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Even in the Moment of Doom, Mike Tyson Was an “Arrogant Prick”

Published 12/25/2022, 6:00 AM EST

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Mike Tyson in his book “Undisputed Truth,” recollects a particular incident during his formative years. Intending to ignite savage combativeness inside the ring, his guardian and coach, Cus D’Amato, touched on young Mike not being able to match up with much bigger boxers. The stinging remarks left him tearful. But it also forced a change in the way he used to think about himself. Immediately abandoning his weakness, Mike turned into the most ferocious and scary fighter the world of boxing had ever seen. So much so that even outside the ring, his image and reputation preceded him. Soon he reached a sphere where even an attempt to make himself approachable came as an aforethought.

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In July 1991, police in Indianapolis arrested Mike Tyson on charges of indecently assaulting an upcoming model. Desiree Washington was in the city to participate in the Miss Black America beauty pageant. Among the guests present was ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet.’

 Mike Tyson unleashes the undisputed Truth


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Recounting his thoughts and feelings during the trial, Mike mentioned on the fourth page of his autobiography Undisputed Truth“I might not have been a scumbag, but I was an arrogant prick…” At one point, he felt like forsaking any hopes for leniency primarily because of his arrogance.

As the trial gained the widespread spotlight, Tyson’s act of charity bagged extensive coverage as a counter. But Mike confirmed a deliberation behind those actions. Not even for once, he went out of his way to help others, “…I did all those things because I ‘wanted’ to be that humble person, not because I ‘was’ that person…”


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The trial lasted for roughly two weeks. Judge Patricia Gifford held Tyson guilty and handed over a ten-year sentence. However, it is a different matter that a four-year prison term suspension followed. Finally, put away in prison for six years, Tyson received a discharge in less than three years. 


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With a little bit of luck…

Undisputed Truth chronicles the details of his measures to ensure a lighter prison sentence. From a hoodoo woman who had ‘mastery’ over spells to a voodoo priest, Mike even visited the courthouse with a pigeon and an egg. A Santeria priest accompanied him.

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There was a time when Mike felt that he might kill an opponent, “I remembered all the bad guys from movies I’d watched, and all the villains I knew from wrestling, and I drew on that and threw myself into the role of the arrogant sociopath.”


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When he began his campaign on 6th March 1985, the world had no choice but to sit and watch the new sensation, whose sheer aggression and arrogance had no parallels in boxing’s history.

Watch Out for More: The person who scares Iron Mike to this day



Jaideep R Unnithan

901 articles

After completing 18 years in the corporate sector, Jaideep decided to make a move out of the comfort zone and follow his heart's calling to becoming a writer. His understanding of Boxing began with Iron Mike's debut as an 18 year old in 1985. Like anyone and everyone else, he holds Muhammad Ali as the greatest, though his personal favorite remains the 'PacMan' Manny Pacquiao for his speed and sheer toughness.

Edited By: Ajinkya Aswale