In the early 80s rose a new young and fearless boxer, who the world will come to know as Iron Mike Tyson. The teenage sensation will go on to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. This came along with unprecedented fame and wealth.
The young Mike, took into the ring, anger, rage and an uncompromising desire to win. He tore into opponents like a starving lion on a dear, he was ruthless, fast, furious and above all brutal.
Mike didn’t just destroy his opponents but he disrespected them, with a series of disrespectful comments on pre-match conferences and interviews. The infamous bite on Holly field’s ear and the “I want to eat your children”, are just a chunk of the dark pile.
His opponents were not his only recipients of the unchecked rage, journalists and even referees too. On one interview, he said to a female journalist “I don’t normally get interviewed by women unless they fornicate with me”. In one of Iron Mike’s fights, an angry Tyson kept punching the opponent and after the bout had been stopped and when the umpire tried to get in between he too was blown by Tyson.
However, 20 years since the legendary Brooklyn born heavyweight hung up his gloves, he has made a remarkable turn around with his life and style. Not only are his fighting days gone or his enormous wealth, so has his rage and anger. Over the years, Mike has tried to make peace with a lot of the people he had hurt in the past, openly apologizing and saying that he was not proud of his boxing and pre-boxing days.
In one interview in 2018, Mike was clearly emotional when quizzed about his Boxing time antics. “I don’t want to talk about that Mike, i don’t want to remember him, he was bad, he didn’t treat people right, I am not proud of him because of what I did back then, I don’t follow boxing a lot now so not to remember the past”, he said. In a recent interview in 2019, Tyson was asked what advice he would give children of nowadays who are in gangs and doing crimes. “I would like for people to be more open to each other, to break the misconception we have about each other, to break the franchises that divide us, we stop seeing the other as an enemy and a threat, this is why I did most of the things I did, because I was brought up to hate and kill those who looked different from me. We need to let the children know that these things don’t matter that they are wrong, there is something better they could do with their lives”, he stated.
Perhaps, the most famous enemy of Tyson’s long list was Evander Hollyfield. The duo battle in 1999 with Tyson biting off Hollyfield’s right ear, however, the two have since buried the hatchet and are currently working together on a charity project, giving food items to needy communities around the world. Mike has apologized to Evander on several occasions for the incident.
Who would have thought that a guy, who was literally on top of his sport and basically with no regards to anything including law, would be a champion for peace and humanitarianism in the same life time. We can all learn one thing from this, if Mike can do it, we all can.