There was a time when Mike Tyson was one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet. Now? Not so much.
There’s a pretty clear generational line among those who know Tyson as one of the best boxers of the late 20th century and those who don’t.
Those who don’t recognize Tyson for what he did in the ring as a boxing champion see him as something completely different: the guy from “The Hangover” with the face tattoo.
“Different generations. You run into some kid, this is a real humbling experience,” Tyson explained in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I went to this high school. Six hundred kids in the room, 700 kids, maybe 1,000. They had this big screen, giant, 10-by-10. They were showing the kids some of my fights because they didn’t know who I was. They just thought I was an actor from ‘The Hangover.’ ”
Tyron’s boxing past remains, of course. It’s just passed down from one generation to another at this point.
“This one little Mexican kid said, ‘I think my grandfather told me about you,’ ” Tyson recalled with a laugh in the SI interview. “Never in my life am I going to forget that. You talk about a humbling experience.”
Oh, and there’s also the whole tattoo-on-the-face thing, which Tyson claims he doesn’t regret.
“A lot of stuff happened out of this tattoo, a lot of good stuff,” he told SI. “Other young athletes come to me and say, It’s because of you they call it the Mike Tyson.”
Tyson, now 50, seems pretty content at this point, traveling the world with his wife and kids doing his one-man show, recalling the events of his life.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK Images