From earning Sh42 billion to bankruptcy – The story of Mike Tyson’s career
BOXING By Mirror | June 25th 2020
Mike Tyson earned more than $400million (£320m) during his heavyweight career - but he filed for bankruptcy after spending every penny.
The former world champion was the most entertaining and controversial fighter of his generation.
Tyson made his professional debut in 1985 and as challenging for his first world title the following as he crushed Trevor Berbick to become the youngest-ever heavyweight ruler.
He cashed a cheque for $1.5m for his win over Berbick and continued to earn similar figures until he met Larry Holmes 1998 when he earned $5m - and he doubled those earnings two months later when he beat Tony Tubbs in Japan.
Tyson was expected to be tested by the unbeaten Michael Spinks 1988 but instead he needed just 90 seconds of the first round to record yet another KO.
His reward? A mouthwatering $20m as he announced himself among the highest-paid sportsmen on the planet.
Tyson's earnings then dropped significantly as he picked up around $7m for beating Brit hero Frank Bruno for the first time.
He was paid around $6m for his stunning defeat by Buster Douglas which stopped him earning a fortune against Evander Holyfield.
After his pair of fights with Donovan Ruddock, Tyson was sentenced to prison for rape - but his time inside preceded the richest period of this career.
In 1995, Tyson was paid a staggering $25m for his comeback fight against Peter McNeeley- another bout which ended in the first round.
That was only the beginning, however, as Tyson picked up four successive $30m purses as he took on Bruno for a second time, Bruce Seldon and for his belated two fights with Holyfield.
The second of those, of course was the 'Bite Fight' which saw Tyson suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission - and subsequently Tyson suffered a drop in his earnings.
But he still picked up $10m for fighting Frans Botha and $17.5m (plus his share of the pay-per-view) for his defeat by Lennox Lewis in 2002.
Tyson's final fight - against Kevin McBridge in 2005 - saw him earn $5m as the once-great heavyweight retired on his stool after the fifth round.
Incredibly, however, Tyson had filed for bankruptcy two years before his final fight after years of financial mismanagement, and was reportedly $23m in debt.
He had spent his money quicker than he had earned it, including on a brutal cocaine addiction, and faced a decade of recovery.
Tyson's mental state was summed up at the end of his career when he said: "My whole life has been a waste – I've been a failure.
"I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country.
"I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down."
More recently, however, Tyson has turned his life around; taking his one-man Broadway show on a tour of America before branching out into the cannabis trade with his own farm.
He has also recently returned to the gym and has flirted with the idea of a comeback.
Regardless of whether that's a good idea, his appeal would ensure yet another big pay-day, 35 years after his first seven-figure cheque.
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