Mike Tyson is the biggest and baddest boxer of his generation. But toward the end of his career, he was known for saying and doing some crazy things.
During one of his last post-fight interviews, Tyson even went on to say that his back was broken.
Here’s a look at this crazy interview and the meme that emerged along the way.
The year was 2003, and a few months ago, Tyson lost his last chance at reclaiming his belts when reigning champ Lennox Lewis knocked him out.
Tyson, in his mid-thirties at the time, wanted another run at the belt, so he got himself another fight.
Despite having a 24-1 record, opponent Clifford Etienne was probably not on the former champ’s level. In any case, the two touched gloves in Memphis. Tyson won.
Tyson felt relieved to rebound from his loss to Lewis. But in his post-fight interview, he famously told interviewer Jim Gray, “I broke my back.”
Gray paused for a moment, perhaps shocked, and then asked Tyson what he meant. Tyson then uttered some words that would become a running joke in boxing, “My back is broken. Spinal.”
Like he told Gray, one day, he was doing his daily 2,500 sit-ups while resting a 20-pound weight on himself. Then, he felt as if he couldn’t do one more sit up. Obviously, something went wrong.
He got examined by a doctor and the doctor told him, in Tyson’s words, that his back was broken. Gray asked the former champ how he fought with a broken back, and Tyson just replied, “I don’t know.”