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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Crimes of Mike Tyson

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The criminal history of the for-glory superstar.

With boxing still fresh on everyone's mind lately (the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match brought out a lot of closet boxing fans), we'd like to note KoopaTV's special relationship with the Punch-Out!! series. We dedicated a full week of articles towards it and topped that off with the release of a whole videogame, Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!, playable here. You can also watch a Let's Play of it here.

With those advertisements and that prefacing out of the way, we haven't talked a whole lot about the man who helped the game sell so well in America and gave it its unique fanbase: Mike Tyson himself. Mike Tyson was the famous heavyweight boxer who got into a ton of controversy because of his personal choices both in and out of the ring. A lot of that controversy came from his nature to commit acts of bad behaviour. While the Tyson star power helped sell Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and made Nintendo millions of bucks, there was and still is an inherent ethical problem in branding it with the Mike Tyson name that will forever leave a very dark mark on Nintendo's history.

Darker than the black eye this dude got from Tyson.

Let's talk about it! 

You can find a brief timeline of Tyson's crimes here, or you could read throughout the man's Wikipedia page. We'll reprint interesting ones with commentary. Remember, Mike Tyson was born in 1966 and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! came out at the end of 1987.

Around 1978 at the age of 12, he ended up in New York's Tryon School for Boys, as opposed to a school for everyone. (It's very nearly named after him.) According to this in-depth look at Tryon, it's essentially a ruthless juvenile detention warehouse filled with mentally ill kids. Over at Tryon, Tyson learned how to box after being noticed by one of the staff there and then was given boxing lessons. One has to wonder the wisdom in giving a punk kid (according to Rolling Stones magazine, Tyson had been a drug addict by age 11 and got arrested 38 times by age 13) boxing lessons where he could beat up other kids (and that's probably how Tryon's staff noticed that Mike Tyson was good at punching people) along with the other staff.

It's that lack of wisdom that ended up making Mike Tyson the threat to society he became later on.

Mike Tyson became very good at punching people and won several boxing championship matches by the age of 21. Basically, this made him a boxing prodigy. At that point, Tyson was approached by Nintendo of America to have him star in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (the "Mike Tyson's" part added after he agreed to it) and it came out to wonderful success.

In-between Nintendo approaching him and the game's release, he allegedly assaulted two parking lot attendants but settled out-of-court. Well, no issues for Nintendo with that. It was settled! There was no actual conviction! (If that's Nintendo's standard, then why did they remove George Zimmerman from Super Smash Bros. 4?!)

Apparently Mike Tyson owned a Bentley and a BMW in 1988, and he lost both in traffic accidents. He also tried to bribe cops with the first one. In 1989 he got ticketed for drag racing multiple times.

Tyson apparently somehow kept his driver's license.

Then in 1990, he lost the championship to Buster Douglas, and Nintendo's interest in Tyson ended there. Nintendo is open to criminals, but Nintendo is not open to LOSERS! (Oh, then maybe they removed George Zimmerman from Super Smash Bros. 4 because he lost his defamation suit?) Well, apparently Nintendo didn't care about Mike Tyson getting divorced by his wife, Robin Givens (after physically assaulting her), and assaulting people in nightclubs (with his fists, otherwise known as the Black Club) which happened during this time period.

And then in 1991-1992 he got arrested and convicted for raping a Miss America Black Pageant contestant, Desiree Washington. He was supposed to be in prison for 6 years but got out on parole after 3, so he was back in the ring by 1995 beating people down. While in prison, he converted to Islam.

During that rape case, Nintendo was helping produce a sequel to Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch. Nintendo finally saw that Mike Tyson was a liability and ditched the project, but it got released as Power Punch II (there's no first one, so that's a naming scheme that'd make RawkHawk2010 very happy [inside joke]) by American Softworks Corp. It sold like crap and was a crap game, featuring a Tyson expy.

Mike Tyson? No, it's actually Mark Tyler.

So! Evander Holyfield versus Mike Tyson II in 1997. This was the match where Mike Tyson bit the dude's ear off and got his boxing license revoked for a year. Not a good time for Tyson. Not a crime, but the dude is clearly unstable in and outside of the boxing ring.

