This can’t be! Street Fighter II effectively put the franchise on the map back in 1991 as one of the greatest 2D fighting games ever. Fast forward to 2019, and Mike Tyson just NOW found out that his likeness was used for the boxing character Balrog.
On one of ESPN’s Esports segments, Tyson was asked if he ever knew about the character. “No, I have no idea”, he replied. This baffles me as even if you don’t play video games, you can’t tell me that NO ONE ever told Mike Tyson about this character in over 20 years. Even crazier about the boxer story in SF II, Balrog was originally called “M. Bison” short for Mike. Capcom changed the character name to Balrog and swapped it with the final boss to avoid any potential legal action against them. Vega, the cage fighter was originally called Balrog, and he got his name swapped from the final boss. With Mike Tyson just now finding out about this, Capcom technically could’ve gotten away with Balrog being called M. Bison with Mike or no one from his camp ever finding out (or telling him at least).
— Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson (@hotboxinpodcast) April 5, 2019
Also back in April on Mike’s podcast Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson, they also mentioned the character to which he replied “jackasses”. Just imagine if Capcom actually talked to Mike Tyson with Street Fighter II came out and got his likeness approved for the boxer. I guess we will never know, but even if Mike wanted to take Capcom to court after finding out over 20 years later, he can’t because they changed the name a long time ago.