Boxer Mike Tyson has announced that he is backing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The former world heavyweight champion has said that he supports the controversial politician because he feels Mr Trump gives him respect and that the pair have been friends for years.
Announcing his political allegiance in an interview with The Daily Caller, Mr Tyson said: “That sh*t is the real deal. Listen: I’m a black mother***** from the poorest town in the country. I’ve been through a lot in life.
“And I know him. When I see him, he shakes my hand and respects my family. None of them- Barack, whoever- nobody else does that. They’re gonna be who they are and disregard me, my family.”
“So I’m voting for him. If I can get 200,000 people or more to vote for him, I’m gonna do it.”
He explained how the unlikely pairing came about: “We’re really good friends. We go back to ’86, ’87. Most of my successful and best fights were at Trump’s hotels. He didn’t manage me, though. He was just helping me with my court case.”
Mr Tyson stood trial for rape in 1992. He was found guilty and served a three year prison sentence.
He told the paper why he felt an affinity with Mr Trump: “We’re the same guy. A thrust for power, a drive for power. Whatever field we’re in, we need power in that field. That’s just who we are.”
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Mr Tyson, who converted to Islam whilst in prison following his conviction for rape, said that he was not concerned that Mr Trump might successfully ban Muslims from entering the US, as the politician had previously indicated.
Mr Tyson said: “He’s just not gonna do that. Congress just won’t do that. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be president, you know what I mean?”
Latest polling figures from the Republican race indicate that Mr Trump maintains a strong lead as the candidates near the Iowa caucus.
The Iowa caucus is seen within US politics as one of the chief indicators of the nomination winners and losers. Barack Obama, Al Gore and George W Bush were all successful in the Iowa caucus.
The most recent CNN/ORC poll suggests that Mr Trump is polling at 37 per cent and will lead among Iowa Republicans.
Ted Cruz is expected to place second at 26 per cent, Marco Rubio to poll third with 14 per cent and Dr Ben Carson to come fourth with 6 per cent.