Mike Tyson is controversial figure away from the ring but few can deny that, as a boxer and in his prime, he ranked among the very best in his sport.
Under the stewardship of manager, trainer and eventual legal guardian Cus D’Amato, Tyson emerged from a difficult upbringing to become one of the most exciting young talents in the world of boxing.
For many, the sudden death of D’Amato in 1985, who had had such a huge impact and guide in Tyson’s life, was the catalyst for much of the difficulties that would come in the years that followed.
But even in his early 20s, Tyson was a force to behold, as this footage from the Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas demonstrates.
In the clip, Tyson can be seen delivering a flurry of quick, powerful and accurate punches to a punch bag in a terrifying signal of intent to any rivals watching on.
The sheer strength and speed of punches on a heavy bag is part of what makes the clip so astonishing and will surely reignite those long-running debates over whether Tyson, in his prime, could have gone up against Muhammad Ali.
Ultimately, fans will never truly know. Following the death of D’Amato, Tyson spent the next few years rising up the ranks before becoming the undisputed champion of the world in 1987.
The fame and attention soon went to Tyson’s head though. By 1988 he had fired longtime trainer Kevin Rooney and aligned himself with Don King while his marriage to Robin Givens was heading for divorce.
By 1990 his status as the greatest there ever was was tarnished by a shock defeat to rank outsider Buster Douglas in the 10th round, having failed to properly prepare for the fight.
Then in 1991, Tyson was arrested and eventually convicted for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington. He spent three years in prison and despite rising to the top of boxing again amid more controversy, the Tyson of old would never return.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.