The limited series is here. Many people are interested in discovering how Mike Tyson evolved into a game changer in sports and culture. However, one person who isn''t excited about the show and has been quite vocal about his disapproval of the project is Mike Tyson himself, according to CBS Sports (opens in a new tab).
When it comes to Tyson''s harsh criticism, we wanted to make certain what was fact and what was fiction. As the series opens weekly episodes, well go on a fact-finding mission to determine what was truthful in regard to some of the most memorable moments.
With that said, here''s all we learned about the process.
Was Mike Tyson bullied growing up?
In the series premiere of, viewers notice a young Mike Tyson being repeatedly bullied by other kids in his Brooklyn neighborhood. They demand him for his speech impediment, his weight, and his docile mannerisms, all while physically punching him to the ground. The bullying ended in a terrible way that Tyson would not leave school after only the second grade.
The future boxer continued to be bullied until one day he approached a neighborhood animal who slaughtered his "pet" pigeon. After that incident, he was no longer the easy target for his peers to select on (physically at least).
Tyson''s parents recalled the initial bullying and the feeling of standing up for himself swayed him into a desire to fight others. This newfound attitude also led him down a path of criminality, which he encountered quite often as a kid.
The Fact: Tyson talked with New York Magazine (opens in a new tab) about being bullied as a kid.
"I was going to public school for a day. I was a pudgy kid, very shy, almost effeminate-shy, and I talked with a lisp." Sometimes my mother would be passed out of the evening before and wouldnt walk me to school. It was then that the kids would always hit me and kick me."
Tyson said when he was seven years old that he was unable to take out of school, he snatched Tysons glasses off his face and placed them in a truck''s gas tank until he was able to escape. After that, Tyson decided not to go to school again.
Tyson quit school and began self-described primarily in criminal activity. According to the Bleacher Report, by 13 he had already been apprehended 38 times.
When Mike Tyson was 11 years old, how long did he become boxing?
Tyson (B.J. Minor) stayed at a juvenile detention facility in upstate New York until the end of episode 1. They discussed a bit about him by sparing with a trainer named Mr. Bobby. They were both feeling confident in his ability to take on Mr. Bobby, however Tyson was disgraced. That humbling experience forced Tyson to ask him to be a boxer, which the latter later agreed to do.
After Tyson is 13 years old, Mr. Bobby gets him to do so until he decides to join the team. Cus D''Amato (Harvey Keitel)
Teddy Atlas (Ethan Dubin) of DAmatos discusses Tyson''s first smoker fight at 14 years old (non-sanctioned exhibition match), although Atlas stated that Tyson was 18 years old. So, was Tyson really preparing to become a boxer at 13 and was his first match at 14.?
The fact: According to the Bleacher Report, the real Mr. Bobby, or Bobby Stewart, met a 13-year-old Tyson while he was a resident of Tryon School for Boys (a juvenile facility for criminal offenders). After Tyson cleaned up some of his disgruntled behavior, Stewart began training the then-teenager immediately. Shortly thereafter, Stewart talked to Mike about training with Cus DAmato.
Talk Sport (opens in new tab) quoted Teddy Atlas as saying that Tyson was fighting in his first exhibition match at age 13, not 14. Besides, Atlas pointed out that Tyson "was probably up to 195lbs/200lbs" at the time, and he wondered how he might meet someone from the same heavyweight class and age group of Tyson. Besides, according to Atlas, "Everybody would lie and try to gain an advantage in these areas."
Was Mike Tyson adopted by Cus DAmato and his wife?
The Fiction: After Tysons'' release from the juvenile prison facility and with his biological mothers'' permission, he ends up going to meet with Cus DAmato and his wife Camille (Grace Zabriskie) who, while expressing his initial frustration in trying to include into the family his trainer and wife had built, became a member of the DAmato family. However, a few years later, Tysons'' mother died of cancer and he was officially adopted by the DAmatos.
The Fact: As the series reflects, Tyson shared in an interview on the show that his biological mother agreed to administer legal guardian status to Tyson''s parents, but it wasnt immediately upon his release from the jail center.
When Tyson started training with Cus, he said he was likely 15 or 16 years old. Then, as reported in USA Today (opens in new tab), Tyson''s mother died when he was 16 years old, and he was eventually adopted by the DAmato family once she passed.
In Russia, what happened with Mike Tyson and Robin Givens?
In episode 3 of The Fiction, Mike Tyson and Robin Givens discuss in about 30 minutes a bitter marriage, with Givens (Laura Harrier) and her mother Ruth Roper (Leslie Silva) taking advantage of Tyson''s naive behavior and apparently under pressure. Tyson says that "you dont care about me, but I''m consuming my money."
Tyson speaks out against Tysons in a particular moment, but she defends himself by saying, "This is what Robin and Ruth said, but I was on Lithium, coke, and weed at the time." Tyson explains in a video that in one moment, Tyson calls on Tysons back to face him in an effort to prevent him from following her daughter. He then presses Roper off and attacks him as he attacks her. Tyson refers to Roper and Givens as he attacks him
The series does not go into detail on what happened in Russia, but it is based on the assumption that viewers are aware.
