Quotes by Mike Tyson

Quotes by Mike Tyson:

About how he was picked on when he was a kid in second-grade:
Tyson’s anger at being the laughingstock of his second-grade escalated when he began taking abuse on the street. He will never forget how his glasses were regularly snatched from him and thrown into moving cars. Or the time when two boys stuck them in the gasoline tank of a truck. Or when they were smashed against a wall, or when a kid stomped on them. Tyson: “They just smacked the glasses away time after time and I just stood there and did nothing like a fucking dummy. And some just punched and pushed me around and I wouldn’t do shit back to them.”
The older kids started to call him “faggy boy” and “sissy” as they made fun of his glasses and his unwillingness to defend himself. “I was simply too fucking afraid to fight,”he said.” Mike soon tired of being the whipping boy. [Fire, 18]

On how Cus D’amato helped him:
“People think I was born this way. They don’t know what it took to get this way. The training, when you have to do things over and over again until you’re sore. Deep in your mind you say, God, I don’t want to do this no more, and then you push. I always used to think I was a coward because of the way I felt. Cus was there when I needed him…he was the one. Cus would always explain you should always do things to build your character and make you a better individual. He was different than anyone I’d ever met, because principle meant more than anything to him, more than money, more than health, more than his life. He would sacrifice anything for principle, for what he believed was right.” [Heller, 99]

Cus always strived. He said:”You can be the champ”. Even at a young age. And I believed in him. I developed that kind of confidence in him. And we just made it “That was the destiny”. No matter whatever happen. And he discussed times that he wasn’t feeling well and that he doesn’t think he would be around, but he said “No matter what…the job must go on”.[Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits 00:06:30]

“I did boxing only because my step father [Tyson means Cus D’Amato] was in love with it. He wanted me to become a champion so I couldn’t disappoint him.” [TT, 475]

Talking to the press after fighting Eddie Richardson November 13, 1985, just nine days after D’Amato’s death:
“The only way I could make Cus proud of me is by becoming champion of the world. Nothing should interfere with that. I’m going to fight in a week and am going to fight better”

Tyson in the locker room shortly before the fight against Marvis Frazier telling Jacobs what’s going to happen:
“When you jab him he bends forward at the waist, like he’s bowin’, just bends straight over. He doesn’t bend his knees. When I jab and he bends over, I’m gonna catch him with the right uppercut.” [Heller, 131]

After defeating Berbick and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion of the world:
“This is the moment I waited for all my life since I started boxing…Berbick was very strong…I never expected him to be as strong as me…every punch I threw with bad intentions to a vital area…I aimed for his ear…I wanted to bust his eardrum…Every punch had bad intentions…My record will last for immortality, it’ll never be broken…I want to live forever…I refuse to lose…I would have had to be carried out dead to lose…I was coming to destroy and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World, which I done…I’d like to dedicate my fight to my great guardian, Cus D’Amato. I’m sure he’s up there and he’s looking down and he’s talking to all the great fighters and he’s saying his boy did it…I thought he was a crazy white dude…he was a genius…everything he said would happen happened.” [Heller, 154]

During the dispute over the length of the Tyson-Spinks fight Tyson said that he didn’t give a damn how long the fight was:
“We can go 20 or 25 rounds for all i care. It’s a heavyweight championship fight. It should be a fight to the finish.” [Heller, 243]

During the Tyson-Spink press conference:
“I’m the best fighter in the world. No one can beat me….My objective is to inflict as much pain as possible, to win and win spectacularly…Ever since I was 12 years old, I was groomed to be the heavyweight champion of the world. I’ve been prepared to handle the pressure, the dealing with the press, everything.” [Heller, 248]

Tyson talking about retirement after winning the Spink fight:
“Don King was laughing, but when he finds out I’m serious, he won’t be laughing. I don’t want to deal with this bullshit anymore….I had fun. Boxing was good to me, but nothing lasts forever….I decided it’s time to move on. It’s time to call it a day….” [Heller, 255]

“When the gong goes, there are no champions or contenders. A champion goes up to the ring and a champion leaves it. There are only two boxers who fight for the title between these two moments.” [TT, 475]

“I was a teen and my only goal was to be the best of the world. When people will talk about old fighters some people will say ‘he has great moves etc’ and i wanted people to talk about me like that.” [TT, 500]

In the post-fight interview after knocking out Michael Johnson with a brutal shot to the head Tyson answers the question how he went right to him after the knockdown:
“It’s my style. You make your own openings. You time things..everything was set-up. When he went down the first time I knew i was going to hit him. And that’s how it’s planned. I’m the master of the pin-point. My shots are so accurate and so precise…not to be egotistic…but when they land they are so precise…I can’t help it who you are…you have to go down, because there is a law when Mike Tyson hits you.”

After the fight against Mitch Green:
‘Going ten rounds is fun. I’m having a good time in there’ [Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits, 00:17:56]

About his height:
“It is to my advantage, because most fighters are used to fighting opponents 6-3, 6-2..the average heavyweight . And I feel Im using it to my advantage, because I move my head, I’m very quick and I’m low to the ground so it’s very difficult to hit me. I get a lot of leverage from my punches. And it doesn’t matter if i punch up or straight or down or around…i have a good leverage. Jabbing is all to do with timing. You throw your jab at the right time….you’ll be 5-6…and i’ll jab the guy at 6-7
When i was young i used to always think “God, Im just a midget. I’m never going to grow. I’ll never going to be anything, because Im too short to any kinds of sports or anything”. But then i started to believe in myself and things worked out alright” [Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits, 00:20:28]

About training:
“No one wants to get up at 4 and run when it’s pitch-dark, but it has to be done. The only reason i do it so early is because i believe the other guy isn’t doing it and that gives me a little edge” [Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits, 00:43:01]
The most difficult part about fighting is the training, because..believe it or not the easy part of fighting is the fighting. A month before the fight the only thing i think about is just training. Constantly training. I enjoy it but it gets sometimes boring, because it is just constantly repetitious. Over and over the same thing over and over. [Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits, 00:43:14]

October 1987, and Tyson reacts on the pain he inflicted on Biggs in a seven-rounds slaughter:
‘I could have knocked him out in the third round but I wanted to do it slowly, so he would remember this night for a long time.’

About gold diggers:
“Everybody always want something from you. They want to find a way to get your money. Just as hard as you work in the gym there are people working that hard to separate you from your money” [Documentary: Mike Tyson Greatest Hits: 00:15:30]

‘Real freedom is having nothing. I was freer when I didn’t have a cent’

After the Buster Douglas Match:
‘I look forward to coming back again. I’ve lost more than I’ve won in life, so, believe me, I’m pretty much understanding of the situation and I can deal with it. I can deal with adversity.’

‘I’m scared every time I go into the ring, but it’s how you handle it. What you have to do is plant your feet, bite down on your mouthpiece and say, ‘Let’s go.’

‘Everyone in boxing probably makes out well except for the fighter. He’s the only one that’s on Skid Row most of the time, he’s the only one that everybody just leaves when he loses his mind .  He sometimes goes insane, he sometimes goes on the bottle, because it’s a highly intensive pressure sport that allows people to just lose it [their self-control].’

Mike On finishing an opponent: ‘When you’re a great finisher, you’ll become popular. Joe Louis was a great finisher. So was Ray Robinson. Ray Leonard. They got a man in trouble and they threw everything they had at him. Bring him down.’

Mike on discipline: ‘Without discipline, no matter how good you are, you are nothing! One day, and I might not be around, you’re going to meet a tough guy who takes your best shot. He’ll keep coming because he’s tough. Don’t get discouraged. That’s when the discipline comes in.’

Mike on the death of Cus : ‘When I’d get up in the morning, he’d make me breakfast. Now he’s not around anymore. God. I’m doing to do well, but when I come down to it, who really cares? I like doing my job, but I’m not happy being victorious. I fight my heart out and give it my best, but when it’s over, there’s no Cus to tell me how I did, no mother to show my clippings to.’

“Right now, I’ll say something, and in 25 minutes, depending on the severity of what I say, this will be on the other side of the world.”

“Everybody has a gameplan until he gets hit”


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