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Home » Mike Tyson relied on a handout, earned zero money from pro debut

Mike Tyson relied on a handout, earned zero money from pro debut

At one point, Mike Tyson was the biggest Pay Per View earner in the sport, but things didn’t start off well for the boxing debutant.

The former heavyweight champion has revealed he made no money from his first professional bout and relied solely on a handout.

Boxing’s ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ aired his views after stating that money was the beginning of problems in his tumultuous career.

Tyson won the sport’s biggest prize at just 20 years old. It’s a record that still stands today as the youngest ever to do it.

But a wild lifestyle lasting half a decade from 1985 to 1990 came crashing down on him in Toyko.

Mike Tyson career

A loss to underdog boxer James ‘Buster’ Douglas saw Tyson’s career nosedive within twelve months. It led to a spell in prison for the man with the nickname ‘Iron Mike’ and his career at the very top being effectively over.

He was never the same again despite his very humble beginnings with Cus D’Amato.

Tyson recalled how his debut was soured by leaving the arena with no more than he entered with.

“For my first fight, I only made $500, and that’s only because someone took it out of their pocket and gave it to me,” stated Tyson.

“I never fought for the money. But when I did start fighting for the money, I got lost,” he added.

However, speaking on his Hotboxin Podcast regarding his career, The New York-born fighter got deep about how he handled his time in the ring.

A constantly changing mentality didn’t help his cause.

“It’s who I am. I’m pretty scared and scared. I’m really just like, ‘I’m gonna do something bad to this guy that his family’s not gonna like,'” Tyson pointed out.

“Then I’m a be guilty and feel bad at the end. That’s how I fight.

“I know the art of a fight. I know the art of war. That’s all I ever studied. That’s why they feared me when I was in the ring. I was an annihilator.

“It’s all I was born for. Now those days are gone. It’s empty. I’m nothing. I’m working on the art of humbleness.”


On the frightening persona he used to carry with him into battle, Tyson concluded: “Sometimes I don’t want that person to come out because if he comes out, hell is comin’ with him.

“I hate that guy. I’m scared of him.”

Picking himself up after retirement, Tyson starred in Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Hangover franchise, and launched a successful book with a sellout tour called The Undisputed Truth.

Several documentaries about his life have also made it to the big and small screens.

His cannabis farm and podcast continue to earn him millions despite previous fears of where he’d eventually end up.

Boasting wins over Michael Spinks, Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno, and Trevor Berbick. Plus, starring in worldwide Pay Per View smashes against Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, the former undisputed heavyweight champion’s name will live on the sport forever.

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