In the mid to late 80’s, he was an unstoppable force that left his opponents battered and beaten after he destroyed them with his aggressive Boxing style. This led to him starting his career with a record of 37-0 with 33 of those wins coming by TKO. It wasn’t until his first fight of 1990 that he tasted defeat in the Boxing ring.
Despite Tyson’s loss to Buster Douglas in 1990, he was still a feared man in the squared circle. When a fighter signed up to fight him they were basically signing up to just take a payday and a beating. Even after his loss to Douglas, he was still considered to be the most dangerous man in the world. The only thing that was able to derail him at the time was a prison sentence.
Once he returned to the ring after prison he clearly was not the same Mike Tyson in the ring. Mike has always been a different breed, but after his infamous fights with Evander Holyfield, it was clear that his time at the top was over. Aside from being a complete monster in the ring, Mike Tyson was also known for being a little crazy. He kept pet Tigers, he said some of the craziest stuff you ever heard in interviews and press conferences. For crying out loud he once said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’s children.
Despite everything Mike Tyson has done, nothing is crazier than when he decided he wanted to fight a Gorilla. He was even willing to pay to fight a Gorilla. Most people are too scared to fight another human being and he wanted to fight a freaking Gorilla. If that isn’t insane I don’t know what is. Apparently, when Tyson was with Robin Given in the late 80’s the two went to the zoo. Tyson has always been an animal lover. He had bribed a zoo employee to open the zoo after it had closed.
The two were strolling along enjoying the animals and when they came up to the Gorilla exhibit. Tyson noticed a Gorilla was bullying all of the other primates. Tyson being the animal lover he is couldn’t stand for this and he offered the zookeeper $10,000 to open the cage so he can go in there and punch the Gorilla. Yes, you read that correctly. He was willing to pay $10,000 to get killed by a Gorilla. Now we aren’t trying to doubt Tyson’s ability, but it is a freaking Gorilla. It would have torn him apart.
“I paid a worker at New York’s zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin (his wife),” said Tyson. “When we got to the gorilla cage there was 1 big Silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas. They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant. I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback’s snotbox! He declined.”
Thankfully that zookeeper had some common sense. If you thought Mike Tyson had a chance you are dreaming. That Gorilla would have ripped Tyson in half. Kudos to him for being so confident in his ability, but that would have been one decision he would have regretted.
Maybe it was because he wrestled with is pet tigers that he thought he could beat up the Gorilla. Who knows, but thankfully it never happened. Although I would assume that zookeeper had to think real hard about that decision. $10,000 is a nice amount of money today and it was even more back then. $10,000 in 1989 is actually the equivalent of about $20,000 today.