Mike Tyson rose to rapid prominence and became heavyweight champion of the world; his opponents quite literally did not know what hit them. He lost the title, went to prison for rape for three years, and later won the title back. But not for long. as Wikipedia puts it: “Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting part of Holyfield’s ear off.”
It can be said that Mike Tyson was his own worst enemy, and that a string of dramatic victories led him to take ever more dangerous risks.
By 2003 Mike Tyson was bankrupt. Later he ended up doing product endorsements. He has had second, third, and now fourth “acts.”
Mike Tyson was born in Brooklyn, he has been married three times, and in 2015 he announced that he is supporting Donald Trump for president. There is even a direct link between the histories of the two men:
Tyson had fought some of his biggest bouts at Trump hotel-casinos, and Trump even bid a record $11 million site fee for Tyson’s 1988 showdown with Michael Spinks, which at the time was the richest fight in boxing history. When Tyson was later convicted of the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington and sentenced to six years in prison, Trump proposed that Tyson should be allowed to keep fighting, with the proceeds from his bouts going to rape victims (and Trump, naturally). The arrangement would have greatly benefitted Trump’s casinos at a time when he was suffering financial woes, but officials deemed it inappropriate.
There is a 0.26 chance that Donald Trump is the Mike Tyson of politics, and he will voluntarily self-destruct in a way which will astonish us. What does Tyson say about Trump?:
“We’re the same guy,” he continues. “A thrust for power, a drive for power. Whatever field we’re in, we need power in that field. That’s just who we are.”
Then, Tyson starts to lose me a bit. “Balls of energy. We’re not even who we think we are. We’re fire. We’re made of this crap—water, motion, dirt, diamonds, emeralds. We’re made out of that stuff, can you believe it?”
Trump, on his side, claims he once bet $1 million against Tyson and for Evander Holyfield, receiving a lucrative payout.
But whose ear will Trump bite off, so to speak? And which products will he end up endorsing?
I view the KKK fracas as raising the probability of Trump as Tyson, since I do not think it had potential upside for him.
Here are related remarks from Megan McArdle. For a discussion of these points, and of Tyson, I thank Dan Klein.