Mike Tyson apparently used to make a habit out of battering his training partners as quickly as possible – not to test his skills, but instead to get home in time to watch Tom & Jerry.
Well, so says Tyson’s former bodyguard and chauffeur Rudy Gonzales, who claims that the legendary boxer often used to condense his gruelling five-hour sparring sessions into just 60 minutes so he could high-tail it out of there early to watch cartoons.
In his book, The Inner Ring – which is itself being developed into an animated feature film – Gonzales explained: “When we trained in Vegas his sparring sessions were from 12 to 5pm.
Credit: PA”He would be the nicest guy beforehand asking the sparring partners: ‘How you doing today, how’s the family?’
“Then he would just knock out five guys all out within an hour so there was nobody left.
“I saw him punch the heavy bag so hard it broke a few times from the chains and the other boxers would just leave saying: ‘We are not f*****g with you today. I do not care how much money you pay me’.
“Anyone who felt they were up for taking him on, he would hit them and they’d just snap. Soon after they would pack their bags.
“So one day I asked: ‘Boss I am confused, isn’t this about working on techniques?
“He replied: ‘If I keep it going we will miss Tom & Jerry cartoons.'”
Credit: PAThe comments resurfaced recently leaving people equally bewildered.
You couldn’t make it up.
Still, there is form for this – Tyson has never been shy about his love of cartoons, even going as far as to help create and star in his own animated series.
Mike Tyson Mysteries sees the former heavyweight champ hop in a van and travel the world, righting wrongs and solving mysteries. It was a surprise hit and ran for four seasons on Adult Swim before being unceremoniously cancelled in September 2020.
Gonzalez claimed in a recent interview with The Sun that during his peak, Tyson used to be so scared of killing his opponents in the ring that he often needed to have sex with groupies before fights to ‘diminish his power’ and take the edge off his rage.
“His biggest fear was that he would kill someone in that ring,’ Gonzalez said.
“He knew he could do it. So I had girls tucked away in bathrooms and changing rooms.
“Sometimes he’d go in with them for a minute, bang the s**t out of them, snap his neck and say: ”Okay this guy is going to live tonight.”’
The latest editions of The Inner Ring: The Set-Up of Mike Tyson and the Uncrowning of Don King Paperback are on sale now.
SPORTbible reached out to Mike Tyson’s representatives for comment.