Mike Tyson needed just two rounds to destroy Trevor Berbick and become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history.
At just 20 years 150 days old on 22 November, 1986 – 34 years ago – Tyson began a four-year reign of destructive knockouts and intimidation at the top of the sport’s marquee division.
Tyson beat Berbick to win the WBC heavyweight titleAFP – Getty
Now 54, the former champion is aiming to recapture former glories by facing Roy Jones Jr in an eight round exhibition in Los Angeles.
He claims to be as lean and light as that younger version of himself when he breathed life into the heavyweight division.
Entering the Berbick fight, Tyson was 27-0 (25 ended by knockout) and was quickly becoming the type of phenomenon not seen in the heavyweight ranks since Muhammad Ali finally hung up his gloves.
Then along came this muscular powerhouse with a 20-inch neck, plucked from a correctional school via the streets of Brooklyn, New York by legendary trainer Cus D’Amato.
Berbick and anyone seemingly unaware of ‘Iron Mike’s power would soon be educated.
A year earlier in November 1985, D’Amato passed away and fears that Tyson, without his confidant and father figure, would struggle to cope with the pressure his success would bring, were proven true in the years that followed.
Tyson had dominated every heavyweight he had faced
Berbick came into the fight as WBC champion, he had beaten Pinklon Thomas in a tournament designed to unify the three major heavyweight titles, but despite being the man in possession of the gold, he was a 7/1 underdog against Tyson.
Being the champion, Berbick had the right to decide the colour of trunks, he opted for black. Hoping to play mind games with the young challenger, who had made that menacing look his trademark, along with the ankle high boots and no socks, it backfired.
Despite being prohibited, Tyson remained in black and was fined $5,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He was more than happy to pay it from his £1.5million purse.
He walked into the ballroom of the Las Vegas Hilton hotel first, his head poked through a crudely ripped towel – he was focused.
Berbick was next, he looked pensive, his hood pulled up, commentary said he looked like ‘the Wicked Witch of the West’.
As the first round begun, both men took to the centre of the ring, Berbick set about trying to flex his power, while Tyson’s bob-and-weave allowed him to back the champion up.
The champion landed a couple of jabs and even a illegal blow to the back of the head, none fazed Tyson who dominated thereafter.
Tyson remains the youngest heavyweight champion of all timeGetty
In the second, Tyson rocked Berbick with a huge over hand right and during the clinch, he landed a thudding right to the body and after missing an uppercut, connected with a left hook to the temple.
This sent Berbick to the canvas, relieved of his senses, he somehow staggered to his feet, but fell into the ropes. Referee Mills Lane had seen enough and waved it off, Tyson nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders and his corner leapt into celebrate.
“I came here very confident and I knew I wasn’t leaving this ring alive without the championship of the world,” Tyson said. “I was throwing deadly and accurate punches.
“I’ll fight anybody. I’m the best fighter in the world. No man can beat me.”
For the next four years, that comment rang true. Tyson unified the division until he was beaten in February 1990, in one of boxing’s biggest ever shocks by Buster Douglas.