Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Shannon Briggs have appeared this week on Mike Tyson’s podcast.
They’ve discussed a wide range of topics regarding both their boxing careers and lives.
Both New York natives — the two have lived incredible lives it’s fair to say.
That’s the thing about boxing more times than not.
The stories its fighting sons often have are forged from something so traumatic earlier on that mere mortals like ourselves in society can only listen on in admiration of the trials and tribulations they overcame.
Tyson and Briggs came from troubled early backgrounds growing up in New York.
Childhoods that saw both exposed to prison at a young age.
Speaking on his podcast Tyson said of his first correctional facility experience:
“Listen, when I first got locked up I was twelve years old and I was so scared. I went up there, I went to my cell and they closed the door. Then it was day time and I had to go breakfast where all the inmates eat breakfast. So when I go to the hall I see all my f****** friends. Now I’m a f****** God. No one better f*** with me then. So I loved being there. Every time I came back I loved being there. All my friends were there. Nobody is going to touch me, nothing is going to happen me. That became my home. I became institutionalized.”
Briggs in response then shared his first memory early on of that life style:
“My pops died in prison. My step pops raised me. I remember going to visit him (my father) in Rikers. It was like ’88. It was crazy. I remember we were in the visitation room. It was crazy. I was in Rikers Island and I knew it was a place that I would eventually be because I knew people who were there. My pops was on some serious stuff, like, yo, stop playing, Your mom is telling me you’re doing this, you’re doing that.”
“He was a big strong dude and he had tears running down his eyes telling me this isn’t where you wan’t to be (prison) Shannon.”
“Looking back it showed my ignorance.”
Boxing found both men years later however.
A time then where the two turned their lives around.
Definitely good examples of the positive power of the sport of boxing for those from working class and difficult backgrounds.