Mike Tyson

123 Knockout Mike Tyson Quotes About Discipline, Success, Money and More

He may not be as well-known for his turn of phrase as Muhammad Ali, but plenty of Mike Tyson quotes carry weight.

Though best known for sending a message with his fist, there are plenty of golden Mike Tyson quotes from throughout the legendary boxer and entertainer’s career and life.

Some of that may come from Tyson’s love of reading, especially books focusing on history and philosophy. He told The Wall Street Journal, “I don’t really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. I’m not a light kind of guy.”

No kidding! With a reading list that includes Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard and Niccolò Machiavelli, biographies of historical figures like Alexander the Great and love letters from Virginia Woolf and Napoleon, it’s no wonder the Punch Out icon can whip out a clever turn of phrase pretty easily.

Here are the best Mike Tyson quotes on social media, discipline, fighting and more to make you better understand the controversial figure—and how far he’s come in his life and work.

Best Mike Tyson Quotes

Mike Tyson Quotes on Social Media

1. “Social media made y’all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”

Mike Tyson quote: "Social media made y'all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it."

Chris Hyde/Getty Images/Parade

Mike Tyson Quotes About Money

2. “Our money is bait money, and bait money is not to be used.”

3. “Sometimes I’d give my mother a hundred bucks and she wouldn’t pay me back. She didn’t respect me like that. I’d say, ‘You owe me some money, Ma.’ And she’d just say, ‘You owe me your life, boy. I’m not paying you back.'”

4. “It’s good to be successful and have financial status but if you’re only gonna live for the money, you’re only gonna reach a certain status and I’m in there for greatness and peace of mind.”

5. “Sometimes I put on a ski mask and dress in old clothes, go out on the streets and beg for quarters.”

6. “That equals to being a fool, having fame and no fortune. A lot of guys out there have fame doing this and doing that, but they are broke.”

7. “If they don’t have that extreme addict personality, you can never understand how a guy can blow 300 or 400 million dollars. If I have to live at the top of the world, I also have to live at the bottom of the ocean. I don’t know how to live in the middle of life.”

8. “At one point, I thought life was about acquiring things. But as I get older, life is totally about losing everything.”

Mike Tyson Plane Quote

9. “I shouldn’t have done that, but I was irritated, tired, high and pissed off.”

Mike Tyson Discipline Quotes

10. “As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Discipline: "As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want."

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11. “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it.”

Mike Tyson Discipline Quote: "Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it."

Jeffrey Asher/ Getty Images/Parade

12. “Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t have fun accomplishing your goals. Sometimes people don’t have the determination, the will, the steadfastness, the tenacity, they give in under the slightest struggle.”

13. “You can’t be disturbed by anything. There’s no emotion involved. You can’t feel sorrow, you can’t feel pity, there’s nothing you feel. The job has to be done.”

14. “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.”

15. “You have to feel comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m always comfortable being uncomfortable. And to be comfortable being uncomfortable, I have to hone my discipline, which to me is doing what I have to do, but also doing it like I love it.”

16. “The ability to apply the discipline, the ability to do what needs to be done no matter how he feels inside, in my opinion, is the definition of a true professional.”

17. “Our discipline is our destiny.”

18. “Without discipline you can’t be a champion.”

Mike Tyson Discipline Quote: "Without discipline you can't be a champion."

Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images/Parade

Mike Tyson Quotes About Fighting

19. “Fighting is a sport; if you’re not humble it’s going to bring humbleness to you.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Fighting: "Fighting is a sport; if you're not humble it's going to bring humbleness to you."

Getty Images/Parade

20. “Everybody you fight is not your enemy and everybody who helps you is not your friend.”

Related: 62 Bruce Lee Quotes, Including His Famous ‘Be Like Water’ Quote

21. “I’m the most brutal and ruthless conquerer there has ever been.”

22. “Most fighters are the most humble people in the world because they’ve gotten their ass kicked before.”

23. “Fighting is not physical, fighting is spiritual. It’s the determination and the will in the guy.”

Mike Tyson Fighting Quote: "Fighting is not physical, fighting is spiritual. It's the determination and the will in the guy."

GERARD BURKHART/AFP via Getty Images/Parade

24. “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.'”

25. “Fighting is all about calmness and relaxation. My appearance was all an illusion. My appearance is of a mad man, but I’m really calm and collected. Even though I’m fighting, I’m calm and relaxed as possible, despite my displays, because once you get excited, you can’t fight at the highest level of your ability.”

26. “The boxing’s the easy part. When you get into the ring to fight, that’s the vacation. But when you get in the gym, you have to do things over and over till you’re sore and deep in your mind you say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ I push that out of my mind.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Training: "The boxing's the easy part. When you get into the ring to fight, that's the vacation. But when you get in the gym, you have to do things over and over til you're sore and deep in your mind you say, 'I don't want to do this anymore,' I push that out of my mind."

William E. Sauro/New York Times Co./Getty Images/Parade

27. “Everybody thinks this is a tough man’s sport. This is not a tough man’s sport. This is a thinking man’s sport. A tough man is gonna get hurt real bad in this sport.”

