Growing up in a very low-income, impoverished area, Mike Tyson had to pave his own way to success. The constant street fighting and need to protect himself introduced him to the boxing world, and his natural talent caught notice and helped fuel him toward professional success.
Mike Tyson didn’t go to college, he also didn’t graduate from high school either. Aside from boxing, Mike Tyson did not care for much else, as he was more focused on surviving.
Living in a high crime area as a young child, Mike Tyson was more focused on surviving his early years and less focused on his education.
Growing Up as Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson and his siblings grew up in an unstable, single-parent home in the slums of Brooklyn, surrounded by drugs and other illegal avenues of income. Because of their dire living situations, Mike Tyson did not have many positive adult role models to follow or encouragement to do well in school.
While school is supposed to be a safe place for children, this was not the case for Mike Tyson.
As a pre-pubescent adolescent boy, Mike Tyson describes himself as a “fat kid with acne all over [his] face.” He describes a sad reality of being bullied and physically hurt at school.
Unfortunately, school became a place that Mike Tyson dreaded and avoided at all costs. With no one holding him accountable, he would arrive at school late to avoid his bullies and run home as fast as he could afterwards.
One day, Mike Tyson decided not to let his bullies take advantage of his vulnerability. He fought back, and realized that it was empowering to have the upper hand.
Reflecting on the first time he fought back, Tyson stated, “It felt really good-so good that I couldn’t wait until the next day to do it again. People wouldn’t do it if it didn’t feel so good.”
Tyson had discovered an outlet to escape from the reality of his hard upbringing, which would lead him to become the world’s youngest heavyweight boxing champion at the age of 20.
There are no educational credentials to become a professional boxer, so Tyson invested his time in doing what he was good at and passionate about–boxing. In the course of his boxing career, Mike Tyson had 50 wins, including 44 knockouts, six losses, and two no contests.
You can see the collective video of all of Mike Tyson’s career knockouts using the YouTube link below.
Tyson’s career dominated the 1980’s of boxing, and remained prominent through the early 2000’s, before retiring in 2005.
With such success in boxing, Tyson decided to drop out of his high school educational program during a stay in prison in 1992.
Fighting for Stability
After retiring, Mike Tyson struggled to cope with the affluence of his success. His newfound wealth and celebrity status did not resolve the years of turmoil he had experienced as a child.
Furthermore, his mentor and adoptive father, Cus D’Amato, passed away in 1985, which was extremely difficult for Tyson to bear. In his personal life, he struggled to work through drug and alcohol abuse and unstable marriages.
However, Tyson has never given up his fighting mentality. Since his retirement, he has become sober and clean, and appears to be in the “best shape of his life.”
He spends his time hosting a podcast called “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” which introduces various perspectives on real-world issues through conversations with celebrities and professional athletes. He has also become involved in charity work, including the foundation he created, called “Mike Tyson Cares,” for children who come from broken homes.
Mike Tyson appears to be living the best version of his own life, as you can see on this Instagram post in the link below.
Mike Tyson is a prime example that you can do whatever you set your mind to, regardless of your past. A good reminder for all of us!