Home Sports Mike Tyson says his mother’s death is ‘one of the best things that ever happened to me’

Mike Tyson says his mother’s death is ‘one of the best things that ever happened to me’

Mike Tyson says his mother’s death is ‘one of the best things that ever happened to me’

The outspoken former boxer Mike Tyson has claimed his mother dying was one of the best things to ever happen to him.

Tyson was 16 when his mother, Lorna Smith Tyson, died of cancer. His father had abandoned them in their family home in Brownsville, Brooklyn when he was just two. Yet, in a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay podcast, Tyson stated that had things been different he never would have become a champion.

Tyson has been open about his upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, where he had to fight to survive. “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that my mother died. My mother would have babied me. There is no way I would have ever got into a street fight, no way I ever would have learned to stand up for myself.” 

Raised in Brownsville, a neighbourhood rife with crime, Tyson had a tough start to life – fit for the boxer he became. He didn’t know his biological father Purcell Tyson and his stepdad Jimmy Kirkpatrick walked out on him and his family soon after he was born. Tyson would later say about Kirkpatrick: “My father was just a regular street guy caught up in the street world.”

This is despite Tyson having been arrested on multiple occasions before he was 14, at which point he claims to have known he had what it takes to become heavyweight champion. Significantly, after his mother’s death, Tyson was left in the custody of his legendary boxing trainer Cus D’Amato.

The Brooklyn-born boxer credited his mentor for guiding him to success in the fight world, and went on to say, “he always told me that one day I would be great.”

Cus sadly died in 1985, soon after his most prized student had broken onto the scene, therefore never saw what he would go on to achieve in the sport.

‘Iron Mike’ became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at just 20-years-old. A year later in 1987, he claimed the other two belts in the division and became the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

In a matter of no time, Tyson had established himself as one of the most feared fighters in boxing history and remains so to this day.

However, difficulties in his personal life ultimately brought the warrior to his knees in time…

He enjoyed his last professional victory in 2003, before filing for bankruptcy in 2004, after earning over $400m dollars throughout the span of his career.

Author: Bunmi Johnson

New York, USA