Mike Tyson Says a Middle-Class Person Can’t Reach the Top in Boxing

Published 07/30/2021, 11:40 PM EDT
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JULY 25: Mike Tyson speaks onstage during the “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truthts” panel discussion at the HBO portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour – Day 2 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 25, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


Former champ David Benavidez came in as a guest on ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and Henry Cejudo’s Hotboxin’ podcast. They spoke at length about how he started his career, his plans to fight Caleb Plant, and several more things surrounding the 24-year-old with 24 clean wins and no losses.

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David Benavidez also spoke about how most boxers are now “businessmen”. He highlighted he does not care about that aspect of the sport and instead wants to go out and prove himself as a fighter to the fans. Mike Tyson responded by suggesting that the business part of the boxing world is just as important. He added that not everyone can climb the ranks in the sport. ‘Iron’ Mike implied it takes one to be at the bottom to get to the top.

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That’s awesome, but know this game of boxing is really about for guys like us? It’s about taking care of family, not about our ego, how big and tough we are.”

“It’s about getting these fights, fighting as hard as we can, winning these fights and if we have bad nights, we get rematches and then we take our money to our separate banks that can help our kids and their kids’ kids. We take the punches so they don’t have to,” said Mike Tyson.

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You can’t do this if you have a middle-class person. You gotta be at the bottom to do this stuff. Only the people at the bottom reach the top like this. Only the bottom,” added ‘Iron’ Mike.

Mike Tyson started from the bottom

Mike Tyson’s growth since 1986 has been explosive. ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ is best known for his fierce knockouts, imprisonment, major wins inside the ring, and his massive cash grabs. After making a ton of money through the 1990s, his spending habits forced him into bankruptcy in 2003. He had to fight two more times in 2004 and 2005 to recover. Tyson lost his last two fights, but they helped him settle his outstanding bills and other debts.

After hitting rock bottom in 2003, the champion in Mike Tyson drove him to turn his life around. Over the next few years, fans would see him appear unexpectedly in ‘The Hangover’ movies. Apart from this, Mike Tyson starred in over twenty other movies, secured brand endorsement deals, promotions and even made huge appearances in WWE and other similar promotions.

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Today, Mike Tyson is still active inside the boxing ring, has multiple business ventures including ‘Tyson Ranch’ which reportedly generates a million dollars a month.

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While he is best known for his career wins and monetary gains, Tyson has admitted the hardships that he faced growing up in Brownsville helped him become a champion down the line. His hunger for success helped him get to where he is today.

Clearly, the youngest heavyweight champion understands what it takes to shoot for gold inside and outside the ring. What do you think about Mike Tyson’s advice to David Benavidez?

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Sanjit Misra

260 articles

Sanjit Misra is a boxing author at EssentiallySports. Sanjit fused this passion for writing with his love for jabs, hooks, weaves, and uppercuts and entered the realm of boxing journalism. The elegance, the science, the techniques, and the finesse of hand-to-hand combat was what initially drew him into the world of boxing.

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