‘The fights that don’t count’ – Mike Tyson had ‘150 street fights’ in Brooklyn in the early 1980s and was arrested 38 times by age 13

Mike Tyson had around 150 street fights as a youngster in Brooklyn, which prepared him for his professional boxing career.

It is well known that ‘Iron Mike’ was a wild animal in his youth and has previously even admitted that he terrorised the streets of New York.

Tyson was a wild character for much of his fighting careerCredit: AFP

Tyson found himself in trouble for petty crimes on countless occasions and was arrested 38 times by age 13, eventually ending up in a reform school.

It was here that he was discovered boxing and began his amateur career.

Ex-boxer Bobby Stewart – who was a juvenile detention centre counsellor – spotted the future champion’s potential and passed him on to Cus D’Amato.

It was on the streets, though, that ‘Iron Mike’ received his first real education in fighting.

“I’m talking about those fights that they don’t count,” Tyson explained on his Hotboxin’ Podcast a few years back when talking about his first foray into the fight game.

“Some guys got 300, 400 fights from the amateurs. Pernell [Whitaker] had a lot of fights.

“I had 60 [amateur fights]. I had around 150 street fights, that’s probably why I didn’t do to bad in boxing.

“That’s all we did in Brooklyn, is fight. Fight, fight, fight.

Tyson was often in trouble with the law as a childCredit: AFP – Getty

Dapper Dan’s Boutique was the setting for an unlikely heavyweight showdown between Tyson and Green in 1988Credit: Getty

“It was, ‘You did this, you did that – I didn’t do that,’ fight, fight.”

Even as an adult, Tyson had one of the most infamous street fights when he thought he’d killed Mitch ‘Blood’ Green when confronted during a late night shopping trip.

Punches were thrown, shirts were torn and police were called after what Tyson described as landing “my signature punch, the right uppercut. Boom! Mitch went flying into the air and came down like a ragdoll, right on his head.”

Talking in-depth about the chaos of raw combat, he continued: “Fighting is spiritual, it’s all consciousness.

“When you’re really fighting, you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s just, pow, action, it’s happening.

“You anticipate throwing this one, but it’s flowing. When it’s flowing, things happen. You might get your ass knocked out.

“And sometimes it flows when your consciousness may be out of your body, you’re watching yourself fight.”

Now, more than 40 years on from his street fighting days, Tyson is set to return to the boxing ring once again.

He will take on Jake Paul in an exhibition bout on July 20 in Texas.

It marks his second fight in his ‘retirement’, having stepped away from the professional game in 2005 when he retired on his stool against Kevin McBride.

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