Skip to main content

Mike Tyson has told plenty of wild stories. He’s talked about his 40 arrests before he turned 13. He’s opened up about his time in prison. Tyson has been on top of the world, and he’s seen rock bottom.

Then there’s the lady at the IRS. Last week, Tyson told the story of how a lady working at the IRS predicted he’d get back in the boxing ring, despite him saying he’d never fight again.

Mike Tyson was one of the most dominant fighters of his time

Mike Tyson celebrates after defeating James Tillis in a Heavyweight fight May 3, 1986, at The Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York. Tyson won the fight on a unanimous decision in 10 rounds. | Focus on Sport/Getty Images.

Tyson went from a life of crime and poverty to becoming boxing’s youngest heavyweight champion of the world. It was because of all those pre-teen arrests that Tyson was able to make his way into boxing.

Tyron spent time at the Tryon School for Boys, a juvenile detention center. There, he met up with a former boxer named Bobby Stewart, who worked as a counselor. Stewart taught the young Tyson about the sport and eventually hooked him up with legendary trainer Cus D’Amato.

Tyson’s mother died when he was 16, and D’Amato took him under his wing. They became close and grew closer as Tyson turned professional.

He began his pro career with 37 straight victories. Tyson won his first 19 fights by knockout, 12 of them coming in the first round.

His career was put on hold because of a three-year prison sentence, and when he returned to the ring, he just wasn’t the same. Tyson finished his career with 50 victories against six losses. Of those 50 wins, 44 of them came via knockout.

Mike Tyson explains how the ‘tax lady’ predicted his comeback

In November 2020, Tyson made his much-anticipated return to the ring for a exhibition match against former champion Roy Jones Jr. There had been numerous reports that Tyson might jump back in the ring, possibly against Evander Holyfield, but that one never materialized.

It had been 15 years since his last professional fight, that coming in a loss to Kevin McBride. Since then, he hadn’t fought, and he never had any plans to fight again.

He should’ve listened to the lady working for the IRS, who kept telling him to get back in the ring. Tyson shared that story last week during his Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson podcast. Tyson told that story to his guest, Joe Rogan.

“Check this out,” Tyson told Rogan. “The tax lady was always calling me saying, ‘Mr. Tyson, I’m sure you’ve got something to do. I know you’re going to fight again, so why don’t we just have this fight and pay your bills and everything will be fine.’

“This is the IRS, and I’m like, ‘what, are you serious?’ She said, ‘just fight. We know you’re gonna fight again. This is the lady from the IRS talking to me like this.

“I said, ma’am, I’m not going to fight again. This lady died eventually, and I did fight. Isn’t that crazy? She was right. I never in a million years thought about fighting again. She must’ve knew it.”

Tyson and Jones Jr. put on a show

So the tax lady was right. Tyson, at 54 years of age, fought Jones Jr. in a bout where Tyson impressed. Although many believe he won the fight, because it was billed as an exhibition match, no winner was declared.

The bout generated more than $80 million in PPV money. According to USA Today, the 1.6 million pay-per-view buys ranks the fight among the top 10 combat sports events.

After the fight, Tyson said he was happy. He said he wouldn’t rule out another exhibition.

“I’m happy with a draw,” Tyson said, per the LA Times. “I thought I won but I’m happy because we entertained the fans.

“Absolutely would do this again. I’m just happy I could go eight rounds. Knockouts mean nothing, you have to be able to go the distance.”

The tax lady really did know something.


Mike Tyson Once Set the Bizarre Scene If He and Jesus Were to Meet