Mike Tyson surprised boxing fans when he claimed he only watched one of Muhammad Ali’s fights, despite praising the influence of the legendary boxer.
Tyson is placed in the same debate as Ali for the all-time best the sport has ever seen.
These claims came from Tyson’s 2017 autobiography 'Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato', where he said:
"I was hanging out on a corner in Brownsville with my friend when we saw a guy going into the corner store.
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“Someone told us he had food stamps and money on him, so I made sure I got in front of him.
"Everyone's eyes were glued to the TV showing the fight. I loved Ali but I wasn't a bit interested in the fight."
The former undisputed world heavyweight champion Tyson also revealed he wasn’t a boxing fan before and was into wrestling instead.
He watched the 1977 biopic 'Muhammad Ali: The Greatest' which on his own words had a major impact on him:
“I wasn't a boxing fan at all. I used to love watching wrestlers like Bruno Sammartino and Killer Kowalski.
“Watching the biopic was great. When the movie was over, the lights came on and all of a sudden Ali walked out on the stage and the place just exploded."
Both of the legendary boxers had controversial moments outside the boxing ring, but Tyson chose one of Ali’s moments as the one that really resonated with him:
“He started talking to us about being in detention, how he had been in jail and lost his mind.
“He was saying beautiful, inspiration stuff -- that speech was a game changer for me.
“It's not that I wanted to become a boxer after hearing him. I just knew that I wanted to be famous.”News Now - Sport News