Mike Tyson claims seeing a hypnotist aged 12 turned him into the ‘ferocious animal’ that he later became known for.
Iron Mike won his first 19 fights by knockout after becoming a professional boxer aged 18 and developed a reputation for being a particularly vicious and aggressive fighter.
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He won the WBC title aged 20 after stopping Trevor Berbick and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker soon after.
This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.
He was later labelled the ‘baddest man on the planet' and went on to win 50 of his 58 fights, many be first round knockout.
After having a troubled early life living in Brooklyn, Tyson was taken under the wing of boxing trainer Cus D'Amato, who changed the youngsters life.
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And he attributes the ferocity of his fights to a hypnotist, who he worked with several times a day at the request of D'Amato.
"Cus used to have me professionally hypnotised two or three times a day – before sparring, before training and before fights. My objective was to destroy,” Tyson told The Joe Rogan Experience podcast recently.
When asked if he ever felt remorseful about the viciousness with which he attacked his opponents, Tyson replies, "No, because Cus didn't like me to be sensitive like that. He wanted me to be emotionless.
“He said feelings mean nothing. Feelings have nothing to do with your life. The only thing feelings do is distract you.
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“You relax, you go under, you totally focus on blackness, and nothingness. I was only 12 when they started hypnotising me.
“They put you under and you just focus on savageness and that you are a ferocious animal.”
D'Amato died aged 77 in 1985, relatively early into Tyson's professional career, and some speculate that his death was the catalyst to many of the troubles he was to experience as his life and career progressed.
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Tyson's problems outside the ring started to emerge in the late 80s and he was to lose his first fight to Buster Douglas in 1990.
Before that Iron Mike had won his previous 37 professional fights.
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