British boxing promoter Frank Warren has finally revealed exactly what went down when heavyweight legend Mike Tyson punched him 20 years ago.
In 2000 ‘Iron Mike’ travelled over to the United Kingdom for two fights which were stage by Warren. The first against Julius Francis in January of that year went off without a hitch. Tyson returned to England in June to take on Lou Savarese but that fight week didn’t go as planned.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Crisis, What Crisis Podcast Warren revealed what led to his altercation with Tyson, he said.
“First time he came over, no problems, he was great. And then he went into a jewellers and walked out with an invoice for … £1.5 million, £2 million something like that.”
“They never paid the bill and the jewellers, quite rightly, wanted to get paid and they kept ringing me. And I was ringing the States. They’re telling me, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to do another fight here let’s pay it out of that’. When he came back the second time he was just awful. Beyond awful. He was petulant, aggressive, totally different scenario. The bill hadn’t been paid still and he’d gone into the jewellers because there was a girl in there that he had met and he was basically showing off to her. To cut a long story short, he got pissed about it.
“And I was ringing the States. They’re telling me, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to do another fight here, let’s pay it out of the next fee.’ When he came back the second time he was just awful. He was awful, beyond awful. He was petulant, just aggressive, a totally different scenario.
“The bill hadn’t been paid still and he’d gone into the jewelers – and the reason he went into the jewelers was because there was a girl in the jewelers that he’d met and he was basically showing off to her the first time.
“And, cut a long story short, he got p***ed about it. I don’t know this at the time,” Frank Warren continued.I get a call. Someone says to me, ‘Mike’s not happy.’“I say, ‘I’ll come up and see him, what’s the problem?’ I go up to the hotel. Next minute, you stand there talking and he’s took a swing at me. Well he didn’t take a swing, he actually caught me.
“So there’s a lot of commotion, there was a lot of people in the room. I didn’t expect it by the way. It was a cheap shot. I got up. And it was all pandemonium, crazy, madness in the room. When I say it’s my fault, I should have known. I should have pulled out of that situation from the start. I shouldn’t have got involved.”
“I was absolutely fuming as you can imagine. Fuming with everybody involved. The lawyer at Showtime wanted to call the police, I said, ‘No, no, no.’ I don’t wanna do that. I’ll sort it out, don’t worry. All the newspapers said I had my jaw broken, my ribs were broken, that was all bulls***, nothing was broken at all. My eye just had a burst blood vessel, a red eye, that was it.
“He fought, had his fight and I made sure that he paid for what he did, hit him where it hurt. He went berserk after the fight, the police actually ran him out of town. He went straight to Gatwick airport and they left the country.” (Transcribed by Talk Sport)
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