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Five reasons Mike Tyson was a hit with the media

Tribune correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: April 17, 2013 at 01:23 PM

Mike Tyson didn't become a household name just by knocking guys silly. His twisted behavior both inside and outside of the ring contributed to his notoriety.

Tyson's one-man, traveling Broadway show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," stops tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

In honor of "Iron Mike" coming to town, here's a look back at five things that made him a hit with the media:

At the age of 20, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion of all time when he won the title with a second-round knockout of WBC champ Trevor Berbick on Nov. 22, 1986. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1966, Tyson was 27-0 with 25 knockouts when he beat Berbick.

Tyson married actress Robin Givens on Feb. 7, 1988. Shortly after that, with his career on the skids, there were allegations of spousal abuse. In June of that year, Givens and her mother demanded that Tyson put a down payment on a $3 million home in New Jersey. Later that year, police were called to his home when he began tossing furniture out the window, forcing both Givens and her mother to leave the house. Tyson officially split with Givens on Feb. 14, 1989.

Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in their fight on June 28, 1997. Televised on pay-per-view, it was the second meeting between the two fighters and it drew nearly 2 million households, the largest number of paid viewers to ever watch a fight up to that point. But the fight didn't go the distance or end with a knockout. In the third round, Tyson chomped off a chunk of Holyfield's right ear and was disqualified. Apparently, that didn't satisfy Tyson's hunger. Before his fight with Lennox Lewis in 2002, he told Lewis he was going to "eat his children." Lewis stopped Tyson in eight rounds.

Tyson had his own reality TV series in 2011 called "Taking on Tyson." The show followed him around his old Brooklyn neighborhood and centered on his passion for pigeon racing. Tyson reportedly got into his first fight at the age of 11 when a bully ripped off the head of one of his pigeons.

Tyson made movie appearances in "The Hangover" and "The Hangover Part 2," playing himself in both movies. Was he looking forward to maybe appearing in "The Hangover Part 3?"

"I am appreciative I was in the first two," he said.

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