Mike Tyson Essay

3987 words - 16 pages

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson, the youngest ever heavyweight boxing champion of the world
was born in a ghetto in the state of New York. His Father departed
the family home two years after his birth, leaving his Mother to raise
three children with very limited financial means. Subsequently, his
Mother found a new partner who was abusive and violent. She then
turned to alcohol in an attempt to escape from her existence.
Michael, now aged five years, felt neglected and unloved by her but at
this time he was unaware that his Mother was suffering from terminal
cancer. (Gutteridge & Giller, 1996)

Tormented by older children because of his high-pitched voice and
clothes from a school charity group, Tyson learned quickly that he
could retaliate against the bullies if he physically assaulted them.
(Gutteridge & Giller, 1996) Tyson joined street gangs and was arrested
for thirty crimes ranging from theft to assault before the age of
twelve. Sentenced to a Juvenile Delinquents Centre for two years for
mugging a young female, Tyson spent his time in prison learning the
sport of boxing. Upon release, Cus D’Amato, a boxing manager and
promoter, legally adopted Tyson and provided a stable environment and
family atmosphere. “The following five years were the happiest and
most contented Tyson had ever felt”. (Hoffer, 1998, p61)

While Tyson was working towards winning the junior Olympic
championship, D’Amato died leaving Tyson feeling devastated and
alone. Turning professional a year later, Tyson went on to win the
world heavyweight boxing championship aged only twenty years old.
Once again, Tyson’s behaviour became increasingly erratic. He had
frequent violent outbursts and was arrested and fined on many
occasions. He proceeded to collect possessions such as Siberian
Tigers, expensive cars and houses and indulged in a promiscuous
lifestyle. (Calder-Smith, 2004) During the next decade, Tyson was
sentenced to six years for the rape of a model. His wife divorced him
for alleged domestic violence, and he lost his boxing licence for
biting his opponent’s ear during a boxing match. (Gutteridge & Giller,

In order to understand Mike Tyson’s motivations for assaulting and
robbing people and sexually abusing women, to attaining the highest
accolades for boxing then having his licence revoked for grievous
bodily harm, it may be helpful to consider his personality.
Personality has been noted by Allport, (1961, cited in Corey 2001,
p28) as being “the dynamic organisation within the individual of those
psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behaviour and
thought.” However, the structure of someone’s personality varies
greatly according to which theorist one considers. Sigmund Freud
(1856-1934) and Karen Horney (1885-1952) are two such theorists.


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