Mike Tyson has admitted that his first fight had no purse and that he was instead given an unofficial (dollar)500 (£375) by an onlooker as payment for his victory. Mike Tyson claims that his first fight had no purse and that he was given an unofficial (dollar)500 (£375) for his victory by a stranger.
‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ admitted that he had no prize money when he first entered the ring, and that the wealth he did amass later in his career contributed to his downfall.
“I only made (dollar)500 for my first fight, and that’s only because someone took it out of their pocket and handed it to me,” Tyson said on Twitter. “I’ve never fought for money in my life.
However, once I began fighting for the money, I became disoriented,” he continued. His first professional fight was against Hector Mercedes in 1985, but it’s unclear whether the 55-year-old was referring to the fight in which he was paid only (dollar)500, or if he was referring to a different fight.
Tyson, who was only 18 years old at the time of his first professional fight, defeated Mercedes via TKO in the first round at the Plaza Convention Centre in Albany, New York. After knocking out Trevor Berbick in the second round of their fight in 1986, Iron Mike went on to become the sport’s youngest-ever heavyweight champion at the age of 20 – a record that he still holds.
However, the star’s popularity plummeted as a result of his subsequent partying and extravagant lifestyle. When James ‘Buster’ Douglas defeated him for the first time in 1990, his reign at the top effectively came to an end. Tyson discussed his mental changes as a boxer on his Hotboxin’ Podcast.