Mike Tyson: Ranking the 10 best performances of his boxing career

Mike Tyson's 56-fight professional career delivered some stunning displays

There has and never will be a boxer quite like Mike Gerard Tyson.

The American heavyweight took the sport by storm in the late 1980s, becoming the youngster ever fighter to win a world title in the division in 1986 at the age of just 20.

There is also, of course, a litany of controversial incidents throughout his career that often dominate the narrative surrounding Tyson.

But today, we're not going to focus on any of them. Instead, we're going to eulogise the boxing genius that was Tyson, a man who often had opponents beaten before they entered the ring.

We've had a go at ranking the 10 best performances of Iron Mike's 56-fight professional career, which saw him pick up 50 victories with 44 of those coming by way of knockout.

10. Henry Tillman, 1990

The fight billed as 'The Road Back' after Tyson's devastating loss to James 'Buster' Douglas four months prior.

While Tillman was far from the most fearsome opponent of Iron Mike's career, his first round knockout victory was a huge statement of intent.

Tyson needed to bounce back after arguably the biggest upset in boxing history and he did so, sending the punters in the Caesars Palace Hotel wild.

Mike Tyson and Don King

9. Tony Tubbs, 1988

The first fight of Tyson's career outside of the US was certainly a memorable one.

The 21-year-old champ lit up the Tokyo Dome with a devastating performance, finishing the fight at the end of round two with a trademark snap left hook.

Tubbs actually connected with some shots of his own in the opening round of the fight which stunned Tyson into action. Making Iron Mike angry was never a good ploy and the champ's quick and brutal turnaround would set up a record-breaking meeting with Michael Spinks.

Tyson vs Tubbs

8. Frank Bruno, 1989

Tyson's first defence as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world was truly emphatic.

Bruno was seen as the people's champion, but he simply couldn't handle his American adversary.

Tyson dominated proceedings with brutal power punches, inflicting serious damage before the referee stepped in with just short of 10 seconds left of the fifth round. This was Tyson at his very best against a formidable opponent.

Tyson vs Bruno, 1989

7. Marvis Frazier, 1986

The quickest knockout of Tyson's glittering, power-punch filled career.

Frazier's only prior loss going into the bout was against Larry Holmes in 1983 and before the meeting with Tyson, the Philadelphia-born fighter had six consecutive victories under his belt.

But 15 seconds into the fight, Iron Mike landed the sweetest of uppercuts to floor Frazier, with the fight eventually called off after just 30 seconds. What a statement it was from Tyson.

Tyson vs Frazier

6. Tyrell Biggs, 1987

Biggs stood at 6'5" and won a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. His frame and boxing IQ were supposed to seriously test Tyson and perhaps overwhelm him.

But despite Iron Mike standing at just 5'10", Tyson overcame Biggs' size, speed and agility with a combination of awesome power and supreme boxing talent.

He claimed victory by technical knockout in the seventh to retain his heavyweight belts.

Tyson vs Biggs

5. Frank Bruno, 1996

Tyson's rematch with Bruno was littered with backstories.

It was only Iron Mike's third fight after his four-year sabbatical from the sport after being imprisoned and he was coming up against a fearsome opponent after two relatively easy warmup bouts previous.

But it was like Tyson had never been away, winning victory courtesy of a third-round technical knockout to win the WBC heavyweight strap once again. An iconic comeback performance.

Tyson vs Bruno, 1996

4. Larry Holmes, 1988

The night Tyson got revenge for Muhammad Ali.

Holmes had been retired for two years prior to the meeting, but the 38-year-old was still in tip-top physical shape for the fight. However, he was no match for the younger Tyson.

Iron Mike dismantled the legendary former champion inside four rounds, cementing his place as the most fearsome boxer on the planet.

Tyson vs Holmes

3. Tony Tucker, 1987

This fight will always go down as one of Tyson's hardest ever.

Tucker was a supremely talented fighter and held the IBF heavyweight strap for a time in 1987. Tyson had to dig deep to overcome early pressure, but secured a hugely important victory by unanimous decision.

Young Iron Mike was used to getting the job done early, but this was proof he had the stamina to back up his greatness.

Tyson vs Tucker

2. Trevor Berbick, 1986

The night Tyson became the youngest heavyweight world champion in history, a record that still stands today.

At age 20, Iron Mike took on the highly-rated WBC champ and absolutely destroyed him inside two rounds.

Tyson had announced himself to the world, the most exciting boxer on the planet was here and two years later, he would have his finest hour...

Tyson vs Berbick

1. Michael Spinks, 1988

This was the hour, the night that the legendary heavyweight made the entire sporting world stand up and listen.

Spinks was unbeaten in 31 fights, with 21 knockouts to his name, but even he was no match for his opponent.

It took just 91 seconds for Tyson to knockout Spinks - who was The Ring and Lineal champ at the time - in a fight that was the richest in the sport's history up until that point, grossing around €70m.

Both men have since been inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame, shedding more light on what a truly monuments victory it was for Iron Mike.

Tyson vs Spinks

Tyson had quite the career, didn't he?

So many devastating victories, it's just a shame that his boxing reputation was soured in the latter stages of his career.

The two fights with Evander Holyfield - and of course biting Holyfield's ear - are often the go-to topics when discussing Tyson.

But in the early stages of his career and after his comeback, he was an absolute machine, a world-beater and a fighter that we will never see the like of again.

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