Boxing: Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history on this day in 1986


34 years ago today, on November 22, 1986, Mike Tyson created history.

At just 20 years and 150 days old, he demolished Trevor Berbick inside two rounds to become the WBC heavyweight champion.

Having turned professional the previous year, Tyson had risen through the rankings rapidly.

Developing a reputation as a fearsome puncher, he was 27-0 (25 KOs) heading into the title bout in Las Vegas.

Yet there were still some concerns for the youngster heading into the fight. Cus A’mato, Tyson’s mentor during his teenage years, had passed away a year earlier, leaving fans wondering whether this would affect the boxer on his biggest night.

The experienced Berbick also appeared to be playing mind games.


The Jamaican, who held a win over Muhammad Ali, exercised his right as champion to pick the trunk colours. He opted for black, the colour that Tyson had made his trademark during his fledgling career.

The undefeated challenger would not be intimidated, though. He too wore black, and accepted a $5,000 fine from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Once the pair stepped inside the ring, it did not matter what they were wearing. 

Tyson dominated from the outset, and ended the contest in emphatic fashion. A left hook to the temple sent Berbick to the canvas, and despite his best efforts, the champion was unable to beat the count.

Reacting to the victory, Tyson was typically outspoken.

“I came here very confident and I knew I wasn’t leaving this ring alive without the championship of the world. I was throwing deadly and accurate punches.

“I’ll fight anybody. I’m the best fighter in the world. No man can beat me,” he said, as reported by talkSPORT.

That proved to be the case until February 1990, when James ‘Buster’ Douglas pulled off a stunning upset to hand Tyson his first defeat.

Now aged 54, Tyson is set to fight Roy Jones Jr. next weekend in an exhibition contest in California.

Can he roll back the years and deliver those devastating combinations under the bright lights once more? We shall soon find out.

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