“I Have A Big, Deep Hole In Me” | Mike Tyson Never Wanted To Fight Until This Happened

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What happens when you mix heavyweight boxing legend “Iron” Mike Tyson with the veteran athletic conversation of “The Pivot Podcast”? Straight realness from one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

Tyson, part of the new athletic media with his “HOTBOXN” podcast and touring the media circuit promoting his Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand, dropped in on June 28, the 25th anniversary of the infamous “ear bite” fight against Evander Holyfield.

Tyson set the record straight on what even got him into fighting back after claiming not to want to fight as a child.

“This guy killed my pigeon and it was a wrap,” Tyson said. “That was the first fight ever in my life, because of a pigeon. Then I just wanted more and more and more. I wanted to crush the world to my feet. I have a big deep hole in me. I had to have everything. All of it. When I was a young kid, I was unbalanced. It was always everything or nothing.”

Tyson, who lost his mother when he was 16, went through a collage of unfortunate moments in his life that eventually yielded the motivation to become “the baddest man on the planet”.

“Sometimes, when God wants to check you, he gives you everything you want,” Tyson continued. “And I wasn’t ready to handle it. … Life is a trip. It blows your mind. I’m a poor guy who never had sh-t. I have to touch the stove to find out that it’s hot.

“That was the best thing that ever happened to me, that my mother passed away, and forgive me for saying that. It really inspired me to accomplish my goals. I did a lot of what I did in my career for her.”

Through the myriad topics, Tyson lands on his unthinkable defeat to Buster Douglass in 1990, still considered one of the most significant upsets in sports history. For Tyson, a moment that lived in infamy for his fans brought a sense of relief to the icon.

“It was release,” said Tyson. “It happened; it’s over. Now we have to deal with this adversity. I understand fighting. I don’t take it personally. Now, I was an even better fighter because I wasn’t afraid to lose. I did things I’d never do before I was undefeated.

“Fighting Buster was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I was so stressed out being the champ. My hair was falling out and everything…I was playing it up like I was still a hard guy, but I was scared to death. … It made me human. I wasn’t an animal or a savage.”

Additionally, Tyson delved into his time in prison after living a luxurious life of mansions and pet tigers. Being stripped of many material possessions and intangibles allowed him to find what mattered in life.

“I had the best three years of my life in prison,” said Tyson. “I had peace. That money doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have your peace, your stability and your balance. You need your sanity to dictate any part of life.”

Tyson also touched on the part of his life that is most meaningful, fatherhood. One can only imagine the experience gained by being a child of Mike Tyson. However, Tyson makes sure to ground his children in ways reminiscent of his childhood.

“I can’t help someone by giving them money,” said Tyson. “I can only hurt them by giving them money. If they don’t have aspirations and haven’t been through any adversity, then they’re going to give in when they’re tested. I have to give them competition, whatever it is. They have to have that spirit. That’s what life is about.

“I want people to know that life is the willingness to die,” said Tyson. “I believe that once you die, you start to live. There’s more than just us out there. You have to kill your ego to actually appreciate life. Ego is good, but it’s not a life. Use it for football and boxing or whatever, but live a life without it.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.