Mike Tyson’s shocking revelation about the two boxing legends who inspired him to box: and it wasn’t Muhammad Ali

From his explosive debut in 1985 to his reign as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson’s journey is etched in the sport’s lore as one of its most compelling narratives. But behind Tyson’s prowess lies a deep-seated admiration for the legends who paved the way before him.

In a recent episode of Good Trouble with Nick Kyrgios, the Australian tennis star sat down with Tyson to delve into the inspirations that fueled his journey to the top of the boxing world.

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At the forefront of Tyson’s influences stands the iconic figure of Muhammad Ali. Their connection traces back to Tyson’s time at a New York juvenile detention center, where a chance encounter with Ali left an indelible mark on the young fighter. Meeting his idol in person, Tyson was inspired by Ali’s charisma, skill, and unwavering confidence-a moment that would shape his path in the sport.

The two boxing legends who inspired Tyson

While Ali held a special place in Tyson’s heart, it was Roberto Duran who left the most significant stylistic imprint on the budding boxer.

Known for his relentless pressure and aggressive style, Duran’s approach resonated deeply with Tyson, who studied hours of Duran’s fight footage during his formative years. The former four-weight world champion’s tenacity and ferocity served as a blueprint for Tyson’s own in-ring persona.

But Tyson’s admiration extended beyond the ring, encompassing the artistry and skill of Sugar Ray Leonard. Revered as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time, Leonard’s technical prowess and ring intelligence captivated Tyson, who hailed him as the “most skilled fighter” he had ever seen.

“No, Ali caused me to be interested in boxing, but Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard made me want to fight,” Tyson said.

“This is what I’m going to do. Yeah.”

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