Mike Tyson: A Famous Boxer Whose Financial Collapse Was as Ferocious as His Boxing Style
Through the ’80s and ’90s there wasn’t a single boxer in the world who could boast standing on the same level as this boxing legend, with a razor sharp precision his trademark right hook and uppercut combo knocked out and bested some of the biggest name in the sport. Being one of the most celebrated athletes of all time, Mike Tyson’s income exceeded $400 million during his boxing career.
At the peak of his fame, he commanded $30 million for one night’s work. However at par with his skills were his spending habits. Tyson spent with the kind of swiftness and aggressiveness that once characterized his early round knockouts thus squandering the fortune he earned as quickly as he earned it – or dare I say faster – and resulted to him owing an enormous sum. The faster money came in, the faster it went out and the more he earned the more he spent, leaving the money tap open like it would never stop flowing.
Mike Tyson grew up in a troubled environment and an equally troubled youth. Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York on the 30th of June 1966 his father who as he described was “just a regular street guy caught up in the street world,” left his mother around the time he was born, leaving his mother to struggle as a single parent caring for three children. His mother wasn’t the most nurturing type and expressed displease with most of his actions, only seeing Mike as a wild kid running the streets further causing an emotional baggage.
As a teenager in the young age of 13, Tyson was already a juvenile delinquent with a long list of offenses which lead to him being sent to the reform school called Tyron School for Boys. This is where he met the ex-boxer Bobby Stewart who introduced him to Tyson’s first boxing mentor and manager Cus D’Amato. Under D’Amato’s guidance, the child quickly rose to stardom, taking home a gold medal at the 1982 Junior Olympic games as an amateur boxer.
Tyson’s first fight as a pro boxer was held on the 6th of March 1985, he won that match and the 14 bouts that followed it on the same year. Sadly the following year he lost D’Amato to pneumonia whom he viewed as a father figure, but instead of letting the grief get him down he used it to his advantage and crushed every opponent that was matched against him earning several knock outs.
At the age of 20, the Kid Dynamite bagged the World Boxing Council belt, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of the sport. At the top of his game, Tyson also took hold of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles in 1987, making an estimated $50 million from these two fights alone. The endorsement deals started to come in waves, even having a Nitendo game (Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!) made about him which sold over two million copies worldwide.
However, it didn’t last forever. Tyson was unable to leave his troublesome tendencies in the past and further lengthened his already astounding list of criminal offenses. His ferocious image and criminal records, including domestic abuse allegations and a rape conviction for which he served three years in prison, soon ended up chasing away the advertisers. Gradually together his publicity earning power, his boxing skills diminished with age making the money flow quite scarce but his spending remained the same.
Stories about his reckless money handling are legendary. According to sources, Tyson employed at least 200 people; including bodyguards, chefs, chauffeurs, and gardeners. He spent about $3.4 million on clothes and jewelry, $140 thousand on two white Bengal tigers and $125 thousand a year for their trainer, $410,000 on a single birthday party, $230 thousand on cellphones and pagers, almost $4.5 million on cars and motorcycles, $2 million on a bathtub for his first wife, and $7.8 million on unnamed personal expenses, all during the three-year period of 1995-1997. He built a lifestyle that cost him an estimated $400 thousand a month to maintain.
He was in debt to the RIS for $13.4 million, the British tax authorities for $4 million, the treasuries of Georgia and Michigan for over $317 thousand, he also owed $500 thousand for a financial manager, $450 thousand to a music producer, $800 thousand to a former trainer, $52 thousand in child support, and he had a standing debt of $600 thousand to seven law firms and many more to unspecified creditors. Tyson found himself over $23 million in debt shortly after the work stopped and in 2002 after an expensive divorce cost him a hefty sum of another $10 million he had to file for bankruptcy.
Personally I understand the temptations he faced, being the child of a poor family myself I know how hard it is to resist that urge to buy unnecessary and impractical items when you’re finally earning big. I have an idea on how difficult it is for anyone to resist buying those things you thought you could only ever dream of affording. When the time comes, and I’m sure it will, do not give in to the temptation because once you do trust me – it will be much harder to stop than it was to resist the urge to start. After living a life of prudence for so long when you finally get a huge sum, it will feel like a whole new world of opportunities has opened up right in front of you – this is true but take heed, spend wisely or these gates may close in the blink of an eye.
Be practical, before you spend for your leisure you must first secure your future by making the proper investments and preparing for any unforeseen circumstances. Part of Tyson’s money problem was also attributed to the people whom he allowed to get close to him and depended on his goodwill whilst taking advantage of him. “I can’t even call them leeches. That’s too decent of a word to call them,” Tyson once said on an interview describing the people who took advantage of him. Always take caution in choosing whom to trust. In an ideal world we would be surrounded by those who would genuinely want to support us, but this is reality and the hard truth is that only a handful can be trusted. How would you know which is which? When you desire to reach a certain destination, it is best to ask for the assistance of someone who has already been there.
I came from a family of farmers, took the risk of going on my own path. Made several trials and errors finance-wise, ended up broke and in debt at one point, until I finally discovered the formula; the blueprint. If financial freedom is what you desire, this could help you: https://junpasion.com/blueprint-to-financial-freedom/
Here’s to your success!