Mike Tyson’s Rise, Fall and Return Documented in Upcoming ABC News Series — Watch the First Trailer
"Mike Tyson was called 'the Baddest Man on the Planet' because he was the baddest man on the planet," Rosie Perez says in the trailer for Mike Tyson: The Knockout
A new documentary series from ABC News will explore what propelled boxer Mike Tyson to fame — and everything that’s happened since.
“Mike is a complicated individual,” a voiceover says in the exclusive first trailer for Mike Tyson: The Knockout.
In the series, Tyson and his contemporaries recount “the climb, the crash and the comeback” of his boxing career, starting with his childhood in Brooklyn, New York.
Tyson, now 54, was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. His first win at 20 made him the youngest player to hold the title.
“Mike Tyson was called the baddest man on the planet because he was the baddest man on the planet,” actress Rosie Perez — who has often been dubbed the “First Lady of Boxing” — says in the trailer.
The four-hour series will also look at Tyson’s personal life, which has been riddled with controversy including accusations from his first wife Robin Givens that he was physically abusive.
CREDIT: THE KNOCKOUT/ABC
Tyson admitted to Oprah Winfrey on her show in 2009, “I have socked her before, and she socked me before, as well. It was just that kind of relationship.”
Other points of legal trouble for Tyson included a 1992 rape conviction for which he served three years in prison, biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a 1997 re-match, a prison stint in 1999 for assaulting two motorists, and again — briefly — in 2007 for possession of cocaine and driving under the influence, and more.
“In addition to being an inspiring story of the perseverance and hard-won growth of one extraordinary person, Mike Tyson’s life and career are also relevant to the important collective self-reflection finally occurring in America,” said Mike Tyson: The Knockout executive producer Geoffrey Fletcher.
The two-part primetime event also includes ABC News archival footage, and previously unaired interviews with Tyson, himself.
At one point in the trailer, Tyson is asked by interviewer Byron Pitts what he’d say to his 20-year-old self if he could. Replies Tyson, “It’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna hurt bad. It’s gonna really hurt.”
Mike Tyson | CREDIT: ANDRZEJ LANGE/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK
Tyson will also discuss the state of his career now. Last winter, the boxer faced former heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match at Staples Center in Los Angeles — Tyson’s first fight in 15 years. He left the door open for another match after his and Jones Jr.’s ended in a draw.
He told PEOPLE ahead of the match that in addition to spending time in the gym, he’s worked on his overall mental wellness in recent years.
“I work on trying to be grateful, I really work hard at that. That’s my goal in life,” Tyson said at the time. “It’s almost like reaching my favorite me. Every few years, I get better with the goal of being the best me I can be.”
Mike Tyson: The Knockout premieres on May 25, at 8 p.m. EST, with the second installment airing at the same time on June 1 on ABC. It can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.