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Young Mike Tyson Scares TV Interviewer With Vicious Punching Display

Young Mike Tyson Scares TV Interviewer With Vicious Punching Display

A young Mike Tyson terrified his interviewer on UK television when he demonstrated his speed and aggression with a barrage of power punches.

The 21-year-old Iron Mike was in the ring with Jimmy Greaves, when the England football legend asked a question about Tyson's technique. The world heavyweight champ gave an exhibition of controlled violence in response.

"I just punch with snap, my shoulders and my legs bring the punches together with accuracy and precision," said Tyson, before swinging explosive hooks that miss Greaves' head and body by a tiny margin.

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"The object of the game is, when I hit the punch - boom, boom - then I twist and I'm at the side where you can't hit me," explains the Brooklyn destroyer, mauling Greaves into position and showcasing his movement and explosive power.

"Yeah... I get the point!" says a slightly shocked Greaves, who to be fair boldly doesn't drop to the canvas and curl up into a ball as we would in the face of Tyson's too-close-for-comfort combinations.

"My motto is either kill or be killed," adds Tyson.

At the time, Iron Mike was the "Baddest Man on the Planet" boasting a 34-0 record (30 KOs) and all of the major heavyweight belts. He was at the peak of his powers - which explains how he could throw bombs so close to Greaves but judge the distance and fall just short - but outside the ring, his life was in chaos.

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Greaves, who won the World Cup with England in 1966 and remains Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer, also quizzed Tyson on his favourite boxer of all time.

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"My favourite fighter of all time - probably not the greatest, but my favourite fighter - I love Joe Louis," says Tyson about the destructive heavyweight champ from an earlier era.

Greaves follows up by asking him who he thinks the all-time greatest in the sport is and Tyson shoots back immediately with pound-for-pound legend Sugar Ray Robinson.

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"He had everything," explains Tyson. "He wasn't only a classic fighter - everyone has him labelled as a master boxer but he had determination, he had the will to win, he refused to lose."

Thankfully Greaves - who at one point risks his health by popping a jaunty hand on Mike's shoulder - bravely survived without taking any genuine blows from this encounter.

The now 80-year-old ex-player actually could have offered Tyson some life advice. Greaves, like Tyson, was a brilliant athlete who battled addictions outside of his sport - alcoholism, in Jimmy's case.

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But we can fully understand why Greaves probably exited the ring in New York quite quickly and decided not to give young Mike a lengthy lecture on the trappings of sporting success.

Topics: Mike Tyson, Boxing News, Baddest Man on the Planet, Boxing, Fight News, Iron Mike

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.