Mike Tyson on surprising technique he used before every fight: ‘Only certain people get it’

The former heavyweight champion is due to box YouTuber Jake Paul in July, at the age of 58

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 03 May 2024 15:56 BST
Mike Tyson opens up on spiritual journey ahead of Jake Paul fight

Mike Tyson has explained how pre-fight hypnosis helped him during his boxing career, saying he was “raised” on the practice from the age of 13.

Tyson, seen by many as the most destructive puncher in boxing history, is set to return to competition in July, fighting YouTube star Jake Paul.

The controversial bout, which will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas and will stream live on Netflix, will be an officially-sanctioned professional contest. Tyson will turn 58 before the fight occurs, while Paul is 27.

Ahead of the bout, Tyson spoke to tennis star Nick Kyrgios on the Good Trouble podcast on Thursday (2 May), reflecting on his past hypnosis.

“I’m an exponent of hypnosis,” said the American. “I was raised off of hypnosis since I was 13, 14, until the end of my career. I always had hypnosis before I fought.

“It only works with... Only certain people get it, not everybody gets it. I guess that’s what life is all about; not everybody’s the same. But I got it.

“It’s all about reaching your self-conscious[ness]. You have a connection with your self-conscious, your ferociousness. Everything’s about being connected, and by using that for fighting, too...

“Everything’s love, everything’s connected to love. Even us going to war: I got her back, she’s got his back. It’s war and there’s love.”

Discussing how he has changed as a person, Tyson added: “The journey, the spiritual journey, it appears to never be over.

“Your spirituality changes, your intellect changes, your soul changes. I’m just at the stage now where I’m ready to meet God. Pretty much, [I’m at peace], yeah.”

In an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2020, Tyson went into depth on his experience with hypnosis.

Mike Tyson after his fight with Clifford Etienne in 2003
Mike Tyson after his fight with Clifford Etienne in 2003 (Getty Images)

“Cus [D’Amato, Tyson’s former coach] used to have me professionally hypnotised two or three times a day: before sparring, before training, and before fights. My objective was to destroy.

“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.’

“[With hypnosis], 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.”

Since retiring as a professional in 2005, Tyson has fought just once, drawing with Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition contest in 2020. Meanwhile, Paul is 9-1 as a pro boxer.

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