Mike Tyson: Quotes of Wisdom And Wonderment

On his opponents…

Mike Tyson

Frank Bruno: “How dare these boxers challenge me with their primitive skills? It makes me angry. They’re just as good as dead.”

Tyrell Biggs: “I could have knocked him out in the third round but I wanted to do it slowly, so he would remember this night for a long time.”

Lennox Lewis: “I’m coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!”

“It’s ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm.”

On self-discipline…

“I can talk about humility, but I’m not humble. I mean, if you say, ‘I’m humble,’ you’ve just contradicted yourself.”

“I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”

“My intentions were not to fascinate the world with my personality.”

“Fear is your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s like fire. If you can control it, it can cook for you; it can heat your house. If you can’t control it, it will burn everything around you and destroy you.”

On fame…

“At times, I come across as crude or crass, that irritates you when I come across like a Neanderthal or a babbling idiot at times. But I like to be that person. I like to show you all that person because that’s who you come to see.”

Mike Tyson

“There are nine million people who see me in the ring and hate my guts. Most of them are white. That’s okay. Just spell my name right.”

On his future after boxing…

“Being a champion opens lots of doors—I’d like to get a real estate license, maybe sell insurance.”

“I guess I’m gonna fade into Bolivian.”


  1. That’s what I thought initially too, but after reading a little more about him, I see Tyson in a different light.

    Interviewer Paul Hayward:

    Whoever ransacked Tyson’s mind in childhood/adolescence did a particularly thorough job. There is mental furniture everywhere. But when you’ve attended a few of these beehive-poking sessions it becomes apparent that there is a high degree of performance in his eagerness to portray himself as Public Enemy No 1. As he was checking out a Turkish bird on the net, my gaze fell on another of the books piled on the window sill behind his head: The Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Mythology, to which Tyson might also have contributed. He calls himself “a numbskull” but can be spellbindingly eloquent. And the myths have a way of inflating themselves when a fight is approaching and there are pay-per-view subscriptions to be sold…

    Some argue vehemently that Mike Tyson’s Book Club is a long-standing ruse conceived in prison. But nobody has the title of Arthur Ashe’s autobiography (Days of Grace) tattooed on their arm if they haven’t at least read the flyleaf. Machiavelli in Hell is among his current books for the beach, where the palm trees rustle for his ocean runs. “That’s entertainment for me,” Tyson avers. “These books ain’t window dressing. I think Machiavelli’s the most sophisticated writer outside of Shakespeare…”

    “I like the hip writers: Fitzgerald, the guy who committed suicide, Hemingway, all those guys. Some of them were alcoholics and drug addicts but they had fun. They were real people. They formed the culture of American literature. Hemingway admired Tolstoy, Tolstoy admired Pushkin, and Mailer admired Hemingway. It all flows down.”

  2. It does not add up Chris. Think he might be street smart, but a lot of his comments suggest “ransacking of the mind”, like you say. He would have had a lot of time in prison to read and reflect, so he might be wiser than people give him credit for. I will give you that. He was smart enough to see how controversy made Ali so popular. He imitated it.

  3. Last time i saw Mike on t.v. he looked grounded caring for his children. Great wonderment and success to yours and youns,

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