Boxing

How Mike Tyson Lost (and Found) His Briefcase Filled With $1 Million While on a Las Vegas Bender

Mike Tyson’s penchant for losing money is almost as synonymous with his career as knockout victories and loud outbursts. His post-fighting career was marred by stories of extravagant spending and a party-boy lifestyle. However, there may not be a better example of this than his account of a Las Vegas bender and a lost briefcase containing $1 million.

How much did Mike Tyson earn during his boxing career?

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Tyson didn’t take long to become a boxing star in the ’80s, reports Give Me Sports. As a teen, Tyson took the boxing skills he learned at a detention facility and turned them into a career. He debuted in 1985 and was the world’s heavyweight champion just one year later. By 1988, he earned $5 million for a fight against Larry Holmes and $10 million to fight with Tony Tubbs. 

With every fight padding his pocketbook, Tyson’s early career peaked with a 1988 victory over Michael Spinks banked him $20 million for just 90 seconds worth of work. With Tyson earning millions for minimal work, his 1992 rape sentence put his career on hold. However, after returning to the ring in 1995 after serving time in prison, 

His next four fights, including the notorious series with Evander Holyfield, netted the boxing legend $30 million apiece. Despite all of the pitfalls, he was still one of the highest-earning athletes in the world. Despite over $685 million in career earnings ($400 million of it in the ring), Tyson was bankrupt soon after his retirement in 2005, details The Buffalo News. His spending habits became as infamous as his conduct out of the ring. 

How Tyson lost the money

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Lots has been made about the ways that Tyson got himself into the nightmarish world of bankruptcy. From a $100,000-a-month spending habit on jewelry alone to outlandish purchases of tigers, mansions, cars, and other luxuries. Around the same time as his retirement, it got so bad that Tyson wanted to step away for good. 

“My whole life has been a waste — I’ve been a failure,” Tyson said in a 2005 interview (per Give Me Sport). “I just want to escape. I’m really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country. I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down.”

However, one story that best exemplified his reckless monetary habits was a trip to Vegas that ended with $1 million in misplaced funds. Partying in the same city that brought him much of his financial glory, reports the Daily Mail, Tyson spoke about one specific night when he went to Vegas with a suitcase filled with a million dollars. 

After a week of wondering where the money went, one of his workers found the money lying around at one of the many places where the crew met up that fateful night. 

When is Tyson’s comeback fight?

For several years, Mike Tyson has been on tour, not only rehabilitating his shattered image but making up for some of the losses he experienced with past reckless behavior. Now, he’s looking to enter the ring for the first time since his catastrophic fall from grace against fellow aging superstar Roy Jones Jr. With a combined 104 years of age between the two retired legends. It’s sure to be a fascinating fight for fans and casual observers alike. 

The fight will occur on November 28 and is produced by up-and-coming social media platform Triller. The fight will net both boxers around $10 million. The undercard includes social media stars, retired NBA players, and other up-and-comers in the boxing world. It’s a strange fight for a strange career by a strange man. Where it goes from here, however, is anybody’s guess.