Mike Tyson is out of prison and back to boxing in the latest episode of the Disney+ Star and Hulu Original Series “Mike.” This episode tackles how he captured more titles after his three years in prison before losing only the second fight of his professional career to Evander Holyfield. That, of course, leads to the most infamous fight of Tyson’s career that has been nicknamed the “Bite of the Century” in the second fight with Holyfield. Meanwhile, we see the best and worst part of his personal life following his prison stint.
This is the episode I was most looking forward to because it is my biggest memory of Mike Tyson’s boxing career. Tyson biting Holyfield’s ear was a moment that transcended sports. He was rebounding well after his stint in prison. Whether you believe he deserved it or not, he had the chance at redemption in the eyes of many way back in 1997. While there are some who were never going to give Tyson another chance after the rape conviction, and I certainly understand why, for others, this was the moment he seemed irredeemable. Regardless of whether Holyfield was headbutting Tyson or not, biting another man’s ear off during a sporting event is deeply frowned upon. There are people, like me, who weren’t old enough to understand the rape conviction in 1992 but were old enough in 1997 to understand this was bad. Tyson has redeemed himself in some people’s eyes since he retired from boxing, but he could’ve been redeemed sooner had he not bitten Holyfield’s ear.
It’s amazing how interesting his personal life is at the same time that his professional life is spiraling. He’s fallen in love with Monica Turner, a woman who won’t put up with Mike Tyson, the character; but loves Mike Tyson, the man. He married her, welcomed children with her, and eventually lost her because of his drug use and violent tendencies. She was the one who recognized Don King was using Tyson while Tyson was only focused on the money King seemed to be bringing him. If Tyson had listened to her, he would’ve had a better life.
This episode ends with Tyson getting in the chair to get that face tattoo that he has become synonymous with since 2003. He’s open about how he hated himself during this time period. He could’ve rebounded in a way that he had a wonderful relationship with his family, but he threw it all away. Today, Tyson is somewhat a caricature of himself in public, but it’s his self-deprecating humor that leads to people loving him so much now. Tyson was once hated for his conviction, for biting Holyfield, for threatening to eat Lennox Lewis’ children (which isn’t shown in this series) and for not understanding basic demeanor because he never had a typical life. If Tyson wasn’t at his most hated after the rape conviction, he is at his most hated by the end of this episode. It’ll be interesting to see the transformation that leads to the Tyson that is loved by many today.