Mike Tyson was beaten up by a group of schoolgirls when he was a child
Mike Tyson may be ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ but there was a time when the boxing legend was nothing but a scrawny little schoolboy.
The former heavyweight champion, 56, revealed in his best-selling autobiography released in November 2013 that he was once accosted by a group of angry schoolgirls after he started teasing them for playing with a skipping rope.
Back then, few could have predicted ‘Iron Mike’ – who remains the youngest boxer in history to win such a title – would end up becoming the man he is today.
According to the American, it all started when he accidentally angered a gang of fifth graders in the school playground with a rather poor attempt at striking up conversation, which he blamed on an inability to talk to members of the opposite gender.
Tyson, who was apparently just eight years old at the time, was left almost completely speechless after the beating had occurred.
Recalling the incident from his childhood, he wrote in his autobiography: “Even though I was starting to look the role, I never could get on with the girls back then.
“I liked girls, but I didn’t know how to tell them I liked them at that age.
“One time, I was watching these girls jump rope, and I liked them and I wanted to jump rope with them, so I started teasing them and, out of nowhere, these girls in the fifth grade started beating the s— out of me.
“I was playing with them, but they were serious and I was just taken by surprise.
“I got serious about fighting back too late. By then, somebody came and broke it up and they’d gotten the best of me. I didn’t want to fight them.”
Whether or not this influenced his decision to learn how to defend himself with his fists is anyone’s guess but it seems he quickly learnt his lesson as he got into his first ever fight with a boy who stole his pigeons a year later.
Speaking on an episode of his Hotboxin’ podcast last year, he said: “My first fight this guy took one of my pigeons.
“So I said ‘please, give me my bird back.’ He was an older guy, I must have been 9… he was a teenager.
“He took my bird’s head off and hit me with the f—— bird. And some guy who used to bully me said ‘yo man, fight him back’. I fought back. I’d never fought nobody before.
“And you know what, I could fight real good. So after that, everybody would bring other kids from different neighbourhoods to fight me for money.
“I’m not showing off or bragging… I was just really a good fighter. My whole life has been violent and I’m not a violent person. Isn’t that crazy?”