Mike Tyson: The Truth Behind the Knockouts

Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champion, is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. Unfortunately, he is just as famous for his exploits outside of the ring as he is for his many knockouts.

The new docuseries Mike Tyson: The Knockout is currently streaming on ABC and Hulu. Senior Executive Producer for original non-fiction content at ABC News, Roxanna Sherwood, joins us to discuss the film. 

Roxanna shares how she collaborated with the Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher and Grammy-winning composer Terence Blanchard to create a new approach to Mike Tyson’s story.  She explains what it was like for Mike growing up, how he ended up in so many scandals, and why this story is relevant now more than ever.

“We are prone these days to shuffle things under the black and white. The grey has disappeared, but the truth is in the middle, the truth is grey.” – Roxanna Sherwood

Time Stamps:

00:14 – The trailer for Mike Tyson: The Knockout.
05:21 – The new context the documentary gives to Mike’s life.
08:54 – What it was like for Mike growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
11:26 – First clip showing Brownsville in the 1970s and ’80s.
13:40 – The difficulties Mike Tyson had as a boy.
16:48 – Second clip revealing the fortune Mike gained in a short period of time.
19:34 – The misguided trust Mike had in Robin Givens.
25:22 – Third clip looking at how Mike’s lavish lifestyle turned self-destructive.
28:29 – Which knockout the title refers to.
30:43 – The rape committed by Mike Tyson and the subsequent trial.
37:36 – The importance of understanding unconscious bias and racism.
44:43 – Why this documentary is so relevant at the moment.
47:14 – How Geoffrey Fletcher and Terence Blanchard became involved with the film.
50:53 – The type of content ABC News will be making in the future.
53:30 – How to be a successful documentary filmmaker.
55:18 – What’s next for Roxanna.


Mike Tyson: The Knockout (2021)
Precious (2009)
Careers in Film
Innersound Audio
Alamo Pictures

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Episode 63