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How Mike Tyson Beat Bankruptcy And Come Back With $10 Million In Net Worth

By now, just about every person on Earth has a passing familiarity with Mike Tyson. You may know him as the former Heavyweight Champion, the media personality, or the hilarious on-screen presence appearing in such films as “The Hangover.” Any way you slice it, Mike Tyson is a veritable superstar, with a legendary net worth to show for his decades in entertainment. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mike Tyson currently has a nest egg of over $10 million. While this is a far cry from the net worth that Mike Tyson once held many years ago, it serves as a testament to the retired boxer‘s longevity and resilience. After facing financial struggles throughout the late 1990s, Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003. For most others, this would have put the nail in the coffin for the fighter’s career.

So how did Tyson manage to bounce back, regain his legacy, and eventually rehabilitate his image to the point that more people know him as the face of the animated series “Mike Tyson Mysteries” than those that have paid to see him brutalize his opponents in the ring? Let’s examine this, as well as the numerous income streams and avenues Tyson used to amass his nest egg, including his boxing career, media appearances, and other lucrative investments.

Tyson’s Discovery and Early Career

 (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Netflix)

Mike Tyson is known to have had an extremely rough childhood. Born in 1966 to an impoverished family, Tyson frequently got into trouble in his youth, fighting with local kids and getting into low-level petty crimes. By the time the future champion turned 13, he is said to have racked up dozens of arrests, landing himself in juvenile detention facilities on multiple occasions. While serving a bid in juvie, Tyson’s impeccable fighting form was discovered by a former boxer turned counselor, who referred the troubled youth to boxing manager and trainer Cus D’Amato.

After training with D’Amato for a few years, Tyson’s mother died, prompting the manager to become Mike’s legal guardian. With no family to speak of and a host of emotional baggage, Mike Tyson committed himself fully to his craft, training every single day for long hours. By the early 1980s, Tyson had launched a hugely successful amateur fighting career, taking on such highly-regarded boxers as Joe Cortez, Kelton Brown, and Jonathan Littles. In 1981 and 1982, Mike Tyson took home gold medals in the Junior Olympics, solidifying him as a force to be reckoned with.

Professional Boxing Career

At the age of 18, Mike Tyson launched his official career as a professional boxer, knocking out his opponent Hector Mercedes with a first-round TKO. During his first year in the professional circuit, Tyson racked up 26 knock-out wins, 16 of which were thrown in the very first round. As such, Tyson developed a reputation for his ferocity, and gradually rose through the ranks to become one of the most popular figures in the history of the sport. Before long, Mike Tyson was taking down former world title challengers such as Marvis Frazier in 30 seconds flat, instilling great fear in challengers far and wide.

Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight champion in history after beating Trevor Berbick in 1986, and maintained an undefeated record through 37 fights until taking his first ever loss to Buster Douglas in 1990. Despite a litany of personal scandals throughout his career, Tyson’s record was nearly unimpeachable, accounting for a salary of millions per fight. At his financial height, Mike Tyson touted a net worth of over $400 million, making him one of the wealthiest boxers to step in the ring. This was all famously taken in from salary alone, as Tyson eschewed endorsement deals, viewing them as an unnecessary headache reserved for boxers who weren’t making enough on pay-per-view deals.

Financial Struggles

As previously mentioned, Mike Tyson fell on hard times after his departure from professional boxing. After a series of missteps resulted in the champ doing a stint in prison, he continued to fight on and off through 2005, though his love for the sport had faded with time. By 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy, citing extreme spending habits and poor financial planning as reasons for having lost nearly all of his money. Tyson was known to live an incredibly lavish lifestyle during the 1980s and 1990s, often giving out 6-figure gifts to strangers, splurging on exotic purchases, and hiring a massive entourage to perform various tasks for massive salaries.

Mike Tyson famously purchased a collection of Bengal tigers, which are said to have cost more than $70,000 each, in addition to housing costs and associated expenses, such as turning his home into an animal sanctuary. In the mid to late 90s alone, Mike is said to have spent over $4.5 million on vehicles, over a dozen of which were purchased for his friends as gifts. He also blew more than $300,000 on garden maintenance and lawn care, as well as a $4 million Las Vegas property with a built-in nightclub and casino, and a $2 million gold-plated bathtub.

Despite his massive spending, the greatest hit to Mike Tyson’s net worth was undoubtedly his ill-advised partnership with boxing promoter and alleged organized crime affiliate Don King. Over the course of Tyson’s career, King is said to have swindled the boxer out of millions of dollars, enriching himself by taking as much as 50 percent of Tyson’s earnings. King also listed his wife and children as consultants and other various roles within Mike’s entourage, siphoning off 6-figure sums annually to each person.

Tyson’s Financial Comeback

As recently as 2010, Mike Tyson has expressed his financial woes, even discussing his struggle to pay and manage basic expenses during an interview with “The View.” Per a report in ABC News, the once-Heavyweight champion stated “I’m totally destitute and broke. I had a lot of fun. It just happened.” Luckily, the past decade or so has been highly lucrative for Mike Tyson, allowing him the opportunity to grow his net worth back up to $10 million. This comeback stems from a handful of prudent business ventures including personal appearance fees, film and television placements, and even a few exhibition fights which brought the legend back into the ring.

Notably, Tyson has played fictionalized versions of himself in outings such as “The Hangover” franchise, “How I Met Your Mother,” “Scary Movie V,” and his own Adult Swim animated outing “Mike Tyson Mysteries.” Per Celebrity Net Worth, Mike Tyson can be booked to make appearances at social events and parties, schedule permitting, for a hefty fee of $37,500 per hour. Since the former champ resides in Las Vegas, he often gets the opportunity to show up at events which are hosted along the strip, which has certainly ameliorated his nest egg in recent years.

In July 2020, Mike Tyson joined forces with another retired boxing legend, Roy Jones Jr. The duo participated in a $50 million exhibition match, earning each of the fighters a slurry of $10 after all was said and done. Clearly the venture was a major success, paving the way for Tyson to reignite this magic with another scheduled match-up against young up-and-comer Jake Paul. The Jake Paul fight was originally poised to go down in July 2024, though it has since been postponed to November. The event will be live-streamed to the Netflix streaming platform.

Additional Business Ventures

While Mike Tyson has been slowly building back his net worth throughout the last decade, he has been very careful not to blow his fortune on frivolous things this time around. Instead, Mike has invested in himself, with media ventures which include his podcast series “Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson.” The show, which just came to an end this year, was launched in 2019, and frequently featured guests who have made a major impact on the world of sports and entertainment. Some of the most notable guests include Eminem, Tyson Fury, Antonio Brown, Stephen A. Smith, and Katt Williams.

One of the central conceits of “Hotboxin’” is Mike Tyson’s love for marijuana, which helps to mellow him out. Mike opened up a weed brand of his own in 2021, called Tyson 2.0. The business has since grown to bring in tons of money each year, with brick-and-mortar storefronts available to visit in numerous states across the country. If you’re interested in checking out a Tyson 2.0 store near you, the official website for the brand contains an easy-to-navigate store locator.

What Does The Future Hold For Mike Tyson?

While he may not be worth the hundreds of millions he once generated, Mike Tyson’s $10 million net worth is clearly nothing to sneeze at. Through hard work, resilience, and some prudent shot-calling, the undisputed GOAT of the Heavyweight world has once again proven that he can build an empire on his own back. For now, fans of Tyson are eagerly awaiting his return to the ring for his exhibition match with Jake Paul this Fall, while others have come to enjoy Mike as a media personality. With so many irons in the fire, it’s tough to say what Mike Tyson’s next move will be, though we’re sure that he’ll make millions wherever he goes.



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