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Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson (1993)

Filmmaker Barbara Kopple profiles the life and career of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and the surrounding events that led to his 1992 6 year prison conviction.


Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (archive footage)
Kevin Rooney ...
Himself (archive footage)
Desiree Washington ...
Herself (archive footage)
Curtis Ratliff ...
Himself - Friend
Tracy Trey Travis ...
Himself - Friend
Ernestine Coleman ...
Herself - Tyson's Case Worker
Bubby Stewart ...
Himself - Tryon Youth Supervisor
Cus D'Amato ...
Himself (archive footage)
Teddy Atlas ...
Jack Newfield ...
Al Braverman ...
Himself - Promoter
Jerry Izenberg ...
José Torres ...
Himself (archive footage)
Floyd Patterson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Camille Ewald ...


The rise and fall of the boxer - from his ghetto roots to his 1991 rape trial. The film interweaves ring footage and interviews with Tyson, sportswriters, promoters, acquaintances and trainer Cus D'Amato. Written by Freddie Burrow

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Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El campeón caído: la historia desconocida  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Fallen Champ
8 September 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mike Tyson was convicted of the rape of Desiree Washington in February 1992; this hour and a half documentary was released exactly a year later, which means it was probably in production well before the trial.

It covers a fair amount of ground but concentrates on his personal life. As might be expected, there are villains, and would you believe the totally innocent party is Tyson himself? Yes you would, because if you are of a certain vintage, you'll have heard it all before.

This was the man who after an admittedly rough start in life had fame and fortune thrust upon him. His trophy wife Robin Givens is portrayed as a gold digger; Don King responsible for his downfall; and Desiree Washington...she does not appear here, at least not for the documentary makers, but her father does.

Even today this woman is traduced by not only boxing fans but by people who have no great love for boxing, including women. Fortunately there are dissenters, although sadly not Alan Dershowitz, who herein recites his own rules for sports groupies, except she was never one of those, she was, as the prosecutor in Tyson's trial said, analogous to the man who walked down a dark alley wearing a Rolex watch and was mugged for his pains. In short, Desiree Washington showed poor judgment, she may even have been stupid, but that does not mitigate her rape.

There is a lot more too including Teddy Atlas who is said famously to have put a gun to the young Tyson's head; Atlas does not make that claim here personally, but it is well known and is probably true. Tyson's former girlfriends show surprising tolerance of him.

There has been a lot of water under a lot of bridges in the intervening 21 years, but Tyson has long since reverted to type, even though age has mellowed him.

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