Mike Tyson: While I m in the dressing room five minutes before I come out, I m breaking my gloves down, I m pushing the leather to the back of my gloves, so my knuckle could pierce through. When I come out I have supreme confidence. I m scared to death. I m afraid. I m afraid of everything. I m afraid of losing. I m afraid of being humiliated. But I m confident. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. The closer, the more confident. The closer the more confident I get. All during training I ve been afraid of this man. I think this man might be capable of beating me. I ve dreamed of him beating me. For that I ve always stayed afraid of him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I m in the ring I m a god. No one could beat me. I walk around the ring but I never take my eyes off my opponent. Even if he s ready and pumping, and cant wait to get his hands on me. I keep my eyes on him. I keep my eyes on him. Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes may move, and then I know I have him. Then once he comes to the center of the ring he looks at me with his piercing look as if he s not afraid. But he already made that mistake when he looked down for that one tenth of a second. I know I have him. He ll fight hard for the first two or three rounds, but I know I broke his spirit. During the fight I m supremely confident. I m making him miss and I m countering. I m hitting him to the body; I m punching him real hard. And I m punching him, and I m punching him, and I know he s gonna take my punches. He goes down, he s out. I m victorious. Mike Tyson, greatest fighter that ever lived.
Mike Tyson: One day he
Mike Tyson: said "listen you have the chance to change your life, your family's life, you can be very special. Don't you want to be champion? You can be champion of the world". I didn't pay no attention. He said really, "You could be champion of the world. You could devestate the world. No man can take what you did, you got to believe it". I looked at this guy and then I started thinking, I said, this guy is really crazy, that's what I said, this guy is really crazy. "You do what I tell you to do, and if it doesn't work then, then you can leave". So I said OK bet. I did everything he told me to do and I won, I won every championship. From the amateur championship, all the championships, I'm gonna cry, so I won every championship that he told, because, he told me what to do. And I started believing in this old man. I stopped being a little thief. I use to go back to New York and rob people and come back upstate and hide out. The day I stop doing all that I changed my whole life. I said I'm gonna stick to this boxing shit. I turned my whole life over to boxing. I turned into a complete animal, I turned into a disciplinarian.
Mike Tyson: A lot of my friends are dead, that um I grew up with, that aren't around anymore, or else in jail for the rest of their life, or else they really strung out on dope somewhere in Brooklyn, out of their head. Very few of them are still functioning adults right now. And but at that stage in my life it was exciting that it was like never gonna end.
Mike Tyson: I already had money in my pocket, so when they went into my pocket and check my pocket I had 15 hundred dollars. I'm 12 years old with 15 hundred dollars, in my pocket; there was no way I could claim the money, so I went straight to Sparfa Juvenile center. At Sparfa Juvenile center I was nervous, I was scared, it was the first time I was ever arrested, and I was 12 years old. So um I went there and saw all my friends that I haven't seen in years, they were here, they were locked up there, and it was like being away from home, like a class reunion. The guys I haven't seen in months I saw them there, and I was no longer intimidated, and I started going there in an often basis. Probably twice a month, once a month, three times a year, and eventually they sent me upstate. I went to Tryon Detention for Boys in upstate New York.
Mike Tyson: Cus would watched me for like, he didn't let me box he would just talk to me for two or three weeks about fighting and then the psychology of fighting, and what fighting was truely about. Fighting was nothing physical, it was all spiritual and he would say if you don't have the spiritual, spiritual warrior in you then you'll never be a good fighter, I don't care how big and strong you are. He explained that to me.
Mike Tyson: I was so scared on my first amateur fight, I wanted to, I went downstairs, I'm gonna buy... I'm going to the store in the Bronx New York, I'm going to the store to my trainer, and I went downstairs. Man I should get on this train and never come back, I wanted to get on the train and just leave I was so scared. I didn't want to fight anybody. It was just such a different dynamic fighting someone in the ring then fighting somebody on the street. I never thought I could fight somebody even after all the training. I was totally intimidated on fighting somebody in the ring. But I put myself together with the discipline learned from Cus, and I went in the ring and scored a third round knockout.
Mike Tyson: To me he's my boy, he's with me. I often say to him, "you know I owe you a lot", he doesn't know what I mean but I'll tell him now what I mean. If he weren't here I probably wouldn't be alive today. The fact that he is here and doing what he's doing and doing as well as he's doing, improving as he has, gives me the motivation and interest to stay alive. Because I believe a person dies when they no longer want to live, but I have a reason with Mike here, and he gives me the motivation and I will stay alive, and I will watching him become a success, because I will not leave until that happens.
Mike Tyson: I was 14 and I fought in the junior Olympics, in um 1980 I believe it was, and I um broke all the records.
Mike Tyson: I'm gonna go in there and jab to the head, then heave to the body, then I'm gonna move after I hit, and punch to the body...
[what are you going to do when you get inside]
Mike Tyson: ... open up like a son-of-bitch.
