He was the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in history when at the age of 19 he beat Trevor Berbick. At one point he was considered unbeatable, but in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history he lost to a 42 to 1 underdog. Mike Tyson was knocked out by James “Buster” Douglas.

He’s been one of the most volatile boxers in the history of the sport. He married Robin Givens and was divorced after accusations of domestic violence. He broke his hand in a street fight. He was involved in a car crash that police considered a suicide attempt.

He was convicted of rape in Indiana and served three years and a month in a federal penitentiary.

He declared bankruptcy in part because he was spending $400,000 a year on a flock of pet pigeons. He was arrested for cocaine possession. And he agreed to join the brothel run by Heidi Fleiss as a prostitute.

But one of the strangest episodes in the life of Mike Tyson was his championship rematch with Evander Holyfield in 1997. Holyfield had beaten Tyson the year before with an 11th round TKO.

With the fans turning on Tyson and cheering for Holyfield – Tyson lost it. He spit out his mouthpiece and bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear and spit it onto the mat.

The fight was allowed to continue after a brief stoppage, but then Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear and he was disqualified. His 30-million dollar purse was withheld until the Nevada Boxing Commission reviewed the fight.

It happened on this date in 1997.