The Rise and Fall of ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson: Unveiling the Untold Story


Many fans claim that when “Iron” Mike Tyson dropped Kevin Rooney as his trainer, he was never the same. Others say it was his drug use.

Tyson was 34-0 from 1979 through 1988 when Cus D’Amato and Rooney trained him. He had nine trainers, including Cus D’Amato (1979-85), Kevin Rooney (1982-88 (assisting D’Amato 1982-85), Aaron Snowell (1989-90), Richie Giachetti (1990-91 & 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 too many trainers?

Tyson ended up 50-6 with 44 knockouts. That is 16-6 after D’Amato and Rooney trained him. He was 37-0 when he lost for the first time to James “Buster” Douglas, 28-4-1, in February of 1990 in Tokyo, Japan, under Giachetti, who was promoter Don King’s man.


In November of 1996, Tyson lost to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 32-3, in the eleventh round. In their rematch, Tyson went crazy after getting cut and bit the ear of Holyfield. Instead of referee Mills Lane disqualifying him, he went to the commissioner, who said, “We can’t stop a fight of this magnitude!” This was the same commissioner who later went over to UFC/MMA.

Then when the fight was continued, Tyson again bit Holyfield but this time bit a piece of the ear off before finally being disqualified.

Two fights later, Tyson hit Orlin Norris, 50-5, after the bell ended the first round, causing a ruling of no contest when Norris couldn’t continue. Two fights later, after stopping Lou Savarese, 39-3, at 0:38 of the first round, he reached over referee John Coyle and continued hitting Savarese.

In Tyson’s next fight, he stopped Andrew Golota, 36-4, after two rounds but had the decision 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 was not 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 but a shell of himself, being stopped both times being knocked out by Danny Williams, 31-3, in four rounds and Kevin McBride, 32-4-1, after six rounds not coming out for the seventh round and then retiring from boxing. I met Tyson when he was sixteen in 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 Hilton family from Montreal was there at the time. Tyson and I watched films provided by his to-be manager Jim Jacob’s “Fights of the Century” watching Jack Dempsey, whom Tyson loved, no socks, no robe, etc. When he was 15-0, he called me being a record keeper asking about David Jaco, 19-5. I recognized his voice right away 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-trainer Rooney asked if I wanted to come to the dressing room to say hello to Tyson. When he saw me, he came over and grabbed me around the waist, lifting me off the ground, and my only thought was, “I’m glad he likes me!” The final 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,” whom he had knocked out. My article was “Tyson and Holmes 2” The last time they met, Holmes’s feet were up in the air! When “Iron” Mike Tyson was at his best, he was feared and unbeatable. Was his downfall dismissing Rooney or drugs or what?


Leave a Comment