real-life boxer "Iron" Mike Tyson in his prime.
From 1985 until 1989, Tyson was an indestructible mass of destruction that charged through the heavyweight ranks wreaking absolute havoc. Exuding unparalleled power and swagger, unmatched by other boxers, Tyson enjoyed a perfect/undefeated record during this four-year time span.
Only four fighters managed to go the distance with Tyson through early 1989 and most met their fate much earlier. 17 of his opponents could not even escape the first round, as Tyson posted a gaudy 34-0 record during those four magical years.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Tyson's first professional fight. On March 6, 1985, Hector Mercedes climbed into the ring to take on an 18-year-old newcomer to the professional ranks. The venue was Albany, New York and the newbie was about to give boxing enthusiasts a taste of things to come.
Mercedes lasted a total of 1 minute and 47 seconds. Tyson shredded him for a convincing first-round KO.
During the next two years, Tyson stormed through his competition. He complied a record of 27-0 with 25 knockouts. His flurry of accomplishments garnered him a shot at the Heavyweight title against the current champ Trevor Berbick at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Berbick actually made Tyson sweat. Trevor lasted a total of 2 minutes and 35 seconds. At only the age of 20, Mike Tyson had become the youngest World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion.
Tyson's first title defense was against the World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight champion James Smith, at the same venue, on March 7, 1987. Smith went the distance, but lost by unanimous decision after 12 brutal rounds with Tyson.
And on August 1, 1987, Tyson took the hat trick. He defeated International Boxing Federation Heavyweight champion Tony Tucker to take the IBF title, too. Tucker made it the distance with "Iron" MIke, but lost by unanimous decision in 12 rounds.
Tyson became the first heavyweight fighter to claim all three major boxing belts. He was 31-0 with 27 knockouts.
Mike Tyson had six more fights from October 1987 until July 1989. He defeated both Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks during that stretch, as Tyson won all of those fights by TKO or KO. "Iron" Mike was the epicenter of professional boxing and with a record of 37-0 with 33 KOs it seemed no one could stand in his way.
But Tyson's cloak of invincibility was fixing to be stripped away and his inability to lose would come to an abrupt and shocking end.
On February 11,1990, Mike Tyson battled 42-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas at the Dome in Tokyo, Japan. And in the 10th round, the unthinkable happened. Douglas knocked out the undefeated champion. Mike Tyson's dominance was over.
Tyson lost all three heavyweight titles (WBC, WBA and IBF) to Douglas. And, for whatever reason, the pair never had a rematch.
For a time, Tyson appeared to return to form after his embarrassing loss to Douglas. From June 1990 until September 1996, "Iron" Mike was a perfect 8-0. He won back both the WBC and WBA Heavyweight titles in early 1996, but the wheels were fixing to come off the wagon again.
His name was Evander Holyfield, and "Iron" Mike Tyson could not defeat him. The highly-anticipated fight took place on November 9, 1996 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The two titans brawled and boxed for almost all 12 of the scheduled rounds, but with just 37 seconds gone in the 11th, Holyfield knocked out Tyson by TKO. It was only the second defeat of Mike Tyson's professional career, but it was costly. Tyson once again lost his WBA title.
On June 28, 1997, the titans headed back to the MGM Grand Garden for their highly-publicized rematch. Dubbed the Ring Magazine Event of the Year by the publication, the fight barely made it three rounds.
In a most bizarre and unfathomable fashion, Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield's right ear. Stunned, and in obvious pain, Holyfield watched in horror as Tyson was disqualified by the referee.The fight, for all intents and purposes, marked the end of Mike Tyson's brilliant career.
Tyson tried to recover from his bizarre behavior and sub-par fighting afterward. From January 1999 until October 2001, Tyson was undefeated in six bouts. But he concluded his career by dropping three of his last four fights, including an ugly defeat to then Champion Lennox Lewis.
Mike Tyson's career ended after 58 professional fights. "Iron" Mike was 50-6 with 44 knockouts and two fights ruled "no contest." Love him or hate him, Tyson was one of the most imposing and successful boxers of all time.
ESPN.com ranked him 50th out of 50 boxers in their "Who's the Greatest" fighter of all-time rankings. With all due respect to the site, that is a travesty. In his prime, with his unmatched power and endurance, Tyson could have beaten anyone on that list. Tyson was a one-of-a-kind fighter that stalwart boxing fans of all ages can enjoy and embrace through memories and video today.