Looking Back At 16-Year-Old Mike Tyson: “Determination And Willpower” Were More Important Than Talent


In a clip unearthed on social media, a teenage Iron Mike offered up his take on what helps make a champion.

Tyson, now 56, would go on to become the youngest world heavyweight champion EVER just four years later aged 20.

In the clip shared by Twitter account Handz0fStone, Tyson said: “I feel I was born to fight, because I have no other interest in anything else. Anybody’s a fighter in their own right.

“You’re a fighter, I’m a fighter, everyone that’s in this room, even the newspapermen, they’re fighters.

“But everybody don’t get up every morning and run, everybody don’t go to the gym every morning.

“And everybody don’t have enough discipline to wait in the locker room for two hours or three hours, then go in the ring and do what they’ve been taught all those years in the gym.

“So, that’s what separates a champion from a mediocre fighter.”

Asked where talent fits in, Tyson added: “Talent? I don’t believe in talent.


“Well some people, they have talent, that’s good, it helps when you have talent.


“But as long as you have a lot of determination and willpower, that’s all you need. And you have to have is the will to win.”

Having achieved all there is to achieve in boxing, Tyson recently ran the rule over young wannabe Jake Paul.

The pair posed for pictures together but according to Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, Iron Mike had little interest in watching the Problem Child.

Roach told FightHype: “Tyson looked at him and left.

“He saw 30 seconds of him sparring and said, ‘Freddie, can we go down and see the pictures?’

“He knows that’s where the good pictures are. He wasn’t as interested as I was.”


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