Mike Tyson is one of the most complex sportsmen of his era, the prodigiously talented boxer was destined for stardom as soon as he laced up a pair of gloves, but it would be fair to say there has been adversity in his life, a lot of it self-inflicted.
It was his troubled upbringing which actually led him towards the path of boxing, with Cus D’Amato taking a teenage Tyson from juvenile detention and placing him in his care, training him to be a heavyweight champion of the world.
D’Amato desperately wanted a heavyweight champion to come from his boxing school, which according to former trainer, Teddy Atlas, probably didn’t help Iron Mike’s personal development.
“We need adversity in our life and we need to be competitive,” Tyson explained in an interview with the World Boxing Council.
“I see myself as a seeker, my first fight was over a pigeon, and that got me here.
“We are so close to an encounter with death that we don’t even know that we’re with death at this moment, at any moment anything can happen.”
Mike Tyson believes the human perception of death is flawed
It may be slightly unnerving to discuss, but Tyson has a rather unique view on death, something that a lot of people are terribly afraid of, whereas the former boxer relishes it as part of existence.
“I think that death has a bad reputation, how can life be so beautiful and death bad?” he continued.