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‘Bankruptcy. Addiction. Divorce. Prison. And My Career Was in the Gutter’: Mike Tyson, 56, Explains How He Lost Everything He Had

Published 10/25/2022, 9:45 AM EDT

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Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is an example of turning one’s life around for the better. From being a troubled young man who was divorced and bankrupt to becoming a successful businessman and family man, the champ has surely come a long way. In fact, he recently opened up about turning his life around.

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Tyson released a self-development program called, ‘12 Rounds with Tyson‘. In the program, he aimed to help people train their minds and themselves for success. On the site, he spoke about getting a reality check after suffering the first loss in his career.


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Notably, Tyson lost against Buster Douglas in 1990 when he was at the peak of his career. Talking about the same, he said, “After that? My life started collapsing before my very eyes. Bankruptcy. Addiction. Divorce. Prison. And my career was in the gutter.”

He further stated that he turned his life around. And that he has multiple successful businesses having a good relationship with his money and finances. Moreover, he also mentioned that he has a beautiful family life, shared a good bond with his wife and children.


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Tyson then revealed how he was able to do so. He said, “The reason I was able to come back stronger than ever is I realized that to get back on top, I’d have to do what I always did – TRAIN for the challenge ahead of me. Except this time, I wasn’t training my body for a fight.”

‘Iron’ Mike also added that training his mind for success was what helped him the most.

The Mike Tyson vs Buster Douglas showdown

At the time, Tyson was on the pedestal of his division and of boxing at large. He was the then-undefeated and undisputed, champion of the heavyweight division. This was when it was announced that he would face the underdog, Buster Douglas.


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The bout titled, ‘Tyson is back!’, took place at the Tokyo Dome on February 11, 1990. Moreover, Tyson’s WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles, were on the line. Tyson even mentioned that he did not even take the fight seriously. He said, “On January 8, 1990, I got aboard a plane to fly to Tokyo. Kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to fight; all I was interested in then was partying and f*cking women. I didn’t consider Buster Douglas much of a challenge.”

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The then reigning champ went on to lose the bout via a 10th-round TKO. In turn, making it one biggest upsets in boxing history.


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How inspiring was Tyson’s redemption arc? Do let us know in the comments below.



Joshua Ben Joseph

931 articles

Joshua Ben Joseph is a Boxing writer for EssentiallySports. He started his career as an editorial cartoonist and holds a BFA degree with a specialization in Animated Filmmaking and Screenwriting from AISFM, Hyderabad. An avid lover of boxing history, Joshua believes his writing extends his lifelong adoration for combat sports.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu