Mike Tyson is widely regarded as one of the best boxers of all time, but his career could have been far more illustrious had he not missed almost half a decade of it while in prison.
The former unified heavyweight world champion boasted a 41-1 record when he was arrested of raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington at an Indianapolis hotel in July 1991.
‘Iron Mike’ was convicted in March 1992 but ended up serving less than three years in prison. He was allowed to resume his boxing career in August 1995 and reclaimed the WBA and WBC belts almost within one year of his return.
But Tyson, 54, told Vlad TV he had to become romantically involved with a counsellor in order to get that sentence reduced: "I got in trouble like the first six months and stuff, cursing, getting written up. And then by that time, I got the hang of the place. ‘Hey, I know how to do this.’
"Next thing you know, I’m dating one of the counsel workers now, she’s letting me have sex with her now.
“So I’m going good. But the first six months I was getting write-ups, I have to pay that year back.
"[Now] I’m like a star pupil prisoner. Trusty, everything. Then, ‘Hey Mike, remember the first six months you were a prick?’ Boom. They gave me another year.
"So by passing the GED (General Education Department) they took that year away. So I flunked the f***ing GED and got mad, and so I had to start dating this counsellor and stuff, giving her money and doing really some nasty stuff to her, and she let me pass this test.”
Tyson retired from boxing in 2005 after losing three of his last four fights, one of which came against former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
A potential rematch between the pair has been touted to take place later this year, with both Tyson and Lewis voicing an interest in revisiting their old rivalry.
Tyson—who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011—battled a cocaine addiction as recently as 2019 and said earlier this year that he “almost killed” himself.
Having fought Roy Jones Jr. to an exhibition draw in November 2020, speculation is rife as to whom Tyson might face next time if he returns to the ring.
Rather than Lewis, it’s even been suggested the legend could be a target for YouTuber Jake Paul—provided he can make his way past former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen first.
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