A Short list of Mike Tyson Parodies


Let's talk about Iron Mike and his pop culture parodies!


Mike Tyson Pop Culture Parodies

Michael Gerard Tyson is a living legend. The man has made more news than CBS and continues to shine in pop culture. Mike Tyson’s upcoming bout with Jake Paul in July 2024 has again thrust the modern-day barbarian into the spotlight. And with it, speculation on whether the 57-year-old weapon of mass punchstruction can still wield the hammer like it used to.

This fight only reminded me how popular the Paul brothers are and made me think about everything Tyson has done outside of boxing to remain relevant. He’s a movie star, a podcaster, a businessman, and a cultural icon. I view Tyson through the lens of all the parody figures he’s inspired over the past 30-40 years. I was never a huge boxing guy, but I would tune in for a Mike Tyson throwdown. In my day-to-day life, I was reminded that he exists through his pop culture clones. Let’s have some fun and look at some of the most popular Mike Tyson clones.

“Mike Tyson” – Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out Via Men's Health
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out Via Men’s Health

Tyson is the final boss in real life and video games. Iron Mike terrorized boxers in the ring and sleep-deprived gamers outside of it. Defeating Tyson in Punch-Out was a literal badge of honor in the 90s. Hell, it’s still impressive today. Mike Tyson, the digital bruiser, left countless gamers weeping as his destructive power ended many a late-night gaming marathon. Mike was later replaced with a Rocky Marciano stand-in named Mr. Dream, but everyone knows the true final boss in all the video games.

Drederick Tatum – The Simpsons

For one of the greatest clones of the big man, look no further than The Simpsons. Drederick Tatum is a direct ripoff parody of Iron Mike, right down to his dubious manager, Lucious Sweet, a spot-on parody of Don King. There isn’t much else to say; the cartoon’s writers nailed this interpretation of Tyson, incorporating many brand elements, like his trademark lisp, history of violence, and unflinching, uncompromising boxing prowess. There also seems to be a sweet new Drederick Tatum figure by Super 7, which inspired this entire list.

Balrog – Street Fighter Series

Mike Tyson Clones - Balrog from Street Fighter
Mike Tyson Clones – Balrog from Street Fighter

Balrog is one of the more popular Mike Tyson proxies on the market. Street Fighter is a global gaming powerhouse and a household name regardless of your gaming acumen. It’s only right they have their own version of Iron Mike Tyson on their roster. Balrog was originally named Mike Bison in Japan. When Street Fighter 2 was localized, the name was swapped for fear of a lawsuit from the real boxers camp. It turns out Major Bison was originally “Mike Bison.” Get it?

Balrog is the second version of Tyson to appear in the Street Fighter series (see below).

Mike – Original Street Fighter game

The “Mike” in the original Street Fighter arcade game is inspired completely by our heavyweight champ. This Mike, however, is an NPC (Non-Playable character) in the Street Fighter game. He makes a brief appearance in the Balrog ending in Street Fighter 5. I have never played that original arcade game, so this entry is complete news to me. A bit of trivia: people believed the 2 fighters in the intro video of Street Fighter 2 were Mike and Joe from the arcade game. That was later debunked, but I chose to believe it. Live your joy.

Any more Mike Tyson clones?

Do you know of any more Tyson parodies? If so, let me know, and let’s grow this list.

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