Mike Tyson

updated 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

We thought the champ was invincible. But we were wrong, of course. We were thinking about his chin, not his heart, which he surrendered to Robin Givens before the first thaw. As the marriage, troubled from the start, laid bare the strange, even pitiable vulnerability of an iron-man warrior to the subtle perils of love, it came to seem a Samson and Delilah remake for the '80s.

Theirs was a mismatch from the beginning. She was a gorgeous TV star with a taste for finer things. He was a 22-year-old man-child who had been so poor that he had worn cardboard shoes to school, so violent that he had been arrested 38 times. If any kid was ever saved by boxing, it was Mike Tyson. But before long he wasn't boxing at all. He was in thrall to his bride, torn between her and others who claimed to have his best interests at heart. There were reports of violence and erratic behavior. Psychiatrists were called in, then ushered out. Michael was a manic-depressive. Or was he? Robin loved Michael. Or did she? They are separated now, and despite a well-publicized date or two, divorce is on the way. He says he may never fight again.

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