By Scoop Malinowski
Everybody knows the Mike Tyson story: Rags to riches, Brooklyn ghetto to global icon status, kid criminal to fistic kingpin, youngest heavyweight champ in history, most explosive boxer to ever lace up the gloves.
And the world saw his ups and down, highs and lows. The epic destruction of the entire heavyweight division. Then the fall from grace and the crashes, the national TV humiliation by his ex wife. The exploitation by his former promoter to the tune of hundreds of millions and $8000 a week for towels. Then when he lost it all and he couldn’t fight anymore, he was, for a time, even homeless.
Through his incomparable journey, Tyson somehow managed to survive and actually has turned his life into a positive example. Today he’s a success, a positive figure. He succeeded in Hollywood, Broadway, TV, business with his marijuana farm and personal appearances. And now his latest venture, the comeback exhibition series is thriving.
All because people love Mike Tyson. To know Mike Tyson is to love Mike Tyson. Historic success, glory, fame and fortune, then the lowest rock bottoms imaginable. But he never gave up.
What champion in sports could be more inspiring than the example of Mike Tyson? Did Roger Federer, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, or Muhammad Ali suffer and fail on the scale as Tyson has? Did they lose everything and live off the street? No they didn’t.
Normal, regular people can more relate to Mike Tyson than any other sports champions – and draw inspiration and wisdom from his unique example, his stories, his will power, his threshold to suffer and still have faith.
No matter how many times life kicks your ass and knocks you down, you can get up and win again. Just like Mike Tyson.
(Artwork by Brooklyn artist Bud Boccone.)