By Ken Hisner: Many fans claim that when “Iron” Mike Tyson left Kevin Rooney as his coach, he was never the same again. Others say it was his drug use.
Tyson went 34-0 from 1979 to 1988 when Cus D’Amato and Rooney coached him. He had nine coaches, including Cus D’Amato (1979-85), Kevin Rooney (1982-88 (D’Amato assistant 1982-85), Aaron Snowell (1989-90), Richie Giachetti (1990-91 and again 1997) , Jay Bright (1995-96 and again 2000-2001), Tommy Brooks (1999-2001), Ronnie Shields (2002), Freddie Roach (2003-04) and Jeff Fenech (2005) Do you think there are too many coaches?
Tyson finished 50-6 with 44 knockouts. That’s 16-6 after D’Amato and Rooney coached him. He was 37-0 when he first lost to James “Buster” Douglas, 28-4-1, in February 1990 in Tokyo, Japan, under Giachetti, who was the man for promoter Don King.
In November 1996, Tyson lost to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 32-3, in the eleventh round. In his rematch, Tyson went berserk after cutting and biting off Holyfield’s ear. Rather than have referee Mills Lane disqualify him, he turned to the commissioner, who said: “We can’t stop a fight of this magnitude!” This was the same commissioner who later moved on to UFC/MMA.
Then, as the fight continued, Tyson bit Holyfield again, but this time he ripped a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear before ultimately being disqualified.
Two fights later, Tyson pounded Orlin Norris, 50-5, after the bell ended the first round, prompting a no-contest decision when Norris was unable to continue. Two fights later, after stopping Lou Savarese, 39-3, at 0:38 of the first round, he stepped over referee John Coyle and continued to pound Savarese.
In Tyson’s next fight, he stopped Andrew Golota, 36-4, after two rounds, but the decision was reversed to a no-contest due to testing positive for marijuana.
In his next fight, Tyson goes to Denmark and stops “Super” Brian Nielsen, 62-1, in six rounds. By the time of his next fight against Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 39-2-1, it was obvious he wasn’t the fighter he once was, getting knocked out in eight rounds.
Tyson came back and knocked out Clifford Etienne, 24-1, in the first round. In his last two fights, he was nothing more than a shell of himself, being stopped both times by Danny Williams, 31-3, in four rounds and Kevin McBride, 32-4-1, after six rounds without coming out for the match. final. seventh round and then retire from boxing.
I met Tyson when I was sixteen in the Catskill in 1982 at the residence of Camile Ewald and Cus D’Amato. I met the latter along with Kevin Rooney in Scranton, PA. The Montreal Hilton family was there at the time.
Tyson and I watched movies provided by his future manager Jim Jacob “Fights of the Century” seeing Jack Dempsey, who Tyson loved, no socks, no robe, etc. When he was 15-0, he called me up as record keeper. asking for David Jaco, 19-5. I recognized his voice immediately and told him not to worry. He won in 2:16 of the first round.
The next time we met was in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when his then-coach Rooney asked me if I wanted to go to the locker room and say hello to Tyson. When he saw me, he reached over and grabbed me around the waist, lifting me off the ground, and my only thought was, “I’m glad he likes it!”
The last time I saw Tyson was at a boxing event in Bethlehem, PA when he was involved with a promotional group. He was standing next to former champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” who he had knocked out. My article was “Tyson and Holmes 2”. The last time they met, Holmes had his feet in the air!
When “Iron” Mike Tyson was in his prime, he was feared and unbeatable. Was his downfall from him firing Rooney or drugs or what?