Mike Tyson has certainly had his ups and downs, but the 45-year-old who fought his last fight six years ago is more coveted in the collectible world now than he was during his career.
Fans lined up to get autographs from the former world heavyweight boxing champion at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago on Sunday and they paid top dollar. Fans paid $150 apiece for autographs on their flat items, $200 on gloves and $250 for Tyson's signature on a robe. And if you wanted a picture with Tyson, it cost $150. More than 100 people took him up on it.
"Tyson really hadn't been offered before on such a big stage," said Bobby Mintz, vice president of sales and celebrity relations for Tri-Star Productions, which put on the autograph part of the show.
"People just have to have his signature. He's an American icon. Anyone who is over 40 remembers all of his Pay-Per-View fights when he was just annihilating his opponents. And they promoted in a way that makes him even bigger than Ali," Mintz added.
Mintz said that Tyson's appearance in the popular The Hangovermovies has certainly helped his appeal. The two movies have combined to sell more than $540 million in tickets, according to Box Office Mojo, a movie ticket tracking site.
"He's also turned around his life," Mintz said. "People want to be around him and he wants to be around them. He took time with every person and thanked them for coming to see him."
Tyson's popularity is evidenced just by look at the the 817,000 people that follow him on Twitter.
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