The sport of boxing got its first and most prominent star in the form of Muhammad Ali. The era in which he fought is still cited as the golden period for boxing. Ali inspired not just a few fighters but a whole generation of upcoming boxing stars. One of his biggest disciples was the former baddest man on the planet, Mike Tyson.
On many occasions, ‘Iron’ Mike expressed his love for the legend, and still continues to do so. In a recent Hotboxin podcast, Tyson chatted with Ryan Garcia and shed some light on how Ali inspired him to take up the sport and how he avenged his two losses.
The 54-year-old said, “Ali came in, and right away I felt I want to be like him.”
Growing up, Tyson transitioned to another place and took up boxing training. He met a coach named Bobby Stewart with whom he spent a good amount of training time. But Stewart left boxing abruptly because of his wife, who didn’t want him to continue in the sport after a few injuries.
Stewart then took Tyson to the coach who transformed his life, Cus D’Amato.
The world witnessed Tyson and D’Amato’s pair making statements in the sport. ‘Iron Mike’ became a flamboyant star of the sport and there was no turning back for him.
Muhammad Ali ended up on the losing side in the final two fights of his life. He fell to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick before retiring in 1981. Meanwhile, Tyson was under the roof, waiting to explode like a volcano.
‘Iron Mike’ debuted in the sport in 1985 and marched to the top of the heavyweight roster in no time. His ferocious knockout power and attitude made him a charismatic star inside the ring. First, he tyrannized Trevor Berbick with a devastating TKO in just the 2nd round of the fight. A couple of years later, he touched gloves with Larry Holmes too and smothered him with a TKO in round 4.
More than the belts and legacy, Tyson’s aim was to avenge the losses for his idol, Ali, and he succeeded.