Mike Tyson was one of the most feared fighters in the history of boxing, and his fearless approach to the sweet science included never worrying about dying in the ring.
Tyson, 53, explained in an interview published Monday with The Sportsman that he always knew there was a possibility of dying -- whether it was competing or in training. But the former heavyweight champion wasn’t scared.
“I knew there was a possibility that I could die during training, during a fight. I knew that. But I wasn’t scared, because I thought if anybody was going to die, I would do the killing,” Tyson said. “That self-confidence was a survival mechanism. But now, from my experience, from what I believe, the more I know about not existing, the more willing I am to die.”
When asked whether he looked forward to death, Tyson replied: “Yeah. I don’t fear it.”
“Living might be more complicated than dying to me,” he explained. "The belief of it. I don’t know if it’s true. Because living takes a lot of courage. Without the courage, you can’t handle living. Living is a journey; living is a struggle. People have everything and they still can’t do it, they struggle. We take ourselves too seriously. We think we’re somebody. Who the f--k? We’re nothing! We come from s--t; we think we’re special! Fame is s--t.”
Tyson had one of the more tumultuous careers in sports history. He went from being the undisputed champion of the world to being convicted of rape in 1992 and was sentenced to six years in prison with four years of probation. He also infamously bit off part of the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield during a championship bout in 1997.
After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Tyson turned his life around. He started the Tyson Ranch, which produces marijuana and marijuana-related products and started his own podcast, which has more than 1 million subscribers.