In 1995, there probably was not a better man on the planet to back you up in a fight than Iron Mike Tyson.
Tyson, then 29 years old, was previously the undisputed heavyweight champion in addition to being the division’s youngest ever title holder when he took the sport by storm in the 1980s.
But his world came crashing down when he was jailed for rape in 1992, but quickly set about reclaiming the belts he once owned when released three years later.
Hip-hop artist Fat Joe once explained how shortly after his release from prison, The Baddest Man on the Planet came to his rescue at a nightclub.
“There was one night we was at The Tunnel,” Fat Joe started. “Me and Big Pun, rest in peace. And the security is telling him to take off his boots, they wanted to search under his boots. He’s a big guy, he didn’t want to.
“So they start arguing. ‘F you!’ Ya mother!’ This, that, going back and forth. Then it starts turning into two, three, four, five, six [security guards] and they all just start saying ‘let’s beat up Big Pun and Fat Joe, I don’t care.’
“So I’m telling Pun like ‘Yo, Pun, we about to get knocked out.’ So out of nowhere, we hear this voice.
“‘Yo Pun, Yo Joe, let’s F these dudes up. I got your back.’
“We turn around and it’s Iron Mike Tyson. 2:30 in the morning, fresh out of jail with the kufi on. So now he starts and everyone is looking like ‘oh my god, this is Iron Mike!’”
Although Tyson’s appearance was enough to spook the bouncers, the heavyweight legend decided to take things a step further.
“Mike Tyson started chasing the bouncers that wanted to beat us up around the car like 20 times and the bouncers are like ‘Yo Fat Joe, Big Pun – please!’”
Not a bad guy to come out of the shadows to back you up, eh?
Tyson had his comeback fight against Peter McNeeley in August 1995 and he fought once more that year before becoming world champion again at Frank Bruno’s expense in March 1996.
He captured another world title from Bruce Sheldon later that same year before heading into his pair of controversial fights with Evander Holyfield and then later Lennox Lewis.
Iron Mike kept fighting until 2005 before he finally admitted he was just there for the money and he retired.
Fat Joe, like Tyson, is also from New York, which is where the Nightclub Tunnel operated until 2001. He’s best known for the hits ‘Lean back’ and ‘What’s Luv?’