Diego Maradona Interviewed Mike Tyson On Live TV And It Was Gloriously Crazy
Mike Tyson has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, who Tyson formed a friendship with 15 years ago when he appeared on the football legend's talk show.
The live TV interview involved Tyson teaching Maradona how to punch and also him lifting the Argentine into the air. But when news broke of Maradona's passing at age 60, 'Iron Mike' was quick to share his feelings.
"The Hand of God, Maradona has left us," he tweeted. "In 86 we both won our championships. They used to compare the two of us.
"He was one of my heroes and a friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed."
The Hand of God, Maradona has left us. In 86 we both won our championships. They use to compare the two of us. He was one of my hero's and a friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/E5j6DSfJas- Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) November 25, 2020
The two icons met in 2005 when Maradona had Tyson as a guest on his chat show. Instantly they struck up a friendship as the former undisputed heavyweight champion felt a kinship to World Cup-winner Maradona, having visited the area of Argentina he grew up in.
"Today I was in the neighbourhood you were born [La Boca] and I think we come from similar places, we have a lot in common," said Tyson per ESPN.
Maradona and Tyson certainly share some remarkable links. Both came from poverty; Maradona from the La Boca barrio of Buenos Aires, while Tyson grew up in the then crime-ridden Brownsville area of Brooklyn, New York.
Both were relatively small for their chosen sports, Maradona at 5ft 5in, Tyson at an alleged 5ft 11in - but boasted explosive talent and captured public fascination at a young age. But both athletes also struggled with addictions and demons away from their sport.
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"I admire you and respect you very much, because you have been the king of your sport. That's why I'm so happy to be here," Tyson explained to Maradona.
El Diego returned the praise in kind, saying: "Tyson is a legend. The greatest boxer there ever was. That's why we worship you so much."
Inevitably, things took a turn for the bizarre (what would you expect from these two?) as Tyson confessed: "I'm not a bad person. I just want to do what I want to do. I don't know, if I want to have sex on the table I do it...
"I'm tired of being judged all the time. I don't know man, sometimes I just want to smoke a cigarette and I have to be hiding. I don't like that. Right now I just want to do what I like.
"With all respect, f**k 'em all. I just want to live my life."
Tyson finished, however, by reiterating the similarities he saw between himself and Maradona.
"The important thing is that people like us, who come from the same place we do, have always fought to get where we are," he said. "And we have had to put up with humiliating experiences. But they could never bring us down."
Tyson actually returns to the ring this weekend, at age 54, for an exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. So it'll be interesting to see if 'Iron Mike' pays a further tribute to Maradona either before or after his fight.
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