Mike Tyson once completely lost his head with a reporter after knocking out Francois Botha

Mike Tyson once completely lost his head with a reporter after knocking out Francois Botha

Mike Tyson has had his fair share of run-ins with the media over the years. 

The American, who is renowned for having a short fuse, has often received negative press attention for his behaviour both inside the boxing ring and out of it.  

But 'Iron Mike' has never been afraid to speak his mind or worry about the consequences.

On one such occasion, one reporter got both barrels in January 1999 after expressing his surprise that Tyson had not been punished for a death threat aimed at Francois Botha ahead of his comeback fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  

Tyson, 55, had been banned from boxing by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for 15 months after biting Evander Holyfield's ear off in their rematch. 

The former world champion, who had been out of action for over a year, said: "I am going right at him and I expect him to go down cold. I expect him to die."

Many felt that Tyson's comments had crossed the line at the time but they went unpunished. 

Mike Tyson knocks out Francois Botha in the fifth round

Tyson, then 32, won the fight by knocking out Botha in the fifth round. Tyson knocked Botha down late in the same round, and referee Richard Steele stopped the fight, giving Tyson the knockout. 

The reporter then asked him: "In the future, are you going to lose some of this anger?"  

Tyson said, demanding respect: "I need respect, you show me respect and stop writing trashy articles about me, then I'll show you respect. I'm a man. 

"Now listen, I'm not afraid to die, I'm not afraid to waste my life because when I die, I'm going to Paradise, and I'm not worried.

"So I'm in no hurry to die, but no-one's going to disrespect me and no-one's going to write nonsense about me without me retaliating back."

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When he was only 20 years old, Tyson won the WBC, WBA, and IBF heavyweight titles, making him the youngest boxer to win all three titles. However, his rapid rise to stardom would ultimately prove to be his downfall, as he struggled to hold onto the belts he once held so dear.

But hey, given what he achieved in such an incredibly short amount of time, Tyson was right. He had accomplished an awful lot despite all of the controversy, and he definitely felt he didn't deserve the witch-hunt that came his way.   

In doing so, he dealt with it in a way that only he could. 

This article will be updated. 

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