Mike Tyson was the most dominant boxer during his prime, but he also had a lot of trouble staying out of trouble during the peak of his career. He had plenty of run-ins with law enforcement back in the day—including an incident where he bribed a couple of police officers with a Bentley.
The boxing world may never see another heavyweight who managed to do what Mike Tyson did when he burst onto the scene. The Brooklyn native won 37 consecutive bouts after making his pro debut against Hector Mercedes in 1985. 33 of those wins came via knockout or TKO.
You obviously need to have some pretty nasty tendencies if you want to brawl for a living, but Tyson had trouble flipping the switch outside of the ring.
He married actress Robin Givens in 1988, but their marriage barely lasted a year due to the physical and mental abuse he subjected her to after tying the knot.
It was a tumultuous relationship that made plenty of headlines despite its relatively short duration—including a wild incident that unfolded at a fast food restaurant in 1988.
Tyson had plenty of money to throw around, thanks to his prowess in the ring. He used some of his fortune to amass a sizeable fleet of luxury cars.
The boxer resided with Givens in a mansion in New Jersey. One night, they decided to hop into the Bentley to grab a meal at Burger King.
But as Tyson recounted during a conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience, things went south when she reached into his pocket to grab money to pay for the food and discovered a stash of condoms.
Givens flew into a rage and stepped on the car’s accelerator before striking an unsuspecting man who was outside of the eating establishment. It didn’t take long for police to arrive on the scene.
Tyson recalled what transpired from there, saying:
“The cops came and say, ‘Hey, what happened here?’ I was afraid they were going to arrest me or arrest us, so I said, ‘Well, nothing happened, officer.’ There was a guy with a broken arm, so I said, ‘You know, sir, why don’t you just take the car? You deserve it because you’ve been through a lot.’”
“I didn’t want to get arrested. I didn’t have a license or anything. I didn’t want my wife to get in trouble.”
Tyson said the cop in question initially advised him against offering the de facto bribe but was apparently unable to resist the urge to drive a vehicle the boxer estimated was worth $230,000 off of the lot.
Tyson gave the man who had his arm injured in the collision all of the cash he had.
According to a New York Times article chronicling the aftermath, legendary boxing promoter Don King gifted Tyson a Rolls-Royce Corniche the following day to fill the void.
However, Iron Mike ended up getting the Bentley back after the Port Authority learned two of its employees had stashed the car in a parking garage in Jersey City. Tyson claims he phoned in a tip as soon as he got home that night.