Mike Tyson Enters Hall of Fame

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AP – Indutee Mike Tyson, with daughter Milan, gives a thumbs-up during the Boxing Hall of Fame parade in Canastota.

Mike Tyson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this past Sunday. His acceptance speech encapsulated both the triumphs and tribulations of this iconic figure.

According to an article by Yahoo News, Mike Tyson the once “baddest man on the planet,” showed a much softer side as he searched for the words to express his gratitude while receiving the honor. He spent a great deal of time discussing his trainer Cus D’Amato, who he credits for guiding him during his early career, and who became his legal guardian after his mother’s death.

Tyson’s guardian, friend, and trainer D’Amato died in 1985, shortly before Tyson knocked out World Boxing Council champion Trevor Berbick to take home the title of the youngest heavyweight champion in history. Yet D’Amato’s impact on Tyson was evident throughout his acceptance speech.

Tyson made clear that both D’Amato and Bobby Stewart (a social worker and fan who introduced Tyson to D’Amato) were the catalysts in his career. When Tyson met D’Amato and Stewart he was in reform school for robbery. While reminiscing about this moment and what he has accomplished since then the stoic character broke down stating “Hey guys, I can’t even finish this stuff. Thank you. Thank you.”

Tyson concluded his career with a stellar record of 50-6 with 44 knockouts. “Iron Mike” gained celebrity status after being taken under the wing of D’Amato and escaping the harsh streets of Brooklyn.

However his downfall began in 1990, when the undisputed champion suffered the first loss of his career to James “Buster” Douglas. Shortly thereafter in 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty queen and served three years of a six-year sentence- Tyson adamantly denied raping the woman.  Tyson reclaimed the heavyweight title but lost to Evander Holyfield in 1996. Then in 1997, occurring in a rematch with Holyfield, Tyson infamously bit Holyfield’s ear several times and was exiled from the sport for a year. Tyson made one last attempt at boxing supremacy shortly thereafter but was knocked out by Britain’s Lennox Lewis at Memphis, Tennessee. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003, and retired from the sport in 2004.

Since his boxing days, Tyson has exposed a much softer and sillier side making an appearance in the comedy “The Hangover,” and starring in his own show “Taking on Tyson,” a show that took a look into his love of training pigeons.

Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Russian-born Australian Kostya Tszyu, Mexican trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain and referee Joe Cortez were also inducted. Sylvester Stallone was also honored for his “Rocky” movies.