Boxing legend Mike Tyson explains why he used to cry before every bout

Mike Tyson once spoke about having two personalities, bringing one unassuming side to the surface just before he entered the ring.

Generally regarded as one of the world’s finest boxers, Tyson established a scary reputation with power blows. In his prime, Tyson could take down some of the top boxers.

What many don’t know is that Tyson has a softer side rarely witnessed by the public eye. He made this revelation in 2020 during an episode of the Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson podcast. The episode sheds light on the intricate mindset of the former heavyweight champion.

Contrary to the aggressive facade displayed in the ring, Tyson confessed to a pre-bout ritual that might surprise many. In an interview with Star Trek actor William Shatner, Tyson acknowledged shedding tears before stepping into the ring.

Tyson confessed, “I always cry before I fight. I don’t know why, it is just who I am. I’m getting ready to change into somebody that I don’t like.”

Shatner was surprised by Mike’s comments and said it was pretty insightful.

Tyson explained the reasons behind his reluctance to embrace the combatant within. Beyond the physical combat, he acknowledged that this alter ego brought forth negative qualities such as jealousy, envy, and guilt. Tyson explained that these traits were a part of him that he disliked and struggled to accept.

He went on to say he was not the same guy Shatner was speaking to then, and that his detractors often defined him entirely based on the character he maintained in the ring.

Attributing the undesirable traits to his ego, Tyson detailed how he was taught to ‘cut off’ this side of himself. Despite efforts to control it, this persona occasionally resurfaces.

Social media users seemed to be just as intrigued by Tyson’s response. Comparisons were drawn to fictional characters, with one comment likening him to Bruce Banner and the Hulk.

Some of the comments were as follows:

“Mike is like Bruce Banner but when he boxes he’s becomes the Hulk… Hulk didn’t like Bruce because Bruce knew Hulk was dangerous.”

“Mike Tyson is one of the most interesting conversationalists in history. This is profound.”

“Mikes in a healthy state of mine, if you can sit there and identify a toxic trait of yourself that you don’t like, you’re learning and growing. Always respected this man.”

Viewers appreciated Tyson’s self-awareness, with comments highlighting the depth of his introspection and personal growth.