If you’re over the age of, say, 30, then you know Mike Tyson as one of the baddest boxers of all time. Yes, he’s 50 now, and yes, it’s been more than a decade since he’s been inside of a boxing ring for a fight. But still: He’s Mike freaking Tyson! How do you know him as anything other than a legendary boxer?!
If you’re under the age of 30, though, or better yet, if you’re still in high school, there’s a good chance that you didn’t get the opportunity to see Tyson fight in his prime. So you probably know Tyson as the guy who made you laugh in The Hangover movies.
Tyson himself didn’t necessarily realize that this generational gap existed until he went to talk at a high school recently. While speaking with Sports Illustrated for a new feature story, he said that he visited the school to deliver a speech to about 1,000 kids. But when he arrived, he quickly realized that most of the kids at the school only knew him for his role in The Hangover series. In fact, he told SI, the school actually had to set up a projector and show some of his biggest fights just to prove to the kids that he was an accomplished boxer at one time.
"This is a real humbling experience," he said during his SI interview. "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. This one little Mexican kid said, 'I think my grandfather told me about you.' Never in my life am I going to forget that. You talk about a humbling experience."
Wow. This isn’t necessarily surprising, since most teenagers today weren’t even born back when Tyson was taking part in his most memorable fights. But it must make the over-30 crowd feel extra old.
Elsewhere in his SI interview, Tyson talked about taking his kids to tennis lessons, traveling around the world to put on his one-man show, Undisputed Truth, and more. Go here to read the full Q&A.