There was never really any in-between for Mike Tyson. As a child, and then again in the middle of his boxing career, Tyson’s found himself incarcerated after a life of crime. Then, there were times when Tyson was on top of the world as the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Tyson recently admitted he had no clue how to handle all that success as a boxer.
Mike Tyson’s life of crime
When Mike Tyson was young, he had more arrests than friends. He spent much of his early days in a detention center. That was a case of good news-bad news for the mane who would later go on to become the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world. It was at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York, where his boxing began.
During a recent appearance on the IMPAULSIVE podcast, Tyson detailed his life as a 12-year-old and then how he got into boxing. “I didn’t want to let my mother down,” he said. “My mother really did a lot. Always going to police stations to get my ass out. She would beat my ass so bad, in front of the police. I’ve been arrested 40 times before I was 12. My mother was so humble and proud and I was arrogant.”
At the Tryon School, Tyson met a man named Bobby Stewart. Stewart was a former boxer and a juvenile detention center counselor. Stewart took Tyson under his wing and showed him how to box. He eventually set Tyson up with legendary trainer Cus D’Amato, who wound up legally adopting Tyson after Tyson’s mother died when he was 16.
Tyson became the most dominant boxer of his time
Maybe Mike Tyson was looking for success, but he certainly found it. He straightened himself out enough to leave the detention center and went on to train under Cus D’Amato. Tyson made his professional boxing debut at age 18 on March 6, 1985. He knocked out Hector Mercedes in the first round.
Knockouts and victories were common during Tyson’s boxing career. He packed a powerful punch and many of his opponents didn’t last very long. Tyson won the first 37 fights in his professional career with the first 19 of them coming via knockout. Twelve of those 19 knockouts occurred in the first round.
Tyson’s career was interrupted because of a three-year prison sentence for rape. He did return to the boxing ring but was hardly the same boxer he once was. He finished his career with a 50-6 record with 44 knockouts.
Mike Tyson struggled dealing with success
During his boxing career, Mike Tyson kept hearing how good he was. “All my life, I’m the best fighter in the world, I’m the best fighter in the world,” Tyson said on the IMPAULSIVE podcast recently. “It was just so embedded in my mind, my heart, my feet. the best fighter in the world. The best fighter in the creation of God. It was blowing my f—ing mind.”
During the podcast, Tyson said he wants to stay away from the ‘Iron Mike’ persona. He said he doesn’t want to go back to being that guy. Tyson said that guy doesn’t exist anymore and he referred to ‘Iron Mike’ as “that guy.” Tyson said it was “that guy” who struggled with dealing with success.
“That guy you were talking about doesn’t turn off when the fight is over,” Tyson said. “When I was first champ, I didn’t know how to handle it. People would come up and I used to hit them and stuff. ‘Stop, get the f— away from me.’ I had nervous breakdowns, started losing my hair. It was just overwhelming to me. When I was walking the streets, people were following (me), so I just started striking them, hitting them.”