Roughly 12 months after returning to the streets, “Iron” Mike Tyson battered Brit Frank Bruno in three rounds to regain the WBC heavyweight belt at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas 17 years ago today on March 16, 1996.
Tyson (50-6-0-2, 44 KOs), who remains at 20 the youngest man to ever win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, was convicted in an Indianapolis courthouse of raping Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington in February 1992.
As punishment, “Iron Mike,” a deserved June 2011 International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum inductee who was named “the hardest hitter in heavyweight history” by ESPN.com in December 2007, was sentenced to six years in prison at the Indiana Youth Center.
“The Baddest Man on the Planet,” who converted to Islam while incarcerated, was paroled in March 1995.
Unfortunately for the badass Brooklynite, Tyson’s skills eroded behind bars and he was never again the same prizefighter.
Regardless, in the third contest of his comeback to the squared circle, a 29-year-old Tyson looked sharp and almost immediately bloodied the 6-foot-3, 247 pound Bruno’s left eye.
A 34-year-old Bruno (40-5, 38 KOs), who once compiled 21 consecutive knockouts, never recovered and the 5-foot-10, 218 pound Tyson brutalized the bloke until the referee mercifully halted the bloodbath.
Bruno, who in a losing effort hurt and wobbled Tyson in their initial February 1989 bout, quickly decided to retire from throwing fists professionally.
Although deteriorated by the verdict read in the “Crossroads of America,” Mike Tyson put on a spectacular show of brutality against Frank Bruno nearly two decades past this weekend.