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Why did Mike Tyson go to prison?

The 54-year old returns to the ring for an exhibition bout this weekend against Roy Jones Jr, but the former heavyweight champion did do some time years ago.

Why did Mike Tyson go to prison?

On Saturday night, Mike Tyson will return to the ring against Roy Jones Jr for a Thanksgiving weekend exhibition match to be held in California. The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world may now be 54 years of age, but he’s still happy to call himself the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’. And there are a number of reasons to understand why that name fits.

Why did Mike Tyson go to prison in 1992?

Tyson was just 20 when he won the world title in 1986 - making him the youngest ever to hold the belt - and as well as unifying the division he was able to remain undefeated for four years until the massive shock loss to Buster Douglas. That defeat may have sparked widespread controversy but it was nothing compared with what was to follow.

In 1992, Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison with an additional four years of probation. He had been arrested the previous year for the rape of Desiree Washington, an18-year-old Miss Black America contestant.

The boxer denied the accusations throughout the trial but was convicted in February 1992. He ended up serving just shy of three of those years and upon his release he was quick to find his way back into the ring. In August of 1995 he made light work of Peter McNeeley in his comeback fight and that was the first of the bouts to take him back to the top of the sport a year later when he reclaimed the heavyweight title.

As expected given his status, there were a few looking to prove themselves against the fighter while he was locked up. His stay at the Indiana Youth Centre had been generally quiet but he admitted later that there had been a few altercations.

“Just one time,” Tyson said about punching someone during those three years. “Somebody said something and I just went over there and hit him.

“We were locked down for a long time and it was just something that was irritable and I went over there and hit him.”


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