Mike Tyson Explains How He Used Hypnotism To Become The World’s Best Boxer
Mike Tyson is the latest guest on Snoop Dogg’s GGN. Like Snoop, the celebrity has become a force in media with his Hotboxin With Mike Tyson Podcast platform. There, the 53-year-old former champion interviews other celebrities, athletes, and media personalities. It also is a celebration of Tyson’s longtime affinity for cannabis. He has an upcoming conversation with Snoop’s mentor, Dr. Dre.
At 10:00 in the nearly one-hour episode, Snoop Dogg brings up Iron Mike’s first 20 pro fights. In 1985 and 1986, Tyson had an undefeated record. Among the first 20 boxers he defeated was James Tillis and Jesse Ferguson. “I had a good teacher. I had this old Italian [American] guy named Cus D’Amato. That’s all we did was fight, fight, fight. I even quit school; I got kicked out of school for fighting,” Mike tells Snoop. “After that, I just dedicated [myself] to fighting-fighting. He used to hypnotize me. [He would] get me a hypnotist, hypnotize me [from when] I was like 14 all the way until I was champ. We used to go through that process, focused wholly on fighting.”
Tyson’s first 37 pro fights all ended in victory. In February of 1990, 30 years ago last month, Mike lost to Buster Douglas in Tokyo, Japan. New Edition’s Bobby Brown recently recalled partying with Tyson the night before the fateful match.
Like Mike, Cus D’Amato was a New York City native. Whereas Tyson hails from Brownsville, Brooklyn, the legendary trainer was raised in the Bronx. He died on November 4, 1985—less than one week after Mike’s 11th pro bout. D’Amato was 77 years old.
Snoop asks his GGN guest about the focus that comes from hypnosis training. “You have to be able to adapt to it…it’s all about the sub-conscious.” Mike describes his temperament in the ting. “I’m very relaxed, very controlled, but my intentions were really to hurt somebody.” Snoop also mentions how in those famed fights, Mike was very relaxed after the last bell rang. “It was over,” he says. “I was cool, ’cause they was some big-ass ni**as; I ain’t want to get mad after the fight. F*ck, I didn’t want to fight them after the fight.”
Mike recalls his mantra through the hypnotherapy. “Be controlled—an intelligent, savage animal.” He tells Snoop that it made for entertainment. “They want two people to really hurt each other. That’s what you want to see, right? You don’t want to see one get chasing the other guy; you want to see two guys [brawling]. That makes good fights.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mike praises the fighting style of current boxer Gervonta Davis. He also recalls a tense exchange at Dapper Dan’s store in Harlem early in his career with opponent Mitch Green.