Mike Tyson Fighting Quote: "Everybody thinks this is a tough man's sport. This is a thinking man's sport. A tough man is gonna get hurt real bad in this sport."

Denise Truscello/WireImage/Parade

28. “I try to catch them right on the tip of his nose because I try to punch the bone into the brain.”

29. “I used to fight anybody my trainer put me in with because I was confident that I could beat any fighter in the world. Anybody could see that I was almost a master at evading punches coming at me.”

30. “When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Fighting: "When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him."

Jeffrey Asher/ Getty Images/Parade

31. “I’m a bad guy. But if I was a good guy, nobody would want to pay to see me fight.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Fighting: "I'm a bad guy. But if I was a good guy, nobody would want to pay to see me fight."

Bettmann/Getty Images/Parade

32. “Lennox is a conqueror? No! He’s no Alexander! I’m Alexander! I’m the best ever. I’m Sonny Liston. I’m Jack Dempsey. There’s never been anyone like me. I’m from their cloth.”

33. “My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I’m ferocious.”

Mike Tyson Quotes About Success

34. “I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”

35. “There is no one who can match me.”

36. “In order for me to achieve … I had to regard myself greater than what I was. In other words, I had to fake it until I make it.”

37. “Greatness is given to us all. But only a select few can handle the ride.”

38. “I’m successful because I’m valuable, not valuable because I’m successful.”

39. “A champion does it like he loves it, even when he doesn’t.”

40. “Any man can do what he has to do. But doing it like you love it? That is what takes it to a whole different level.”

41. “Every win, regardless a good or bad one, gives you more confidence.”

42. “Hard times fall upon everybody. Whatever it is, we’re going to get out of it.”

43. “I don’t dream anymore. All I do is manifest because they’re better than dreams and they come to reality quicker.”

44. “When you have something in life that you want to accomplish greatly, you have to be willing to give up your happiness.”

Related: 45 Best Rocky Quotes From Sylvester Stallone’s Iconic Boxer

45. “I’ve lost all my sensitivity as far as being embarrassed, being shy, you just have to lose that.”

46. “I believe in humanity. I believe people want to do good, but some people just can’t do it.”

47. “Without struggle, there is no progress. There has to be a struggle in your life.”

48. “You have to grow in experience to control your ego. Cause, you know, an ego can be crushed, it can be killed, it can be smashed, but it comes back. It never dies. That’s the thing about the ego: it never dies.”

49. “Confidence breeds success and success breeds confidence.”

50. “Confidence applied properly surpasses genius.”

51. “There’s nothing like confidence.”

52. “You must always be in a state of confidence. And the way you sustain a state of confidence is by testing yourself.”

53. “Difficult quagmires that may occur—there’s always a test. You have to seek them out. You constantly have to test yourself to prepare for these quagmires. That’s why I always put myself to the test.”

54. “Giving up is the easiest thing in the world. That’s why so many people do it.”

55. “You never lose until you actually give up.”

56. “In order to succeed greatly, you have to be prepared to fail greatly. If you can’t do both of them, you’ve got a problem.”

57. “We all have to control our feelings. That’s the thing that separates us from animals.”

58. “Greatness is not guarding yourself from the people; greatness is being accepted by the people.”

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Mike Tyson Quote About Greatness: "Greatness is not guarding yourself from the people; greatness is being accepted by the people."

Jeffrey Asher/ Getty Images/Parade

59. “The one thing I know, everyone respects the true person and everyone’s not true with themselves.”

60. “Kindness and compassion are so powerful.”

61. “The tempt for greatness is the biggest drug in the world.”

62. “I fight for perfection.”

63. “It’s good to know how to read, but it’s dangerous to know how to read and not how to interpret what you’re reading.”

64. “You need to learn independence. You have to be independent. It builds character.”

65. “When you take a risk doing what you love, that’s exciting.”

Related: 100 Inspirational Quotes

66. “Whatever you want, especially when you’re striving to be the best in the world at something, there’ll always be disappointments, and you can’t be emotionally tied to them, because they’ll break your spirit.”

67. “You can change your mind or your life whenever you want to.”

68. “We wanna believe that we’re different than the average guy that’s working 9 to 5, that our thoughts are different than his, our inspirations and desires are different than his, that’s why we succeed and he didn’t. ‘Cause we wanna believe we’re different, but he just didn’t get the break that we had or he wasted it on something else.”

69. “We live in a society where we basically live and strive on what people think about us. We’re more visual people so what we see is basically what we believe, which is not necessarily true.”

70. “The fall is worth the climb.”

71. “Some people try to get you out of slavery for you to be their slave.”

72. “The deeper you dig the deeper you become.”

73. “Now that I’m older, I can see that everyone was my teacher.”

74. “Listening never gets you in trouble but talking can.”

75. “Without a test there is no testimony.”

76. “Never say negative things about yourself. The subconscious doesn’t know if you’re playing or not.”

77. “Tearing yourself down is just as powerful as building yourself up.”

78. “Equality is in your heart. No can tell you they’re better than you.”

