17. Mike Tyson: The Youngest Boxing Champ

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Boxing is big in America. The history of the sport precedes the establishment of the United States by thousands of years. The ancient Greeks are said to have included a form of boxing as far back as 600 BC. The modern sport of boxing can be traced to the 16th Century when it became a popular sport in Great Britain. Today, the sport still uses a variation of the Marquess of Queensberry rules that were established in 1867. Boxing is the purest form of competition. It pits one man, or woman, against another in an enclosed ring with only the person's fists as weapons. Early matches in the United States featured bare-knuckle fighting, but today boxers use protective gloves.

One of the most successful boxers in America is Mike Tyson. Tyson holds several boxing records. The greatest is possibly when he became the youngest boxer ever to win the heavyweight championship in three different boxing organizations. Tyson was just over 20 years old when he accomplished this feat. He was one of the most feared fighters of his time. Tyson won a total of 50 fights with 44 of those victories coming by knockout.

Twelve of Tyson's knockouts came in the first round, which earned him the nickname of Iron Mike. Eventually, his advancing age and fast living took their toll on Tyson. By the early 90s, his career was virtually over. Even though his boxing career lasted until 2002, Tyson was never the same. He went on to a brief acting career, most notably in the popular 2009 comedy hit The Hangover.

Tyson's post-boxing career had its ups and downs. He appeared on Barbara Walter's talk show with his wife, television actress Robin Givens, where Givens called Tyson a manic-depressive, and that living with him was pure torture. Tyson was arrested in 1991 for raping an 18-year-old girl, and spent several years in jail. He has attempted several comebacks, but has never regained his old glory.

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