Mike Tyson takes to Twitter to wish his idol, Muhammad Ali. The former undisputed heavyweight champion heaps praise on the legendary boxer, who has over the years become a name synonymous with boxing.
Here’s what Tyson had to say.
Happy birthday to the greatest man ever, Muhammad Ali. He inspired those at the lowest level of life to reach the highest levels of life. Not just in boxing, but life. pic.twitter.com/mv0XLVFHdg
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) January 17, 2022
Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali are undoubtedly two of the greatest names in the boxing universe. It is not unknown how Tyson had followed Ali from his teenage years. And the fact that both of them have nicknames like, The Greatest and The Baddest Man on the Planet makes it more interesting.
In an interview a few months back, Tyson explained what is the difference between him and Mohammed Ali.
“I always like to think I’m a bad mother******. A vicious mother******. But that’s where he (Ali) over shines me because I can’t understand a man who’s literally willing to die,” said Tyson.
“He’s the real deal. He’ll die for this s***. I’m not going to die for this. Ali will fight you to the death. You have to kill him,” says Iron Mike.
There is also an interesting story about Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali had a tremendous influence on Tyson. In various interviews, Iron Mike has discussed how Ali influenced his career. Even Mike Tyson was one of the pallbearers at Ali’s funeral, which depicts their strong friendship.
Many may not know that when Tyson was 14 years old, Ali had lost to Larry Holmes. Tyson could not digest the defeat of his idol and swore to avenge him someday. Seeing Tyson upset, Cus D’Amato, his guardian, got a call through to Ali the next morning and had Mike Tyson talk to the former champ.
In a 2011 interview of ESPN, Tyson revealed what D’Amato had said. “Cus was on the phone with Muhammad Ali. He said to Ali, ‘I have this young black kid who is going to be a heavyweight champion someday and I want you to talk to him,'” Tyson said.
That is when Tyson promised Ali, “When I grow up, I’ll fight Holmes and I’ll get him back for you.”
Mike Tyson didn’t have to very long to fulfill his promise to his idol. On January 22, 1988, ‘Iron’ Mike exacted revenge for his idol Muhammad Ali when he fought a then-retired Larry Holmes. What made Mike Tyson’s vengeance even better? Muhammad Ali was ring-side.
Muhammad Ali was a special guest in that fight and before the match started, he told Tyson, “Remember what you said – get him for me.”
OTD 1988 – Mike Tyson KO 4 Larry Holmes at Convention Center, Atlantic City. Retains Heavyweight Title. Tyson, at age 21, was 17 years younger than the 38-year-old Holmes, who had been out of the ring for 21 months. pic.twitter.com/ih1Z38umE2
— Ringside Seat (@RingsideSeatMag) January 22, 2021
Mike Tyson absolutely destroyed Larry Holmes, giving Tyson his 33rd win. Mike Tyson would later claim that beating Larry Holmes and avenging Ali’s loss was one of his career’s crowning achievements. No wonder, Mike Tyson never fails to laud his idol, Muhammad Ali.