Talk Sport write….
Mike Tyson delivered ‘the most brutal beating’ of his entire career whilst high after smoking marijuana.
For a man who made a career out of delivering short, powerful punches, even that opening sentence may come as bit of a shock.
But the fact of the matter is, Tyson delivered one of his most emphatic and debilitating performances whilst under the influence of narcotics.
If you have never seen grainy footage of a hungry, brawny Tyson render grown men unconscious just after his 19th birthday, you are missing out.
Put simply, the man who fought out of the Catskill Mountains in New York was an absolute phenom in the ring.
But there was a beautiful savagery to what ‘Iron Mike’ did, with his boxing skills often overlooked.
It seems somewhat apt he fought out of the same location the cult 80’s film ‘Dirty Dancing’ was filmed – he stirred intrigue in fans as easily as he perturbed critics with his brutal performances.
His career was as colourful as it was controversial and by the time the new Millennium came around; Tyson was in a stage of rehabilitation.
Having hit the heights of becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986 and then the undisputed champion a year later, the parable foretold by Icarus came true and he experienced a tremendous fall from grace.
After serving a 15-month ban away from the sport for his actions against Evander Holyfield in 1997, Tyson returned to the ring with five routine stoppages – including an appearance in Manchester – before a fight was scheduled against Poland’s finest, Andrew Golota.
Both men were considered notorious in the heavyweight division, with Golota disqualified twice against Riddick Bowe for hitting him below the belt in 1996.
The fight took place at The Palace in Michigan in October 2000 and proved to be one of Tyson’s most dominant displays since his return to the sport, dropping him multiple times in the first two rounds.
Golota had told his corner team on several occasions he had no intention of continuing, with referee Frank Garza raising Tyson’s hand in victory after the Pole failed to answer the bell for round three.
The Warsaw warrior was pelted with rubbish thrown into the crowd by disgruntled fans who were angered with what they felt was a weak showing.
However, after a visit to hospital, it transpired Golota had suffered a concussion, a fractured left cheekbone and a herniated disk in the fight. He did not box again until 2003.