• Boxing

Tyson: Fighters not willing to attempt to die for goals

ESPN staff
December 13, 2013 « Arteta frustrated by Arsenal fixture schedule | Chartbeat test »
Tyson had a fearsome reputation in the ring © AP
Enlarge

Mike Tyson is convinced the modern generation are no longer "prepared to die" to become world champion as he was when rising through the boxing ranks.

Tyson, who became the youngest ever world champion at the age of 20 in 1986, is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, and forged a reputation as being one of the heaviest hitters in history.

But the 47-year-old believes the new era of boxers lack the hunger and determination he had to rise to the very top in boxing because many of them have not experienced hardship in their lives as he did.

Top tens: Sporting Gimmicks

Sudden death shootouts - in Rugby? © Getty Images

"I don't think people are made out of what they used to be made out of," Tyson told talkSPORT.

"When I was poor, when I was a young kid, I didn't have any television. You see people now who are broke on the welfare system, they have a television, they may even have a car and 30 years ago that was totally impossible.

"They are not hungry. They are not willing to even attempt to die to accomplish their goals.

"We are in the era of entitlement. There is no desire to accomplish great things. When I was fighting, I was prepared to die to become champion."

Tyson is currently publicising his new autobiography Undisputed Truth, which deals with events such as his convicted rape charge in 1991.

That charge makes it unlikely he will be allowed back into Britain for his new one-man stage show as he has served more than four years in jail for his crimes, though he is determined for people to see him in a different light.

Tyson told The Telegraph: "No single person could stop me doing what I want to do. I have to want to do it myself. So I have embarked on living not a monastic lifestyle as such, but one of respectability. I want to be a respectable citizen in society."

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Feeds Feeds: ESPN staff

ESPN staff Close