Iron Mike met legendary former boxer Bobby Stewart while at New York juvenile home Tryon School for Boys as a kid.
Following his meeting with Stewart, Tyson relayed his desire to become a pro boxer.
But Stewart wasn’t immediately convinced that the would-be fighter had the work ethic it would take to succeed.
Nonetheless he introduced Tyson to iconic trainer Cus D’Amato, who also played an integral role in his development.
Before he’d honed his fight craft, Iron Mike was able to step into the ring with Stewart, but was outfoxed by the older man.
With Tyson throwing a high volume of aimless punches, Stewart waited for his moment to pounce.
The wily veteran landed a brutal body shot that left his young protege reeling.
Recounting the incident in his autobiography, Tyson, now 56, wrote: “I threw up everything I had eaten for the last two years.
“What the f*** was that? I was thinking.”
Although his protege’s skills were raw, Stewart also thought the world of Tyson’s raw talent.
Recalling a training session with a 13-year-old Tyson, he said: “Mike and I were sparring one time. He hit me with a jab that almost knocked me down.
“Luckily, I had the next week off from Tryon, because my nose was broken, my eyes were all black.”
Iron Mike would earn heavyweight champion status just seven years later – becoming the youngest title holder in the division’s history aged just 20 by beating Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.