Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson says getting knocked out in 1990 was a release.
“The Baddest Man on the Planet” – who won the world title at the age of 20 – believes that fateful night against Buster Douglas shaped him into a better man.
Tyson hit the canvas in Tokyo, Japan, to audible gasps as the world witnessed the end of one of the most vicious runs in top division history. The KO happened despite Tyson seemingly knocking Douglas out first.
A debated ‘long count’ saw Douglas survive an eighth-round onslaught. The challenger rallied to secure the biggest upset of all time.
As Douglas celebrated the titles, Tyson revealed that he also had something to be happy over.
“It was a release. It happened. It’s over. Now we have to deal with this adversity,” Tyson told The Pivot Podcast.
“I understand fighting. I don’t take it personally. But I was an even better fighter because I wasn’t afraid to lose. I did things I’d never done before; I was undefeated.
Mike Tyson knocked out
“Fighting Buster was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I got so stressed out being the champ.
“My hair was falling out and everything. I was playing it up like I was still a hard guy, but I was scared to death.
“It made me human. I wasn’t an animal or a savage,” he added.
Getting philosophical about his time on the earth and everything having a meaning, Mike Tyson is certainly a mellower version of the one-time ‘savage’ he references.
“I want people to know that life is the willingness to die,” The New Yorker pointed out. “I believe that once you die, you start to live.
“There’s more than just us out there. You have to kill your ego actually to appreciate life.
“Ego is good, but it’s not a life. Use it for football and boxing or whatever, but live a life without it.”
Listen to the full episode of The Pivot Podcast with Mike Tyson on YouTube.