Sidebar: Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is fighting Holyfield for charity this May 15th. This match is actually happening, unlike the last charity boxing match we reported on.

Mike Tyson still needs to get around, which is how he got into a motorcycle accident in 1997 and a December 1998 auto accident where he assaulted two people. This time he was kept in jail until the end of 1999 where he somehow got to box again. June 2000 came around and this happened:

Imagine if he was still signed onto Nintendo after that! Let's talk about the video.

Mike Tyson is trying to make himself seem like a badass incoherent tough guy. Well, he is. He has an incredible criminal history. So after beating up some guy really easily in the boxing ring, Mike Tyson shows his cannibal side, among other sides.
"I'm just ferocious! I want your heart! I want to eat his children! PRAISE BE TO ALLAH!"
Of all the things I think about Muslims, thinking they're people-eaters actually wasn't one of them.

Afterwards, Tyson got divorced by his second wife and got more rape allegations, though these didn't result in jail time like the one before. He declared bankruptcy with the IRS in 2003 because he kept spending more than he made. In other words, celebrities can very easily lose all their wealth, especially when they keep spending it on lavish cars and motorcycles they keep crashing.

At the end of 2007, Mike Tyson got arrested for cocaine possession and driving under the influence. (All this guy's crimes come as a result of vehicle usage. Seriously.) He went back to jail for a day and was on probation for years.

Then his four year old daughter, Exodus Tyson died (alternatively: had an exodus from living with the Tysons) in 2009 from an exercise equipment accident. You know, just like Senator Harry Reid. (Except he lived.)

Senator Harry Reid exercise accident incident broken eye picture face photo
Harry Reid looks more beat up
than the dude in the first picture!

Now, we're not suggesting that Mike Tyson killed his daughter. She just somehow strangled herself on treadmill cords by accident. We're also not suggesting he beat up Harry Reid, though Harry Reid somehow fell and broke several bones.

We just wouldn't be surprised if either of those instances were actually true. Anyway, immediately after his daughter died, he got married a third time and is still in that marriage. Mike Tyson also has strong ties to Nevada (or just Las Vegas), where Harry Reid resides.

To this day, Mike Tyson still references being in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, which leaves things weird for Nintendo. Unfortunately, he celebrates only certain derivative works of it, like those from ESPN. He doesn't recognise the best derivative work of them all, Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Which is rather strange, since he chose to insert himself into the whole George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin conflict. Of that incident, he declared,

"It's a disgrace that [George Zimmerman] hasn't been dragged out of his house and tied to a car and taken away. That's the only kind of retribution that people like [George Zimmerman] understand. It's a disgrace that [George Zimmerman] hasn't been shot yet. Forget about him being arrested--the fact that he hasn't been shot yet is a disgrace. That's how I feel personally about it."
You know, I once heard a local police officer say you shouldn't provoke people with trollish behaviour. His example was that if you walked by Mike Tyson on the street, you shouldn't insult him or else he might beat the crap out of you. (I took that advice to heart and so my trolling is only over the Internet.) While Mike Tyson will now deny that he would engage in this kind of thuggish behaviour, I think it's still safe to assume he's far from a saint. Truth be told, he never "redeemed" himself, and grew up as a thug and continues to be one to this day. He didn't even do his crimes intelligently.

The Mike Tyson Story face mug boxer photo
And this is him trying to look friendly.

Other than Shaun White, Nintendo has strayed away from promoting big celebrity names for big Nintendo games. It could be because they don't need external celebrity power to sell their game ideas, or maybe it could be because partnering with Mike Tyson ended up having a short-term gain but a long-term stain on the family-friendly company. If Nintendo tried to perform the Mike Tyson thing again, you'd better believe there would be protests and uproar, and rightfully so.

Today there exists what is equivalent to a Mike Tyson defence force. While Mike Tyson may be self-aware now, that still does not change that his demeanour is not that of a comical caricature but of a menace to society.

You can blame the Requests section for this article. That said, KoopaTV enjoys receiving these.

Mike Tyson sort of parallels another thug-turned-celebrity, 50 Cent. ...Who also ended up engulfed in failure.


  1. Nice viewpoints and mix of humour, kept me laughing my ass off the whole time reading it.


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