Boxing Hall of Famer Mike Tyson shared his real thoughts about boxing and the late Muhammad Ali.

Tyson became involved in Brooklyn’s crime scene at a very young age. At the age of 13, he had already been arrested 38 times. When he came out of juvenile detention at only 14 years old, he was introduced to boxing by legendary coach Cus D’Amato.

The young Tyson did not start off with a passion for combat sports. In fact, he never wanted to be a boxer. However, “Iron Mike” was fascinated by Ali, the undisputed world boxing champ back then.

In his book “Iron Ambition: My life with Cus D’Amato,” the 53-year-old legend admitted that he did not quickly fall in love with boxing. It was only after watching Ali’s biopic “The Greatest” that Tyson finally became interested in the sport he once dominated, Daily Star reported.

“I wasn’t a boxing fan at all. I used to love watching wrestlers like Bruno Sammartini and Killer Kowalski,” Tyson revealed.

“Watching the biopic was great. When the movie was over, the lights came on and all of a sudden Ali walked out on the stage and the place just exploded,” Tyson recalled.

According to Tyson, Ali impacted him by talking about his dark past, a thing which both legendary boxers share. Tyson admitted that one speech of Ali in the movie inspired him and changed the way he sees boxing.

“He (Ali) started talking to us about being in detention, how he had been in jail and lost his mind. He was saying beautiful, inspiration stuff - that speech was a game changer for me,” Tyson admitted.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, pictured April 23, 2013 at the World Iconic Forum, the legendary boxer who passed away a year ago had a way with words. Reuters

But Tyson clarified that Ali’s influence wasn’t enough to make him want to be a full-pledge boxer. Instead, he was amused with the legendary status of Ali and knew right there and then that he wanted to be famous.

“It’s not that I wanted to become a boxer after hearing him. I just knew that I wanted to be famous,” Tyson said.

Unlike other boxing greats, Tyson never intended to watch Ali’s fights. In fact, he had watched only one Ali fight and it wasn’t even intentional.

“The only time I saw an Ali fight was when he was fighting Leon Spinks for the second time [1978]. I was hanging out on a corner in Brownsville with my friend when we saw a guy going into the corner store. Someone told us he had food stamps and money on him, so I made sure I got in front of him. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the RV showing the fight,” Tyson recalled.

“I loved Ali but I wasn’t a bit interested in the fight,” Tyson emphasized.

Mike Tyson
Outside of the big four, former boxing great Mike Tyson was pulled over for a DUI in 2006 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Apparently that is the spot to get pulled over if you’re a famous former athlete. Reuters