Cruel sport? Well, depends how you look at it. Boxing was/is always a man's sport, despite of the few women (like Ali's daughter) boxing for the gallery. Mike Tyson is in fact a cruel monster only in the ring. If his father figure Cus D'Amato didn't died that early, then Iron mike won't be there where he is now: down and broke, how he started in the year 1985, in Albany, New York.
After D'Amato died, everything in Tyson's private life went wrong: marriage to the low profile actress Robin Givens, the unfortunate liason with Don King and his career end at the fight with contender James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo, 1990, forced by the mob. The betting at this time were 42—1 favorising Tyson, while confirmed info talks about a ten million US Dollar bet against Tyson. Count: 10 million with a 42-1 scheme, enough money to lay down.
Video: Mike Tyson
In 1988, Tyson became the lineal champion when he knocked out Michael Spinks after 91 seconds. Tyson successfully defended the world heavyweight championship nine times, including victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, he lost his titles to underdog James "Buster" Douglas, by a knockout in round 10.
Attempting to regain the titles, he defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but he pulled out of a fight with undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield due to injury. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and sentenced to six years in prison but was released after serving three years. After his release, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. In 1996, he won the WBC and WBA titles after defeating Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon by knockout.
With his defeat of Bruno, Tyson joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to that point to have regained a heavyweight championship after having lost it. After being stripped of the WBC title, Tyson lost his WBA crown to Evander Holyfield in November 1996 by an 11th round TKO. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ear.