On the Sport of Boxing
Being a champion opens lots of doors—I’d like to get a real estate license, maybe sell insurance.”
“It’s interesting that you put me in the league with those illustrious fighters [Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson], but I’ve proved since my career I’ve surpassed them as far my popularity. I’m the biggest fighter in the history of the sport. If you don’t believe it, check the cash register
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.”
“I just have this thing inside me that wants to eat and conquer. Maybe it’s egotistical, but I have it in me. I don’t want to be a tycoon. I just want to conquer people and their souls
It’s nothing personal, but I’m going to kill this guy.
This is a weird feeling in my life I have to deal with, not being a violent man anymore when my whole life’s reputation was built on being extremely violent. I just don’t know how to deal with that right now. I don’t even go to strip clubs no more. I don’t know who I am sometimes, but I am not the guy I used to be. I’m not an angel or anything. I’m still lascivious, periodically. I’m just looking for some balance in my life
After his final fight: “I felt like I was 120 years old. I feel like Rip Van Winkle right now
I’m addicted to perfection. Problem with my life is I was always also addicted to chaos. Perfect chaos.
There’s no one perfect. … Jimmy Swaggart is a lascivious creature, Mike Tyson is lascivious – but we’re not criminally, at least I’m not, criminally lascivious. You know what I mean. I may like to fornicate more than other people – it’s just who I am. I sacrifice so much of my life, can I at least get laid? I mean, I been robbed of my most of my money, can I at least get a blowjob without the people wanting to harass me and wanting to throw me in jail?”
I put people in body bags when I’m right
Don’t be surprised if I behave like a savage. I am a savage
I’m a good friend, but I’m a hell of an enemy. As your enemy, I want your demise. When I feel that in my heart it burns till I die
One of my friends once saw another guy’s (criminal) record and said, ‘Look, this guy is a born troublemaker, just a loser.’ I had to tell him, ‘No, that’s my record — and it doesn’t include my juvenile history.
“I know I was a tough, bad-ass talking fighter, but I ain’t no mob figure. I did my time for the rape. I paid my money to Las Vegas. I paid my dues. I ain’t the same person I was when I bit that guy’s ear off.”
They would give Jeffrey Dahmer a second chance before they gave me another one.
At 20, reflecting on Cus D’Amato: “Cus was my father but he was more than a father. You can have a father and what does it mean?—it doesn’t really mean anything. Cus was my backbone . . . . He did everything for my best interest . . . . We’d spend all our time together, talk about things that, later on, would come back to me. Like about character, and courage. Like the hero and the coward: that the hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters
No one gives a fuck about me. No one cares if my children starve, if they’re on welfare. I have to support my children. I need more money.
When you see me smash somebody’s skull, you enjoy it
People love you when you’re successful, but if you’re not, who really cares about you?”
There are nine million people who see me in the ring and hate my guts. Most of them are white. That’s OK. Just spell my name right
Most of my fans are too sensitive. I’m a cruel and cold and hard person. I’ve been abused in every way you can imagine. Save your tears. I lost my sensitivity. You embarrass me when you cry.
“I think the average person thinks I’m a fucking nut and I deserve whatever happens to me
“I’m not used to sensitivity any more. When I see people cry when I lose, save your tears. I don’t know how to handle people crying any more. I lost my sensitivity like that. Please, you embarrass me when you cry because I don’t know what to do when you cry. I don’t know what to say.
My main objective is to be professional but to kill him
I was gonna rip his heart out,
“I’m the best ever. I’m the most brutal and vicious, the most ruthless champion there’s ever been. There’s no one can stop me. Lennox is a conquerer? No, I’m Alexander, he’s no Alexander. I’m the best ever! There is no one who can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want his heart! I want to eat his children! Praise be to Allah!” [Lennox Lewis had no children at the time of this quote
You guys have written so much bad stuff about me I can’t remember the last time I fucked a decent woman. I have to go with strippers and ‘ho’s’ and bitches because you put that image on me.
Fuck you in your arse you punk white boy. You faggot. You cant touch me your not man enough, I’ll eat you’re asshole alive you bitch. Fuck you, you hoe, come and say that to my face and I’ll fuck you in the arse in front of everybody, you bitch, cmon you bitch. You’re a scared coward. Your not man enough to fuck with me. You cant last two minutes in my world bitch. Look at you scared now you hoe, scared, like a little white pussy, scared of the real man. I’LL FUCK YOU TILL YOU LOVE ME FAGGOT.
“I’m just like you. I enjoy the forbidden fruits in life, too. I think it’s un-American not to go out with a woman, not to be with a beautiful woman, not to get my dick sucked … It’s just what I said before, everybody in this country is a big fucking liar. [The media] tells people … that this person did this and this person did that and then we find out that were just human and we find out that Michael Jordan cheats on his wife just like everybody else and that we all cheat on our fucking wife in one way or another either emotionally, physically or sexually or one way
You guys would rather be with someone else who’s equal to your status in life. Tiger Woods, or somebody. I comes across as crass, a Neanderthal, a babbling idiot sometimes. I like to show you that person. I like that person. He makes you want to come and listen to me
I wish that you guys had children so I could kick them in the fucking head or stomp on their testicles so you could feel my pain because that’s the pain I have waking up every day.
I’m just a sucker even talking to you guys. I should be ready to rip your heads off your necks. But it’s just not the right thing to do
Most writers, in my opinion, are dysfunctional derelicts
“I feel like sometimes that I was born, that I’m not meant for this society because everyone here is a fucking hypocrite. Everybody says they believe in God but they don’t do God’s work. Everybody counteracts what God is really about. If Jesus was here, do you think Jesus would show me any love? Do you think Jesus would love me? I’m a Muslim, but do you think Jesus would love me … I think Jesus would have a drink with me and discuss … why you acting like that? Now, he would be cool. He would talk to me. No Christian ever did that and said in the name of Jesus even … They’d throw me in jail and write bad articles about me and then go to church on Sunday and say Jesus is a wonderful man and he’s coming back to save us. But they don’t understand that when he comes back, that these crazy greedy capitalistic men are gonna kill him again
On a 2002 column by sportswriter Wallace Matthews: “[He] called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse.’ I’m not a recluse.”
Mike Tyson Classic Interviews