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Boxing

Mike Tyson and nine other boxers who went to prison

Mike Tyson
  • Mike Tyson is undoubtedly one of the greatest boxers of all time. However, he couldn’t maintain his excellent reputation outside the ring. 
  • Tyson was sentenced to six years in jail for raping an 18-year-old lady. However, he was paroled in 1995 after serving three years. 
  • Other top boxers have also served time behind bars for crimes ranging from sexual assault to murder. 

Mike Tyson is one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. The American former professional boxer was the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles. 

The story of Iron Mike tells how life inside and outside the ring intertwines. He is among well-known boxers who have served prison sentences.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson. Photo/ Fox Sports.

Several boxers have gone to jail for robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault and murder, among other reasons. Some boxers bounced back and continued with their professional careers after going to prison. However, some tragically lost their lives in jail. 

This article will look at the top ten well-known boxers who went to jail and the reasons for their sentences. 

1. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson made a name for himself in the ring during his boxing days. However, Iron Mike couldn’t maintain his reputation in the ring outside. 

Tyson was sentenced to prison in 1992 after raping an 18-year-old beauty queen in Indianapolis. The judge convicted him to six years in jail for his crime. However, he was paroled in 1995 after serving three years in prison. 

Mike Tyson, The Baddest Man on Earth, engaged in several comeback fights after being set free. 

2. Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins had a tough upbringing, leading him to be a troublesome teenager. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for nine felonies, including robbery with violence. 

However, he was released after five years and vowed never to return to prison. The American star decided to focus on boxing, where he built a name for himself. Bernard is one of the most successful boxers of the last 30 years.

Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins. Photo/ Popular Networth.

3. Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is the first black heavyweight champion in history. Despite his excellent reputation in the ring, Jackson was the most notorious African-American on earth during his days. 

Jackson fled his country and fought abroad after being sentenced to one year in prison for violating the Mann Act. However, after seven years, he returned in 1920 and served his one-year sentence. Jackson died on June 10, 1946, at the age of 68. 

4. Carlos Monzon 

Carlos was one of his generation’s best boxers, carrying murderous powers in both hands. He had a pro boxing record of 87-3-9, 59 KOs. 

Monzon couldn’t resist the urge to be violent outside the ring. He ran out of control several times and beat up paparazzi, girlfriends and even his wife. 

The legendary boxer badly beat up his wife in 1988 and threw her from the balcony. He served eleven years behind bars for homicide.

Carlos Monzon

Carlos Monzon. Photo/ World Boxing Association.

5. Pernell Whitaker

Pernell is among boxers who have struggled with substance abuse in life. Whitaker shocked many in 2001 when he carried a packet of cocaine into a Virginia Beach courthouse.

He was attending a court hearing in the courthouse for a near overdose on cocaine earlier that year. Pernell served a jail term after pleading guilty to the charges. 

6. Diego Corrales

Diego Corrales was a dangerous man in and outside the ring. He was involved in several domestic violence cases and motorcycle accidents. 

In 2001, Corrales received a 14 months sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting his pregnant wife. 

7. Edwin Valero

Edwin won all his 27 fights by knockouts. His violent nature outside the ring led to the death of his wife and himself. 

Valero stabbed his wife to death in a hotel room in April 2010. He hanged himself in his jail cell the following day.

Edwin Valero

Edwin Valero. Photo/ Havana Times en Espanyol.

8. Dwight Muhammad Qawi

Many know Dwight as one of the most dangerous boxers during the 1980s. However, they do not know how he began boxing. 

Dwight Qawi learned how to throw punches while at Rahway State Prison, where he was serving five years. He found himself behind bars after being found guilty of armed robbery. 

9. Sonny Liston

Sonny Liston was the first owner of the name “Baddest Man on the Planet”. He won major titles during his stellar career. 

Sonny was a notorious boxer who was arrested 19 times throughout his life. He was convicted in 1950 on two accounts of armed robbery. 

10. Charles McCoy

Charles McCoy is among the few boxers with amazing punching power. He is the inspiration for the phrase “the real McCoy” and one of the pioneers of “The Sweet Science”. 

Charles shot and murdered a woman she had been living with when she opted to reunite with her husband. He shot three other people the following day. McCoy served eight years in prison for his crimes. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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