Tyson Hall of Fame induction deserved

Mike Tyson will enter the International Boxing Hall of Fame tomorrow. While some have debated his induction due to issues in and out of the ring, the man has clearly earned a spot at the facility in Canastota, New York.

“Iron Mike” began pursuing his dream to become a boxing champion when he was a troubled 13-year-old teen. Under the watchful eye of mentor and trainer Cus D’Amato, the youngster was later directed on a straight path and was destined to become a respectable champion.

Cus first took Tyson in at his Catskill, N.Y. gym that was near the reform school Tyson had spent time at then actually adopted the fighter after his mother died. Through the following years, both men were dedicated to obtaining the title and shortly after D’Amato’s death, Tyson became the youngest fighter to ever hoist a heavyweight championship belt.

Tyson went on to become known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” and for good reason. Few could last past the first few rounds with the aggressive heavy and one of the most impressive champs in boxing history would go on to compile a 37-0 record.

The road to perfection hit a bump in 1990 when the “unbeatable kid” from Brooklyn lost to Buster Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in the history of sports. Tyson finished his career with a 50-6 record and 44 KOs, many of those knockouts coming in the early rounds.

While some media may argue a guy with a history of serving time in prison for rape and chomping off a piece of the ear off an opposing fighter (Google: Evander Holyfield) the bottom line is performance in the ring and there were few as dominating as Tyson.

A rough journey that included reform schools, millionaire status, bankruptcy, rape , jail time and an acting role in The Hangover will now end at the IBHOF on Sunday. Among those joining Tyson as inductees Sunday’s are Hollywood film producer Sly Stallone, fighter Julio Cesar Chavez and referee Joe Cortez.

Like Pete Rose belongs in the MLB Hall of Fame in nearby Cooperstown for his performance on the filed, “Iron Mike” deserves his permanent spot in one of boxing’s most prized museums for his performance in the ring.

If you don’t think so, maybe you should ask one of the 44 who fell victim to one of the hardest punchers to ever climb in a ring.

2011 Hall of Fame – Mike Tyson – ESPN

Originally from Detroit, Tom is an Atlanta-based sportswriter whose work has been published in the New York Daily News, Washington Times, Detroit Free Press and national hockey mags including The Hockey News (Canada) and USA Hockey Magazine. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomFerda

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