“Cannibal” doesn’t feel as polished as the other installments and is quite rough around the edges. Another fast forward through one of Tyson’s most memorable time periods, which for all its insanity somehow feels run of the mill in its delivery.
This recap of the Hulu series Mike season 1, episode 7 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
No matter what Mike Tyson did in his past or what he does in his future, he will always be remembered for his infamous 1997 fight against Evander Holyfield, where he bit off part of his opponent’s ear. This peculiar and violent altercation is dramatized in episode seven of Hulu’s Mike Tyson miniseries, aptly titled “Cannibal”. The penultimate instalment explores Tyson’s own reflection on the scandal, whilst also addressing his relationship with Monica Turner, his second wife.
Mike season 1, episode 7 recap
After an eventful stint in prison, Tyson is desperate to relaunch his boxing career and win back his title. He makes a nervous statement to the press, where he announces that he’ll fight once again. Of course, Tyson isn’t mentally or physically prepared to return to the ring just yet, but Don King orchestrates a string of easy fights to welcome him back into the limelight anyway. It is around this time that Tyson realizes what a fool he has been and he tries to cut ties with his monstrous boxing promoter. Yet Don King manages to persuade Tyson to stay with empty promises and two suitcases full of cash.
With his hype man, Steve ‘Crocodile’ Finch by his side, Tyson wins his opening string of comeback fights with an assured ease. However, all these victories can’t change how Tyson feels inside. He hates himself and therefore turns to the drugs and the silly spending sprees once again. This is where he acquires a pet tiger and then loses his first major fight in years. Angry at his defeat to Holyfield, Tyson amps up his cocaine usage and is seen scaring Monica with violent, paranoid nightmares. She asks him to stop with all the drugs and the partying lifestyle. For once, Tyson decides to listen to some salient advice.
The odd couple marry and Tyson starts to get clean, yet his inner demon is awakened once more by, yes you guessed it, Don King. The promoter persuades Tyson to a rematch with Holyfield, but Tyson is out of shape and ill-prepared for the fight. Can you see a pattern emerging here? The second fight with Holyfield is much hyped and hotly anticipated around the globe. Tyson needs to win more than anything, yet Holyfield is up to his old tricks from the off and continually head-butts his opponent. Tyson retaliates, fighting dirty himself and he rips off huge chunks of Holyfield’s ear.
Tyson is instantly disqualified and subsequently loses the fight. Monica tries to talk with her husband about the most unusual of boxing matches that has just transpired and he admits that he is a mess. Monica comforts Tyson, saying that she is madly in love with him, but Tyson hates himself and doesn’t believe that he deserves her love. This self-hatred is then crystallized with Tyson gaining his infamous face tattoo in 2003. Our narrator ponders the reasoning behind this compulsive decision, confessing that he was sick of his own appearance.