Boxing: Tyson goes bust after 20-year spending spree

Mike Tyson made more than $300m (£187m) and fought 56 times in his 18-year career, but he has now filed for bankruptcy. It is just the latest disturbing development in the life and crimes of sport's most notorious athlete.

Tyson filed for bankruptcy on Friday in New York while speculation about his career was starting to take a series of bizarre twists and turns. He claims he has no money left and people close to him claim that he has no desire to fight which is a fearsome cocktail.

Tyson, 37, has survived two financially disturbing divorces and a catalogue of other chaotic monetary adventures during nearly 20 years as one of the sport's best known anarchic icons.

Last June he was paid $25m for his fight against Lennox Lewis in Memphis. It was a fight that many believed Tyson could win at a time in his career when tales of excessive spending and dwindling bank accounts were rife.

On that balmy night at the Pyramid on the banks of the Mississippi, Tyson was beaten so thoroughly that many doubted he would ever put on a glove again but the awful truth was that he had to keep fighting to somehow match his spending.

Ever since Tyson was a teenage protégé he has been reckless with his cash and an early incident when he was 21 involved giving a transport policeman in New York a brand new Bentley. There are thousands of stories like that ranging from gifts of diamond bracelets worth $200,000 to small personal handouts of $1,000. Many people inside the business of boxing have regularly pointed the finger at Don King - Tyson's major promoter - claiming that the great fight maverick had often paid himself far too much "in fees" for arranging Tyson's fights.

In 1998 King and Tyson had a spectacular fallout and they each initiated legal proceedings for $100m against the other. This case is still working its way slowly and expensively through the American legal system and there was a rumour last year that it was costing Tyson more than $1m per month to keep the charge against King buoyant. Tyson last fought in February of this year when he cleared in excess of $6m for 49 seconds work, but he has a large entourage of well-fed and well-dressed men and women and they all work for Tyson. Therefore, they are all paid for by Tyson and in his world of excessive glitz and glamour nothing is cheap.

Tyson's first wife, the American actress Robin Givens, walked away with a settlement of over $10m and last year his second wife left the divorce court with a promise of $6.5m from the boxer's future earnings.

In between marriages Tyson has been in prison on two occasions sadly with the assistance of some of America's most expensive legal minds. In addition to the prison sentences, one for rape and one for a road rage incident, Tyson has repeatedly had to defend himself against a seemingly endless catalogue of sexual harassment charges. Three years ago it was said that he retained legal representation at a cost of $10,000 each week just in case the police raided his home in Las Vegas one more time.

Perhaps Tyson is best known for his mad spending on things like rare tigers, a snip at a $100,000, and his shopping sprees in the exclusive stores in Las Vegas that often run to more than half a million dollars. I have been on one and the figures are quite staggering.

In 2000 when he fought in Manchester against Julius Francis, Tyson wanted to buy a Formula One racing car and no amount of zeroes would dissuade him from his search. Thankfully, it was pointed out to him that he would never be able to drive the car on the street and that seemed to do the trick, but he settled instead on a watch that cost nearly £1m.

Tyson will still continue with his legal fight against King, but even if he wins there is unlikely to be very much left after the lawyers have had their spoils. Hopefully, he will fight again but unless he has a drastic change in the way he runs his life he will be fighting for nothing which, according to him, is exactly what he has left from his career so far.

Perhaps he will actually do what he said he would do during a BBC documentary in 2000 and pack it all in and go to Africa and devote his life as an aid-worker for nothing.

FIGHTING MAN TYSON'S MILESTONES

1966: Born 30 June in Brooklyn.

1985: Starts professional career with first-round knockout of Hector Mercedes.

1987: Becomes undisputed world heavyweight champion beating IBF title-holder Tony Tucker.

1988: Marries actress Robin Givens, but they divorce the following year.

1991: Charged for rape of Desiree Washington

1992: Convicted on rape and other charges, jailed for six years.

1997: Fined £2m and lost Nevada licence after biting Evander Holyfield's ears.

1998: Sentenced to a year in prison for assault.

1999: Fined £125,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for striking the referee, John Coyle.

2002: Lewis stops Tyson in the eighth round in Memphis.

2003: 22 Feb - Beats Clifford Etienne with first-round knock-out.

3 Aug - Files for bankruptcy.

Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreEXCLUSIVE The Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
News
news
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor