Monday, June 30, 2014

MIKE TYSON: Undisputed Truth (Book Review)

What does it mean to be a fan of Mike Tyson?  Growing up in the 1980s, I thought Mike Tyson was the greatest fighter ever—being able to knock out another professional fighter in 8 seconds sounded like a great skill to have in junior high school.  The book is called "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth).

After having won the heavyweight championship of the world at age 20, Tyson was synonymous with power and terrifying behavior in the ring.  Unfortunately, the wheels of his life fell off the rails, and he was convicted of rape and served some prison time.  Unfortunate for him—but great reading for the rest of us. 

If you like "the dirt" books—you know, where someone achieves fame and fortune and then bites off a piece of someone's ear and spends 300 million dollars and has nothing to show for it—then this book is for you.  It is a highly-entertaining romp through Tyson's childhood (filled with criminal behavior), his fanatical dedication to training and then the fall off the wagon including some pretty heavy drug use and indiscriminate sex.  A highly entertaining read!  

He also discusses the "ear biting" incident (where Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during a boxing match).  I always found it funny that Holyfield could take punches to the face no problem, but someone biting his ear off was suddenly "a big deal".  Don't teenage girls get their ears pierced?  Isn't that the same thing?  This book does not answer those questions, but they do explore Tyson's view of "what was he thinking" during these and many other ridiculous incidents in his life.  (He once misplaced a duffel bag with a million dollars cash in it—hilarious!)

Normally I don't like autobiographies, primarily because the protagonist is always telling the story from their point of view.  Yes, I was arrested.  Yes, I got that girl pregnant.  But hear my side of the story!  Tyson does not try to sugar-coat the stories—when he screws up, he says so and I found that refreshing.  

Overall, if you are a fan of Mike Tyson, boxing, tell-all books, or even the old 1980s Punch Out!  video game, then you will enjoy this book.