Jonathan Rendall, a winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, delves into the psyche of fallen superstar boxer and ex-world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, bringing vividly to life a history of street-gang violence, juvenile prison, sex scandals, marital strife, courtroom battles, and imprisonment. 'I could have knocked him out but I wanted to do it slowly, so he would remember this night for a long time. When I hit him to the body he was screaming like a woman.' Mike Tyson, after beating Tyrell Biggs, November 1987. Over the course of an epic boxing career, Mike Tyson was transformed from the most celebrated athlete on earth to a primal, malevolent hate-figure. Yet, even after being condemned as a brute, Tyson retained a power -- a power to captivate. His rise from Brooklyn borstal boy to heavyweight champion of the world was electrifying. Within 18 months of his professional boxing debut in 1985, the 20-year-old Tyson had become the youngest heavyweight champion in history. His personal life, however, was a disaster. His marriage to actress Robin Givens garnered newspaper column inches around the world -- and the marriage headed inexorably, and nastily, towards divorce.
And it was only to get worse. Tyson went on trial in Indiana charged with the rape of a 1991 Miss Black America Contest contestant named Desiree Washington. He was found guilty and imprisoned for three years. Tyson did not fight again until 1995. On his release he fought with a lumbering Frank Bruno in one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts the UK has ever seen. There followed the June 1997 rematch with Evander Holyfield, which became one of the most infamous fights in history. Tyson bit a chunk from his opponent's ear and was banned from boxing for one year and fined $3 million. Whilst many fights followed -- and controversy was a constant companion -- it was the beginning of the end. Scream will be the definitive biography of Mike Tyson. Delving into the psyche of a deeply troubled and intriguing figure, it will examine the paradoxes prevalent in boxing's beloved bad boy. Rendall will approach all those who dealt with Tyson. He will also reassess the ability of a boxer who, at just twenty-three, was already considered among the greatest prize fighters of all time.
Jonathan Rendall was born in 1963. His first book, 'This Bloody Mary ...', a boxing memoir, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His next, 'Twelve Grand', was made into the Channel 4 series 'The Gambler'. 'Garden Hopping', his book about adoption, will be published by Canongate in Spring 2006. As a former boxing journalist, Rendall covered many of Tyson's fights and broke the story of his move to Don King. He was also manager of featherweight world champion Colin McMillan. He writes for The Times, Observer and Esquire.