79. “I’m a strong exponent of gratitude. The universe gave me gratitude and I don’t take that for granted.”

80. “What are the most important words in the world? ‘I AM.’ Now the words you put behind that is what you are.”

81. “I only succeed when I help others succeed.”

82. “For immortal status, enthusiasm makes it happen.”

83. “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say nothing at all.”

84. “Being tough doesn’t work in the real world, outside of boxing. You gotta be smart.”

85. “I know a lot of great people. But most of the great people I met weren’t good people. So I’d rather be a good person than a great person by far.”

86. “We have to evolve to be a better generation than those that came before us.”

Related: 100 Goals Quotes

What does Mike Tyson say about fear?

87. “Your fears are always worse than you think.”

88. “God gives us fear to protect ourselves.”

89. “Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best friend.”

90. “Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it’ll destroy you and everything around you.”

Mike Tyson Fear Quote: "Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don't learn to control it, it'll destroy you and everything around you."

Jeffrey Asher/ Getty Images/Parade

91. “Like a snowball on a hill, you can pick it up and throw it or do anything you want with it before it starts rolling down, but once it rolls down and gets so big, it’ll crush you to death. So one must never allow fear to develop and build up without having control over it because if you don’t you won’t be able to achieve your objective or save your life.”

Funny Mike Tyson Quotes

92. “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

93. “I normally don’t do interviews with women unless I fornicate with them.”

94. “These books ain’t window dressing. I think Machiavelli’s the most sophisticated writer outside of Shakespeare. Way ahead of his time. Such a manipulative person. Everything he accomplished he did by kissin’ ass.”

95. “I don’t understand why people would want to get rid of pigeons. They don’t bother no one.”

96. “I don’t know, man, I guess I’m gonna fade into Bolivian.”

Funny Mike Tyson Quote: "I don't know, man, I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian."

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images/Parade

97. “My power is discombobulatingly devastating. I could feel his muscle tissues collapse under my force. It’s ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm.”

Mike Tyson Quotes About His Life

98. “I can’t change myself. I’m Mike Tyson. I’m a regular kid from the ghetto striving to do something positive with myself. I happen to fight well.”

99. “Some students would make fun of me, but nobody messed with me.”

100. “Anger is my biggest enemy in life.”

101. “Life is just a beautiful process of dying. As soon as you are born the process begins.”

102. “It’s just my first love ever, birds. Flying pigeons.”

Mike Tyson Quotes: "It's just my first love ever, birds. Flying pigeons."

Getty Images/Parade

103. “For my first fight, I only made $500 and that’s only because someone took it out their pocket and gave it to me. I never fought for the money. But when I did start fighting for the money, I got lost.”

104. “Belts don’t make you a champion, the people make you the champion.”

Mike Tyson Quote on Being a Champion: "Belts don't make you a champion, the people make you the champion."

Focus on Sport/Getty Images/Parade

105. “Man is a compound of needs and necessities that can never be satisfied.”

106. “I’m the biggest fighter in the history of the sport. If you don’t believe it, check the cash register.”

Mike Tyson Quote About Money: "I'm the biggest fighter in the history of the sport. If you don't believe it, check the cash register."

Bettman/Getty Images/Parade

107. “I ended up realizing that if anyone makes me mad, they own me. So, I try to not get mad anymore.”

108. “I just have this thing inside me that wants to eat and conquer. Maybe it’s egotistical, but I have it in me. I don’t want to be a tycoon. I just want to conquer people and their souls.”

109. “I was in handcuffs. I was under arrest. I remember there was this old lady looking at me, and I could tell she felt real sorry for me, and she didn’t know, but all I wanted to do was take her purse.”

110. “In order to become the champ, I had to get beaten a couple of times.”

111. “I love to hit people. I love to. Most celebrities are afraid someone’s going to attack them. I want someone to attack me. No weapons. Just me and him. I like to beat men and beat them bad.”

112. “Burning cocaine is the worst smell in the world. It smells like burning plastic and rat poison combined.”

113. “In the ’80s when we were coming up, we just wanted to be somebody just for that moment. We had no idea we were going to do it for 20 years.”

114. “People are going to say what they say. I know sometimes I say things; I offend people.”

115. “God gave us everything in life we need to find happiness. We just need to find where it’s at.”

116. “One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died. I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand—he was out cold, convulsing on the floor.”

117. “Everyone says, ‘I wish I was in your shoes.’ The hundreds of people that wish they were in my shoes don’t know the tenth of it. If they were in my shoes they would cry like a baby.”

118. “I know how hard it is to be a woman, especially a black woman.”

119. “Another thing that freaks me out is time. Time is like a book. You have a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s just a cycle.”

120. I’ll never be happy. I believe I’ll die alone. I would want it that way. I’ve been a loner all my life with my secrets and my pain.”

121. “I’m really lost, but I’m trying to find myself. I’m really a sad, pathetic case. My whole life has been a waste. I’ve been a failure. I just want to escape.”

122. “I feel like sometimes that I was not meant for this society.”

123. Tupac Shakur always wanted me to smoke weed with him, and I never did it, and I wish I did …That’s my biggest regret.”

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