Mike Tyson reveals he had over 150 street fights before he ever stepped into a ring


For Mike Tyson, there was a number of reasons he made it to the very top of heavyweight boxing, and so quickly.

His speed and great technique are the first things that spring to mind, however, Tyson credits the over 150 street fights he had as a kid. 

Growing up in a rough neighbourhood such as Brownsville, Brooklyn - Tyson needed to toughen up. Based upon his record and his fearless bravado, he certainly did that and then some. 

Especially in the early 1970's, the backstreets of Brooklyn were synonomous with criminal activity, and Tyson even admits to dabbling in such activites during his youth.

Before the age of 13, Tyson had apparently been arrested 38 times and frequently robbed people in and around his neighbourhood. 

It was somewhat evident that Tyson possessed a natural flair for combat. Furthermore, the youngest-ever heavyweight champion established a fierce reputation as an 11-year-old, as the child who could knock out 20-year-old men. 

Looking back on his rough-and-ready youth, Tyson credited his professional boxing success by reflecting on his roots in combat, which were the abundance of streets fights he fought as a child. 

"I had around 150 street fights," Tyson told the Hotboxin' podcast. "That's probably why I didn't do to bad in boxing. 

"That's all we did in Brooklyn, is fight."

Whilst speaking on his podcast with special guest and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, Tyson also discussed his philosophy for boxing.


According to the 54 year old, who donned quite the physique in his hay day, discussed how boxing is less about the physical attributes and more about movement and reacting.

"When you’re really fighting you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s just movement, pow, it’s action, it’s happening," Tyson explained. 

"You know, you anticipate throwing this one, but it’s flowing. When it’s flowing, things happen. You might get your ass knocked out.

And sometimes it flows when your consciousness may be outside your body, you’re watching yourself fight.” 

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