Was there in the United States a conflict between Tyson and Givens? If so, what happened?
According to the news site (opens in a new tab), Tyson traveled to Moscow in 1988 to "get away from the press and the controversy" of his marriage and a then-recent car accident. Coincidentally, Givens appeared to be in the studio filming for the series, so the pair eventually made their time there a mini-getaway.
The New York Times reports that Tyson had experienced mood swings on September 20, 1988, and he allegedly chased Dones, Roper, and press assistant Phyllis Polaner down to the hotel where they were all staying. Aside from, sources claim that Tyson kicked Polaner for a while in a hotel elevator and rode up and down with them.
Givens sat down in an infamous interview with Barbara Walters and briefly made remarks about their Moscow trip, seemingly confirming what she alleges was true. She said: "For instance, in Russia, my mom and I are in the hotel lobby, and I said, "what we do, please?" He accused him of being in a "matter state" at the time of the incident.
Walters then asked, "So you run out of the room and he runs after you?" Givens replied, "Right." At the time, Tyson was sitting beside his wife relatively quiet. Take a look at it.
During that conversation with Walters, Tyson said In a 2008 interview, Givens said he told him facts.
In October of 1988, the New York Times (opens in a new tab) reported that both Dr. Henry McCurtis, the alleged diagnosing physician, and another physician, Dr. Abraham L. Halpern, claimed that Tyson did not suffer from manic depression. According to Dr. Halpern, "There is no sign of a manic depressive condition or psychosis."
With that said, Tyson admitted in a 2018 radio interview that he was diagnosed with bipolar.
Did Don King go to prison for murder?
The Fiction: In an episode entitled "Meal Ticket," many viewers see the increased influence Don King (Russell Hornsby) has on Tysons'' lives. Following Robin Givens'' disastrous interview and Barbara Walters'' disastrous interview, Tyson finds refuge in King, who by then has become his promoter, his father figure, and money handler. However, King claims to be the only person to look out for the boxer, but the promoter does nothing to stop Tyson from his lavish spending and his party lifestyle.
So far, the series has only hints at the whole extent of Kings tyson''s tycoon, but it did provide a glimpse of Kings past pre-Tyson. For example, Kings beat a man to death in Cleveland in 1966, and him was sent to prison for murder.
Is Don King truly in charge of this crime?
Before we reach out to him, let''s talk about his first documented murder in Cleveland in 1954. According to Complex (opens in new tab), King, who was formerly known as "Donald the Kid," shot and killed Hillary Brown with a Russian revolver after he shot and killed Brown in his illegal gambling house. King claimed his actions were self-defense, and the court was sided with him, deeming the killing to be a "justifiable murder."
King met a former employee, Sam Garrett, on April 20, 1966. He brutally pistol-whipped and stomped him to death. According to Complex, Garrett''s last words were "I''ll get you the money Don."
According to ESPN, King was later convicted of second degree murder under circumstances that many consider controversial and illogical, but King was reduced to manslaughter, and he was released from prison after serving only three years and 11 months in the Marion Correctional Facility in Ohio.
Governor James A. Rhodes of Ohio commended King in 1983, after King served his time and was no longer on parole, according to the New York Post. Rev. Jesse Jackson and Coretta Scott King, who is now the executive director of the National Publishers Association, are among those receiving letters of support for King, according to the newspaper (opens in a new tab). The Browns, the Cleveland Browns, and the Cleveland Indians, have also received letters of support from Rhodes.
Why did Mike Tyson bite Evander Holyfields'' ears?
After patiently waiting for almost the whole length of the limited series, viewers finally notice the famous ear bite. In an episode titled, Cannibal, Tyson is in the ring with Evander Holyfield (Johnny Alexander) during their first fight. However, the episode never shows how the fight ends, but instead engages with Tyson in the locker room talking to a member of his team. Tyson realizes that he was left out after Evander Holyfield headbutted him.
Fast forward to their second bout, where Holyfield precedes Tyson again. Tyson responds to the referee''s warning to his opponent, but the referee says nothing. Tyson then delays the fight, before informing Tyson that he was subtracting two points from his score for the incident. It wasn''t long before Tyson was biting Holyfield on the ear for the second time, and the fight was halted for good.
Was Tyson stumbling on Holyfield''s payback for headbutts?
The Fact: After their first fight on ESPN, Tyson complained about consistent use of headbutts during their fight. By the time their second fight rolled around, Tyson had already nailed down what he thought was his opponent''s pattern.
Tyson again urged Holyfield for headbutting during the fight, but this time, he did so during the fight. While mills Lane did bear witness to one of the alleged cheap shots, he was quick to assert that the incident was accidental.
Tyson alleged in a subsequent interview with Vlad TV that Holyfield had repeatedly headbutted some more. However, what is not mentioned in the series is that Tyson was also headbutting Holyfield. When asked directly if Tyson was biting Holyfield in retaliation for the headbutting, Tyson stated:
I just wanted to hurt him more than he hurt me because I was headbutting him too. I guess I wasn''t hurting him enough because he was headbutting me back. So, I just took to biting on his ear I wish I did it.
Here''s how to get started. Check out the Vlad TV interview below.
Hulu is now streaming episodes.