Infamous for Accusing Bookkeepers of Setting Him Up, Mike Tyson Reveals the Dark Side of Politics in Boxing

Published 03/28/2024, 8:45 AM EDT

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People frequently highlight the integrity and pride associated with the sport of boxing. Yet, what often remains unaddressed is the darker side of the sport. In the latest episode of Hotboxin with Mike Tyson shared on YouTube today, the legendary champion shed light on the unexplored politics involved in the sport of boxing, which plays a crucial role in shaping a fighter’s career. 

As part of the final season of ‘Iron’ Mike’s popular podcast, the former ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ hosted Antonio Tarver, a boxing world champion and commentator. While discussing Tarver’s career adversities, Mike Tyson, who once claimed he was set up by the matchmakers to lose against Buster Douglas, spoke about how politics in the sport can follow a fighter. 

Mike Tyson accuses amateur boxing official of politics


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Back in his prime, Mike Tyson went toe-to-toe with Douglas, an underdog through and through. Nobody had expected him to even make a dent in Tyson’s armor, but he defied the odds to take down the mighty Tyson. Even though Tyson acknowledged that he was cocky during the fight, he also highlighted the referee had given Douglas extra time to recover from a knockout during the fight.


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He alleges the betting odds were against him, which means the bookkeepers set him up to lose. So, during the podcast, when DJ Whoo Kid, Tyson’s co-host, asked Tarver about the adversities in his career, Tyson quickly jumped in to get his point across. He said, “No, listen… I don’t know if you know, it just clicks…”

“If they don’t like you. If you have beef with one of their guys from the amateur you [have] beef with them too… And those amateur guys want to be the pro guys eventually,” Tyson added. What’s more, boxing aside, Tyson isn’t afraid to express his political beliefs. 

Tyson claims his kids made him turn conservative


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In August 2022, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson appeared in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on NewsMax following being clicked using a wheelchair, raising concerns about his health. Initially hesitating to speak about politics, Tyson suggested his friends and family may look at him differently. However, he went on to reveal he has become a conservative. 

“When I was younger, I was all-out liberal. But as I get older, and I look at my children and see what’s out there in the world, (nervously) I get a little conservative… It’s common sense, looking at the world we have now…You want safety,” said Mike Tyson. This statement was a shocker for many, as Tyson had previously poked fun at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in 2012. 


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Having spent more than two decades in the sport, Mike Tyson expressed his experience with politics in boxing. However, it’s worth mentioning that his claims are his own view on the sport and don’t prove any such practices exist. Do you agree with Tyson’s statement? 


Written by:

Sudeep Sinha


One take at a time

Sudeep Sinha is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. His string of noteworthy coverages includes USA Boxing’s new controversial guidelines, Francis Ngannou’s stunning boxing debut, and Amanda Serrano’s tussle with the WBC. Sudeep continues to contribute valuable insights with his passionate understanding of the ins and outs of the sport.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal