In 1985, an 18-year-old Mike Tyson burst onto the heavyweight scene, capturing the attention of the boxing world with his unique style and power.
Now, there is a man emulating the astonishingly fast start to ‘Iron Mike’s’ life as a professional, and his name is Jesus ‘Tito’ Escalera.
Tyson debuted against Hector Mercedes in March of 1985 and fought at least once in every month during his first year as a professional, racking up an obscene eighteen wins within 365 days of his debut, each of which came by knockout.
Meanwhile, Escalera’s story is a little different. The Puerto Rican is the President of T&K Boxing Promotions, hosting fight nights and hall of fame inductions in Florida and Colombia, but decided he should try his hand in the ring himself last year.
At 42-years-old, he knocked out fellow debutant, Victor Benitez, on October 14.
Since then, ‘Tito’ has got a taste for the ring, fighting in every month other than May and knocking out all seventeen of his opponents to date. At the weekend, Escalara scored another first-round stoppage, this time defeating Marcelo Leandro Da Silva (23-5) to move to 17-0 and edge one step closer to breaking Tyson’s record, as reported on social media.
However, depending on Tyson’s 18th fight, against Jesse Ferguson, who was disqualified for excessive holding but still awarded as a TKO defeat, it is still up-in-the-air as to whether Escalera has equalled the record or not.
Nevertheless, Escalera now has fifty-eight days to break Tyson’s record, with two more knockout victories putting an end to any disputes.
Of course, the opposition has been far from equal to that of ‘Kid Dynamite’ – and it’s unlikely the man from Puerto Rico achieves anything near what the American did in the sport.