“You Wanna Punch Me?”: Khabib Nurmagomedov Tests Mike Tyson’s Temper With a Bold Statement

Published 08/07/2021, 6:18 PM EDT


Khabib Nurmagomedov recently appeared on Mike Tyson and Henry Cejudo’s Hotboxin’ podcast. Within just two days of its YouTube release, it has already racked up over 2 million views. The Khabib Nurmagomedov episode is now the most viewed video on the Hotboxin’ channel, followed by Canelo Alvarez‘s episode. They talked about how ‘The Eagle’ started off in the sport, his background, his father’s influence, Conor McGregor, and more.

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At one point, Khabib Nurmagomedov dared to tell ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ that Muhammad Ali was one step above him. He even tested his temper by asking him about his thoughts and asked if he wanted to punch him for saying that – “What do you think? You wanna punch me?

Despite his utmost respect for Muhammad Ali, a young Mike Tyson in the 1990s would have reacted very differently to Khabib’s comments. However, the 55-year-old had a very humble reaction and even agreed with him.

I agree with you, I agree. Ali is the king,said Tyson.

Mike Tyson still looks up to Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali faced one of his worst defeats against Larry Holmes in 1980. A 14-year-old Mike Tyson watched on as his idol and biggest inspiration seemed helpless inside the ring. Upset with Ali’s loss, he vowed to make his way through the streets of Brownsville to become one of the world’s greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He always had an end goal of ultimately fighting Larry Holmes and avenging Muhammad Ali’s 198o loss.

Under the guidance of coach Cus D’Amato, Tyson even got to speak to Ali on the phone. Over the call, the youngest heavyweight champion made a promise to Muhammad Ali that he would avenge his loss against Holmes.

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When I grow up, I’ll fight Holmes and I’ll get him back for you,” Tyson told Ali.

Seven years later, Mike Tyson pulled off the unthinkable by finally securing a fight with Larry Holmes in 1988. Even Muhammad Ali sat ringside for the event and even told Tyson, “remember what you said, get him for me” before the fight. ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ stepped into the ring with a chip on his shoulder. ‘Iron’ Mike completely dominated Ali’s old opponent and dropped him in round 4.

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Both heavyweight legends would share an incredible bond of mutual respect and camaraderie for years to come. Mike Tyson still looks up to his idol and often acknowledges that he inspired him to become the youngest heavyweight world champion.

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Sanjit Misra

263 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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