At a press conference addressing his new ambassadorial role with sports betting operator Parimatch, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson explained why he and Parimatch represent a perfect partnership due to a mutual “dedication to being the best in the world”.
Sports betting operator Parimatch has further strengthened its line-up of brand ambassadors with the addition of heavyweight boxing icon, Mike Tyson.
‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’s’ new role was announced at a press conference last month, where he explained how the partnership with Parimatch represented a mutual commitment to be “number one”.
“This is all about dedicating your life,” stated Tyson to the crowd. “This is about Parimatch dedicating itself to be the best in the world, and that is why I put my name on the product as I am also dedicated to being the best in the world.”
Even at 53 years old, Tyson still trains for an hour and a half twice every day. Despite arriving only the night before, he had already been to the gym twice before the press conference began.
“I’m programmed to do this,” he added. “If I don’t do this, I’ll get fat, I’ll get out of shape, I’ll be sick, and I’ll die.”
This motivation to be the best was born in 1977, when Tyson was “locked up” in a reformed school at only 11 years old.
“We watched the movie about The Greatest and then when the film stopped, Muhammad Ali came in – and everybody went crazy,” he recalled. “We were just a bunch of juvenile, poor, bad, destitute kids. And we were all crazy. And that day I told myself I wanna to be like him. I didn’t know what I was talking about, I ain’t ever seen him fight. I knew nothing about him. I just wanted to be like him. I wanted that respect how people responded when he came to the room and I wanted that.”
42 years later, speaking at a Parimatch press conference where attendees were hanging on his every word, it is obvious that Tyson has earned this respect. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, he now joins Parimatch’s star-studded ambassadorial team along with UFC icons Conor McGregor and Alexey Oleynik, the former of which Tyson dubbed a “promotional genius” – but one he could still K.O in the ring.
“I’d beat him,” remarked Tyson, with the confidence only a world champion could exude. “They still want me to fight him. People are paying [lots of] money to see him fight. That is marketing, millions and billions; he’s a genius.”
He explained that McGregor – with his unique personality and unbridled passion – represents the future of the UFC. Combat sports succeed when the focus is on individual achievements, preached Tyson, not on working together.
“MMA has to have many changes to stay prosperous in the upcoming years. They have to have individual athletes,” he said. “In boxing you can’t take that many boxers in a room without a problem.”
Indeed, like McGregor, Tyson has always wore his heart on his sleeve. He’s so dedicated to being the best, that every challenge becomes personal – and it’s this mentality that drove Tyson to go 32-0 on the road to avenging his childhood hero.
“My most important fight was with Larry Holmes in 1988 because he has beaten Muhammad Ali. When I was a kid and I went to that fight I cried for a few years,” he continued. “I promised Muhammad Ali that when I get older, I’m gonna avenge him. I trained real hard and prepared for fighting. Everything I did in my life since I woke up in the morning and until I went to bed in the evening was the process of getting ready for the fight. I wake up and do my exercises, I go downstairs, I run, come back, and do more exercises. I walk to school, go to the gym, get showered, return to the class. At lunch time I go to the gym. Then when school is over, I walk to the gym. When I do my sit ups, I’m watching the TV, watching fight films, working out while watching. Everything is in preparation for my fight.”
With the eyes of the whole world on him, Tyson defeated Holmes in the fourth round, knocking out the 6”2 former heavyweight champion for the first time in Holmes’ professional career. After 10 long years, Tyson had finally avenged Ali, completing one of the most inspirational tales of fighting spirit in the sporting world. His story, however, was far from over. Tyson would go on to fight 15 more times in the ring, becoming one of the few people to regain a heavyweight championship after having lost it. Despite hanging up his gloves for good in 2005, Tyson now focuses on his family, his businesses, and partnerships with brands that can live up to his unwavering fighting spirit.
“This whole experience [with Parimatch] is gonna be out of this world and I’m just looking forward to it,” Tyson concluded. “I’m so grateful for being a part of it. This is what I am anticipated to be; the best. That’s why I’m here, and I’m looking forward to a great experience of being involved with the best.”