Best Sports Documentary of the Year is about mastering Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out video game

The feature-length documentary, titled “The History of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out World Records,” captures the thrilling 15-year race to set and break records in this classic video game.

Renowned YouTuber Summoning Salt, known for in-depth explorations of video game speedrunning history, narrates the two-hour and fifteen-minute documentary. Starting from the uncontested 17-minute world record set in 2008, the film follows the intense competition among players striving to achieve the fastest completion times, highlighting the dedication and resilience required for such feats.

Tyson’s success in the ring caught the attention of Nintendo, leading to the release of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! game, which sold over a million copies.

“Iron” Mike Tyson plays Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! in a fantastic promotional photo.
Punch-Out!!, originally titled Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, is a 1987 boxing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Part of the Punch-Out!! series, it is an adaptation of the arcade video games Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!!

While the documentary provides technical insights into the game mechanics, it excels in portraying the human stories within the gaming community. Summoning Salt weaves narratives of triumph and heartbreak, offering viewers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by dedicated players seeking to etch their names in gaming history.

Despite “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” being a video game rather than a physical sport, the documentary captures the essence of sports narratives. The game’s variability in each run, unexpected challenges from opponents, and the mental battles involved contribute to a gripping and compelling storyline.

The documentary concludes with the celebration of an impressive world record, leaving the door open for future challengers to push the limits even further. “The History of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out World Records” stands as a left-field ode to the resilience of the human spirit in the world of competitive video gaming.