Some extremely rare Tyson sparring footage...

Newsletter - April 26th, 2024

Back in 2005, when I was visiting grimy boxing gyms deep in the bowels of Philadelphia, two thousand dollars would have been life changing money for me. My rent and bills would have been paid, and I might even have enough money for some actual fun in the rest of the month...

Well $2,000 is what you got paid if you sparred with Mike Tyson for just two rounds.

Six minutes of hard work, and you left the gym with $2,000... which made a big difference for a lot of small time heavyweights.

If you could do a third round, you left with another $1000... but you also might have been carried out of the gym.

Indeed, Mike went hard, but perhaps for good reason.

The energy output required for 'friendly sparring' vs that needed for a real fight is vastly different, and if you're not used to punching someone at full-power for several rounds, perhaps you're not ready to go the full 12 with Larry Holmes.

So, they fed him low-level heavyweights... one after the next. Their minds would be splattered for $2,000, and Mike would walk away looking mildly confused.

Mike: "What happened?"

Mike's Trainers: "You broke his brain, Mike."

Nevertheless, I came upon 20 minutes of footage taken from a Mike Tyson 'sparring day', and I found it to be a fascinating look behind the scenes.

(sparring starts at 5:30)

Mike yawns, laughs, jokes and gets taped up while these men prepare for one of the most vicious experiences of their lives.

As I watched, I imagined myself in their position. Back then, we had no idea what they were doing to their poor, horrified brains... and all for the sake of a month's expenses.

Suddenly, it didn't seem like such a good deal, despite the going rate being approximately $20,000/hour.

But 2,000 bucks is 2000 bucks, and at least one of Tyson's sparring partners has now been immortalized as a .gif in a Fight Smart newsletter.

Surely you can feed your family with .gifs!

If not, then I have developed a terrible business model.

Anyhow, enjoy the clip and have a fantastic weekend...



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