Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, 53, got emotional while recalling his boxing journey during an episode of his Hotboxin’ podcast on 27 February, revealing that he both “missed” and “hated his old self.
Speaking with fellow boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard, an emotional Tyson, who was once touted as the most dangerous man on the planet, recalled how he had been an “annihilator" in the ring.
Holy shit, Mike Tyson just sent shivers down my spine pic.twitter.com/hjMOAi8m6C— 🦅 (@usy1_) March 1, 2020
“I know the art of fight, I know the art of war, that’s all I ever studied… That’s why they feared me when I was in the ring, I was an annihilator. It’s all I was born for.”
Tyson, who was known in his heyday for a ferocious and intimidating boxing style, grew tearful as he lamented that his boxing days were long behind him, making him feel “empty”.
“Now those days are gone it’s empty, I’m nothing. I’m working on the art of humbleness…
The former boxer revealed he had mixed feelings about the man he used to be, both “missing”, and “hating” his old self.
“That’s the reason I’m crying, cause I’m not that person no more, and I miss him. Because sometimes I feel like a bitch, because I don’t want that person to come out because if he comes out hell will come with him.”
Many netizens responded on social media by admitting they could relate to the boxing legend’s emotions, and applauding him for admitting his “flaws”.
When we say masculinity so toxic this is what we talking about. It's so toxic he's afraid of it inside him. Once you experience a true ego death there is no going back.— Keylolo K-E-Y-lo lo (@itmemel) March 2, 2020
We all have our Hulk inside, we have to keep ‘im under control. Chaos, destruction and lack of judgment happen when let loose.— USA Kicks Ass With Trump (@NunezYurik) March 2, 2020
@marlontaylor This is intense, but it's also why we love Mike. That raw honesty, passion and rage... Being bottled up... like a real life Hulk.— David Wallace (@TheDraftFanatic) March 2, 2020
this is a black man who showing you how painful it is to heal.. kudos to him for not being scared to— Da Guardner (@javielpapi_) March 2, 2020
He has realized he’s a man, a human being with flaws and victories. Life has shown him a lesson : to be humble, to recognize wrong doings. I applaud him. Not many recognize. He has grown.— USA Kicks Ass With Trump (@NunezYurik) March 2, 2020
Mike Tyson, who holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title, at 20, and won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, had serious issues outside of the boxing ring early on his career.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released on parole after serving three years. In 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights.
Tyson, who retired from professional boxing in 2006, has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.