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The Film “Tyson”: Heavyweight Boxer’s Life Essay


Mike Tyson is one of the legends of the sports world who has made glorious and notorious things inside and outside the ring. The film in question entitled Tyson dwells upon the famous heavyweight boxer. The filmmakers tell a story of the athlete from his childhood till the infamous trial and his conviction (Tyson). Apart from providing certain biographic information, the filmmakers attempt to unveil the emotional and psychological aspects of the matter. The boxer is depicted as a troubled youth trying to become happy while being exposed to a vicious environment.

It is necessary to note that the film was released when Tyson was released from prison after serving half of his term. The movie was a good background and publicity for the boxer’s comeback. However, the additional publicity was hardly needed as everyone anticipated new fights and new victories of the “Iron” Mike (“Throwback: Mike Tyson KOs Peter McNeeley” par. 3). Boxing fans still regarded Tyson as one of the best athletes in the world who was more of a legend rather than a boxer.

Tyson was often put in line with such figures as Muhammad Ali and even Nelson Mandela (Fernandez par. 40). The day he left his prison cell was a big day for thousands of boxing fans who hoped that the great boxer would continue his glorious career.

The movie is quite true to real life as it highlights true events from the boxer’s life. Thus, Iron Mike himself repeatedly said that he had a very difficult and troubled childhood. He was a member of a gang and behaved accordingly (Tyson 12).

The first scenes of the movie reveal the hardships of the future boxer’s childhood. The scene also serves as a background (and, at the same time, the frame) for the entire story. The childhood with the lack of love and understanding as well as support made Tyson believe that hatred is what makes up the American society (Chia par. 3). This idea is rather recurrent in the film. Mike has to face other people’s misunderstanding and sometimes hatred, which makes him remain alert and distant all the time.

As has been mentioned above, the movie unveils an emotional part of the boxer’s life. It is mainly accomplished through the focus on Tyson’s relationships with such people as Cus D’Amato and his wife, Jimmy Jacobs, and Bill Cayton. These people were close to the future champion and made a lot to help him become the boxing idol (McNeil 34). Notably, the relationships with Tyson’s wife are also depicted. It is clear that the boxer tried to be a good person, but his temper, as well as his past, haunted him.

The filmmakers try to explain the nature of the relationships between Tyson and his close ones. The media concentrated on the scandal while the movie could be regarded as an attempt to show the individual traits of the man who lived his life the way he could.

The film features the boxer’s major wins as well as one of his defeats. The fight with Buster Douglas that took place in 1990 was one of the life-changing events in Tyson’s life (McNeil 230). Tyson’s defeat was a result of numerous factors, including some personal losses and the inability to control his darker side. The boxer often skipped trainings and displayed quite inappropriate behavior. The filmmakers focus on that aspect and show the emotional load Tyson had to endure (Tyson). In the 1990s, Tyson was a living legend, and nobody could still compare to him as even when the heavyweight champion was serving his prison term, no boxing star appeared.

Of course, it is necessary to note that the filmmakers did not reveal some events from the boxer’s life while changing others. These strategies are typical of fiction. This approach can be justified as the filmmakers did not need to disclose the boxing legend’s biographical facts. Those facts were all known due to the media coverage, as almost every minute of Tyson’s life was spotted by journalists’ cameras. The point was to explain the way the legend was born.

At the same time, the film also shows the human traits of the idol created by newspapers. The filmmakers do not focus on the scandals, and they even make the viewer puzzled whether the rape took place. The crimes the boxer committed are simply enumerated at the end of the film. However, the final scene of the movie features the boxer who is looking in the sky. It is possible to assume that he is looking at his future planning his glorious comeback.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that the movie features some of the major events in Tyson’s life. The film can be regarded as biographical. At the same time, it focuses on the moments that made Tyson the boxing legend. The movie in question contributes to the creation of one of the boxing idols who will be in line with the greatest boxers of all time.

Works Cited

Chia, Jessica. “Mike Tyson Empathizes with Trump Saying ‘Now He Knows What It’s like When Everybody Is out to Get You’ as He Calls Hatred an Innate American Characteristic.” Daily Mail. 2016. Web.

Fernandez, Bernard. “Memories of Tyson-McNeeley Still Amaze.” The Sweet Science. 2014. Web.

McNeil, William F. The Rise of Mike Tyson, Heavyweight, Jefferson: McFarland, 2014. Print.

“Throwback: Mike Tyson KOs Peter McNeeley in First Bout Since Prison.” The Post Game. 2015. Web.

Tyson. Dir. Uli Edel. New York: HBO. 1995. DVD.

Tyson, Mike. Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography, London: HarperCollins UK, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 24). The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-tyson-heavyweight-boxers-life/

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"The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life." IvyPanda, 24 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-tyson-heavyweight-boxers-life/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life." September 24, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-tyson-heavyweight-boxers-life/.


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IvyPanda. "The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life." September 24, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-tyson-heavyweight-boxers-life/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life." September 24, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-tyson-heavyweight-boxers-life/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Film "Tyson": Heavyweight Boxer's Life'. 24 September.

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