Boxing legend 'Iron' Mike Tyson is without a doubt one of the most iconic figures in sports history.
Tyson began his career in 1985 and compiled an impressive 37 straight victories on his way to becoming the WBC, WBA, and IBF heavyweight world champion.
Inside the ring, Mike Tyson was known for his uncanny speed and explosive knockout power, and became one of the most feared competitors in boxing's heavyweight division during the late 80's and early 90's.
As great as his accomplishments are in the boxing ring, Tyson's legacy will always include the many controversies that he faced in his career, including his imprisonment and the infamous ear-biting incident against Evander Holyfield.
One other part of Mike Tyson's personal that will likely live on in popular culture forever is his iconic face tattoo.
Mike Tyson is has a lot of tattoos all over his body, but the one on his face is by far the most recognizable:
The story behind Mike Tyson's face tattoo
In 2003, just before his fight against Clifford Etienne, Mike Tyson got a tattoo on his face. According to the heavyweight boxer himself, he initially wanted hearts, but the tattoo artist would not do it:
"I just thought it was a cool tattoo. I was going to get a bunch of hearts and stuff, and that would have been really stupid. I was going to be the man of hearts, baby. Victor Perez, the tattoo artist said ‘I ain’t doing that. I can’t do that’" Tyson said in an interview with Graham Bensinger.
Tyson then ended up with a tribal pattern, which was a popular tattoo design back then:
“I waited around and two days later [Victor Perez] called and said ‘Mike, I’ve got some tribal stuff’. I said ‘woah, put another one over there’. I was like ‘this is cool, I like this’. So he did it."
Did Mike Tyson have his face tattoo removed?
In 2013, Mike Tyson tweeted that he was in the process of getting his facial ink removed:
"At the doctors office this morning. Getting this tattoo removed from my face. This is going to be painful."
The tweet ended up being an April Fool's joke, and the boxing legend continues to wear the tattoo on his face proudly up to this day.
In 2016 interview with Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, Tyson shared that he has no regrets in getting the face tattoo:
"No. A lot of stuff happened out of this tattoo, a lot of good stuff. Other young athletes come to me and said, It’s because of you they call it the Mike Tyson."
Last November 29th, Mike Tyson returned to the boxing ring for the first time since 2005 when he faced fellow legend Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout.
The bout went to a draw, but people raved about how the 54-year old Tyson looked inside the ring.Published 23 Dec 2020, 18:20 IST