WATCH: 19-Year-Old Mike Tyson Fights Man Mountain Sammy Scaff
It’s almost universally agreed that in his prime, Mike Tyson was one of the best boxers in the history of the sport but this video proves that he was a badass at the beginning of his career, too.
This clip shows a 19-year-old Tyson schooling a much older ‘Slammin’ Sammy Scaff in the art of The Sweet Science. Before this fight, Tyson was 13-0 with all 13 wins coming by way of KO and although he was giving away 10 years of age and six inches in height to his opponent, Tyson’s speed, timing, and awareness inside the ring were already at world class levels.
Tyson would go on to win 37 consecutive fights before being stunned by Buster Douglas in Toyoko on February 11, 1990. He finished with a record of 50-6 (2 NC) although that record was somewhat tarnished by the fact that he lost three of his last four fights.
$23 million in debt, Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite the fact that he received over $30 million for several of his fights and more than $300 million during his career.
It was a sad end to an amazing career but the renowned brawler’s fall from grace wasn’t over; in an interview with USA Today published on June 3, 2005, Tyson said, “My whole life has been a waste. I’ve been a failure. I just want to escape. I’m really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country. I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down.”
Luckily, Iron Mike turned things around and is now happily married with six children (from this marriage and his previous two). In November 2013, he released a book called Undisputed Truth, which made it onto The New York Times Best Seller list. His presentation/stand up routine that accompanied that book is comedy gold and also a no-holds-barred look into the life of one of the sport’s most iconic figures.
CHECK OUT IRON MIKE AT THE START OF HIS CAREER: