Mike Tyson is the undisputed American former heavyweight boxing champion. He became the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing, famous for his ferocious and intimidating boxing styles.
Tyson competed from the year 1985 to 2005 and was famous for his controversial behaviour both inside and outside the ring.
However, despite his public personality, there are many surprising facts about this dynamic personality which are not often spoken about. Here are some of the most surprising facts about Mike Tyson:
He was bullied as a child
Even though Tyson is nicknamed ‘Iron Mike’ and ‘Kid Dynamite’, not many know that he had a difficult childhood. Many people are surprised to learn that Mike Tyson was often the target of bullying.
It was in the face of this bullying and in order to stand up for himself that Mike developed his own authentic style of street fighting.
Unfortunately, his isolation and lack of support also led him to become part of a street game, which saw him arrested a total of 38 times in his younger years.
He loves birds
Behind his tough exterior lives a gentle soul. Mike Tyson may not always be the badass that he makes himself out to be. Through his interviews, Mike has divulged that he is an avid bird lover.
Tyson once said: “The first thing I ever loved in my life is a pigeon”. Although he had a tough childhood, he found solace in nature, especially birds.
When Mike Tyson was 10 years old he spent $100 on a flock of pigeons. His love for birds continued even after he became a successful boxer.
This became even more obvious when Mike Tyson hosted a TV show Animal Planet back in 2011 called Taking on Tyson, where he explored the obscure subculture of Pigeon Racing in New York City.
The real story behind the ear bite
In 1997, Mike Tyson was at the center of the most controversial event in the history of boxing. He bit both the ears of Evander Holyfield during their fight for the world heavyweight championship and was disqualified for his action.
To the average spectator watching the fight between the two men on their television, Mike’s actions made him look like a beast, and he lost a lot of public support over the action.
However, Tyson later revealed that he bit off Holyfield’s ears because Holyfield was constantly head butting him, something that would have also warranted disqualification if the referee had caught on to it.
He sponsors an online betting site
In 2019, popular sports betting platform Parimatch strengthened their brand by roping in Mike Tyson as their brand ambassador.
For Parimatch, being a relatively unknown betting site, signing up the world famous boxing legend as their brand ambassador must have been a real scoop.
Tyson’s strong personality adds weight to the brand. He mentioned that his association with Parimatch was a perfect partnership due to their mutual dedication to being the best in the world.
Parimatch certainly got the perfect ambassador to promote their services around the world.