Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson took the world by storm when he burst onto the boxing scene. At 19, he became the youngest person to become a heavyweight champion. But things did not go so smoothly after that, or for many years before it, for that matter. In The Undisputed Truth, Tyson takes us through his life.

The book was fantastic. Tyson is brutally honest with his own mistakes (except on his rape conviction, where in my opinion he hid behind UK law a little too aggressively), the mistakes of those around him, and pulls no punches when it comes to his interactions with other celebrities.

I found the book after falling down a rabbit hole of watching some of Tyson's fights early in his professional career. He was an absolute monster. And then he completely flamed out. I wanted to see what his perspective was on his incredible rise and equally unbelievable decline.

As a kid, Tyson had a single-mother who was on welfare, and grew up as a thief after quitting school at a ridiculously early age. In prison, his boxing talent was recognized and it was to become his ticket to going legit, as a pro trainer eventually saw his potential and became a father figure for him.

But that trainer then passed away, and those who surrounded the champ were not necessarily the best influences, and Tyson didn't really know how to pick em. Everything went downhill after that.

What surprised me most about Tyson is how much of a reader he is, and was even as he trained 24/7 as a teen. He immersed himself in history books in particular, boxing history as well as the history of great human figures of ancient civilizations.

Unlike a lot of autobiographies by celebs that are written in partnership with real authors, this one actually felt authored by Tyson. It was rambly at times, repetitive and sounded like it was in his voice. Enjoy!

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