There was a time that Mike Tyson represented to me the ultimate fighting machine...this was of course before he gained a perverse taste for human flesh while in the boxing ring. I obtained calluses on my right hand thumb thanks to this NES game from 1987. In honor of the next week's release of the Wii updated version of Punch-Out I could think of no better title to reminisce on.
From the fine folks at Wikipedia I dug up this interesting tidbit: "Nintendo of America's founder and former president Minoru Arakawa attended a boxing match featuring Mike Tyson. While watching the boxer fight, Arakawa became so astonished with the athlete's "power and skill", he was inspired to use the athlete's name and likeness in the upcoming port of the Punch-Out!! series to help the game sell well."
I had a pretty long Summer with this game, I never had any difficulty with the boxers until around Soda Popinski and even then you were given the chance with a rematch, but if you lost you went down a rank and if you lost again the game was over. When it came time though to match gloves with Mike Tyson you had one shot and one only. You lost that fight, and you generally did, it was back to that last Password save spot to climb the heavyweight ladder once again.
Tyson was an animal in game, his attacks almost impossible to avoid without a memorization of his pattern, the way his feet were pointing and how his gloves moved, and a whole lot of luck. I remember when I knocked him out I was over at a neighborhood kids house where my Grandmother lives and I believe he was more nervous than I was over the outcome of the fight. But I did prevail and I ran back to my Grandmother's house to report my victory. My Grandmother used to keep a notebook with my record times and the amount of games I defeated, someday I'll try to find it and scan it.