Mike Tyson Loses in Sixth; Career May Be Over

Former heavyweight champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson lost in the 6th round to an unranked opponent universally considered a pushover.

Tyson Loses in Sixth; Career May Be Over (AP)

Mike Tyson’s career may have ended in shocking fashion Saturday night when he quit on the stool after taking a beating in a foul-filled sixth round against unheralded Kevin McBride. Tyson lost for the third time in his last four fights, and once again he faded badly as the rounds went on before head butting McBride in a desperate attempt to end the fight in the sixth round. Tyson was pushed to the canvas when the round ended, his head stuck between the first and second ropes. He got up very slowly, wobbled back to his corner and sat on his stool. When referee Joe Cortez came by to look at him, his corner told Cortez the fighter could not continue. Cortez then went over and raised McBride’s hand in victory.

The 38-year-old Tyson was a huge favorite over McBride and won the early rounds. But as the fight went on, it was McBride landing the bigger punches as Tyson desperately tried to score a knockout. Tyson was weary by the fifth round and, in the sixth round, he was penalized two points for deliberately head butting McBride and opening a cut over his left eye. The head butt came after Tyson appeared to try to break McBride’s arm in a clinch like he once did against Francois Botha and after he hit him with several low blows.

In a career filled with tremendous highs and terrible lows, Tyson may have reached a new low in the loss to McBride, who came into the fight with no credentials.

Twenty years ago, Tyson was a sensation, defeating his opponents in record time, securing the heavyweight title by the age of twenty.

Wikipedia – On November 22, 1986 Tyson was given his first title shot, fighting Trevor Berbick for the WBC heavyweight title. It took Tyson two rounds to become, at age 20, the youngest heavyweight champion ever. Tyson’s ascent up to this point of his career has been compared by many boxing critics to that of a young Joe Louis.

In 1987, Tyson defended his title against James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith on March 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He won on a unanimous points decision and added Smith’s WBA title to his existing belt. ‘Tyson mania’ in the media was becoming rampant. He beat Pinklon Thomas in May with a knock-out in the sixth round. On August 1 he took the IBF title from Tony Tucker, winning on points to become “undisputed heavyweight champion of the world”. His only other fight in 1987 was in October against the 1984 Olympic champion Tyrell Biggs, a workmanlike performance from Tyson ending with a seventh round TKO.

Tyson had three fights in 1988. He faced an aged and flabby Larry Holmes on January 22 which finished with a fourth round TKO. He fought an even flabbier Tony Tubbs in Tokyo in March, fitting in an easy two round demolition amid promotional and marketing work. His next opponent, Michael Spinks, had been heavyweight champion but was stripped of the title for not fighting the next contender. Many boxing fans considered Tyson’s championship “illegitimate” until he faced and defeated Spinks. On June 27 Tyson devastated Spinks, defeating him in a mere 91 seconds.

Further, he was a pop culture icon, considered likeable and funny, doing guest stints as himself on shows such as “Diff’rent Strokes.” My, that was a long time ago.

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FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Chris Short says:

    James,

    His career has been over for several years.

  2. I remember his fight against Spinks well. I made a big deal about bringing friends, food and beer over to the house for the shortest fight I’ve ever seen. Haven’t been much of a fan since.

    Making most of it PPV hasn’t helped, either. I prefer boxing movies now.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Chris: He’s been a shadow of his former self for years, to be sure. But he was always 3-4 tuneup fight wins from another shot at the title. This far past his glory days, Tyson remains the biggest draw in the sport. Indeed, one never hears of a boxing matchup that Tyson is not part of.

    Robert: Yep. I remember the days when heavyweight bouts were on Wide World of Sports or otherwise televised on the networks. Once they went to the premium cable channels and then PPV, boxing became a niche sport.

  4. Zsa Zsa says:

    Mike Thython is thuch a creep! He thouldn’t have been allowed to fighth after biting Evander’s ear off!…Thilly Thavage!…

  5. Eneils Bailey says:

    He was, years ago, probably the best boxer ever. He is, as years ago, still a wretched human being.

  6. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘He was, years ago, probably the best boxer ever’

    No he was a strong aggressive undisciplined and untested fighter who beat a lot of nobodies and washed up fighters. He fought a lot of guys who fell down in front of him and washed up ex-champs who were willing to go in and take a beating for a payday. When he was 23 he fought Buster Douglas who was bigger and wasn’t scared of him and beat the crap out of him. I had a friend who fought under Cus D’Amato as an amatuer at the same time and they all knew Tyson was mentally unstable but at least Cus tried to keep him under control. After Cus died Arum and Don King also knew he was unstable but knew he was marketable so they marketed. The guy made $300 M in purse money, it’s just a shame he didn’t have the sense to hold on to it.

  7. andrew says:

    wow mike tyson is like so cool and he quit wow boxing will never be the same without him