Mike Tyson: I won all my fights by knockout in the first round. And I broke the record with a knockout in eight seconds.
Mike Tyson: He
Mike Tyson: spoke with me every night about discipline and character, and I knew, I knew nobody, noboby physically, um was gonna fuck with me again.
Mike Tyson: In a fight, in the streets, not like the ring, it has to be almost to the death because you never know. If you don't knock them out cold or you don't him half to death, he'll go home and come back with a gun or come back with a friend with a gun, or gang of people. Normally a fight on the street is deadly.
Mike Tyson: There's nothing like fighting when you're young and you're happy. There's nothing more dealy or more proficient then a happy fighter. Everybody believes the mean, and the serly fighter, is the tough fighter but that's not true. The guy who's most relax and loves what he does, and is happy to be in there doing what he does.
Mike Tyson: I was never a big heavy weight, when I was in my prime I never weighed over 217, 219, but me and my trainer Customato we always put a great deal of emphasis on our speed and combinations. He always told me "speed kills, speed is what kills, the speed kills".
Mike Tyson: Most of my fighters that I emulated were light weight guys, guys like Tony Cambellari, Kid Choclate, Henry Armstrong, the little guys that were so exciting to watch. That's how come I knew I'd be an exciting fighter 'cause I have the speed and the power.
Cus D'Amato: A boy comes to me with a spark of interest, I feed that spark and in becomes a flame, I feed the flame and it becomes a fire, I fed the fire and it becomes a roaring blaze.
[quote inscribed on his grave stone]
Mike Tyson: My mission is to go and destroy, and not let anything get involved. You punch, you get hurt, I refused to get hurt, knocked down, or knocked out. I can't lose, I refuse to lose.
Mike Tyson: I always try to aim to the back of my opponent's head. Fantasize my punch going through them and in and out of the back of the head. It sounds like a brutal sport but it's just a technique, it's just an art. And when people hear you talk in this type of fashion they think of you as some brutal monster, but it's all about the skill, the speed, the accuracy, and that's basically what I named my style after.
Mike Tyson: People don't have the slightest idea of just how hard it is to break somebody's jaw or eye socket. They think it's just the power. But it's the accuracy of the power. Every punch is thrown with bad intention and the speed of the devil.
Mike Tyson: I was being either for brute strength or intimidation, most guys were pretty much intimidated, they lost the fight before they ever got hit. Most guys. I knew the art of skulduggery, beat these guys psychologically before I ever got in the ring with them.
Mike Tyson: You feel like you're dead, because when you are in prison, that's the closest thing to death. You stay there so long, you become so use to being by yourself, that, that you're use to talking to yourself, that you become your own best friend, and best company.
Mike Tyson: [responding to a man in the crowd yelling "get him in a straight jacket"] Put your mother in a straight jacket, you punk ass white boy! Come here and tell me that and I'll fuck you in the ass, you punk white boy. You faggot. You can't touch me, you're not man enough. I eat your asshole alive you bitch. Fuck you you ho. Come say to my face and I fuck you for everybody. You bitch. Come on you bitch. You scared coward, you not man enough to fuck with me. You can't last two minutes in my world bitch. Look at you, you scared now you ho. Scared like a little white pussy. Scared of the real man. I'll fuck you till you love me faggot.
Mike Tyson: My first manager Bill Caton and those guys, they were like slave masters basically. Cause I was just a young kid 18 years old, 17 years old, too young to sign a contract with those guys, but I signed a contract, Cus died, I signed a contract with these guys, and they took what, a third of what I had. Eventually I got rid of them, and then I got caught up with this other piece of shit, Don King, who's a reeched, just a reached slimy reptilian mother fucker, right. This is suppose to be my brother, my black brother, and he's just a bad man, a real bad man. He'd abused you, he'd kill his mother for a dollar. He's deplorable.
Mike Tyson: [asked about Lennox Lewis] I've been friends with him for 15 years. You know I mean, we just like... I fly pigeons, right, this is like a good equation. These pigeons live with each other for ten or fifteen years right. But when I throw feed down, they kill each other to get it. And it's the same way with fighters. We love and respect each other, but we need, we, we, we're like mercenaries, we need that money
Mike Tyson: And then we went... of course we got to go through this court bullshit. And then I received what 10... well no... what was it $20 million? I received some small amount of money from them. Probably, I don't know if it was $20 million, $30 million. I don't know what it was. It was a small amount of money. It doesn't really even matter. It just destroyed everything. It was really just a bad time in life.
Mike Tyson: What I want in a woman is protection. Loyalty. Companionship. Loyalty, friendship, companionship, ferociousness. I want her to protect me, and have my back to the bitter end. If I have a fight, I want her to jump in. Even if I'm winning; even if she's ninety pounds. I like strong women - not necessarily a masculine woman - but I like strong women. I like strong, say a woman who runs a C.E.O. corporation. I like a strong woman with confidence - massive confidence - and then I want to dominate her sexually.