Mike Tyson Enjoyed Prison So Much, He Didn’t Want to Leave — ‘I Had a Ball in Prison’

Boxing legend Mike Tyson is known for being one of the most fearsome boxers in the history of the sport, but he is also known for being one of the most eccentric humans to walk the Earth. From his shenanigans in the ring to his excessive spending on jewelry, cars, and homes, Tyson built a reputation for being one of a kind.

Tyson’s spontaneous lifestyle caused him a number of problems and even landed him in prison. And while most people would consider prison to be the worst place they could possibly end up, Tyson thoroughly enjoyed his time away. Things were going so well for him in prison, he actually didn’t want to leave when it was time for him to return to society.

Mike Tyson had run-ins with the law from an early age

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson | Eugene Garcia/AFP via Getty Images

Tyson’s problems with the legal system began when he was just a kid living in New York City. Born in Brooklyn, Tyson was raised in a tough environment that housed a lot of criminal activity. A product of that environment, Tyson found himself involved in petty crimes such as robbery, theft, and streetfighting. In fact, Tyson had gotten in trouble so much that by the time he was 13 he’d been arrested 38 times, according to Rolling Stone.

Things began to change after Tyson was sent to Tyron School Form Boys, a reform school in upstate New York. It was there that he met Cus D’Amato, the legendary trainer that would send him on his way to becoming world champion. 

Tyson was sent to prison after a rape conviction

Although Tyson had managed to stay out of trouble for a portion of his professional boxing career, he ended up in prison after he was convicted of rape in 1992. Although Tyson maintains his innocence, he was found guilty of raping a beauty pageant contestant and was sentenced to six years in prison, three of which he served. 

Tyson didn’t want to leave prison

While most people say prison is the last place they’d want to be, Tyson found his time locked away to be quite enjoyable. He lived a wild lifestyle in prison and had relationships with several of the women who worked in his. Things got so intense that he even got a woman pregnant while he was there, a feat that few can say they accomplished. 

“I only did three f—ing years of my life, and I had a ball in prison,” Tyson said on his Hotboxin‘ podcast. “I had a girlfriend, I got a girl pregnant in prison. I was living a life in prison.”

By the time he was done serving his sentence, Tyson had become accustomed to the lifestyle he’d created. He was afraid to return to the real world and spoke about the struggles he faced with leaving prison on his Hotboxin’ podcast.  

“I didn’t wanna leave when I left,” he said. “Because I was secure, I was safe.”

When guest Jim Gray asked him whether he felt safe from society or himself, Tyson said “both.” He also said it was tough for him to reacclimate to society.

“Big time,” he said. “I really didn’t know what I was doing when I came out of prison … I had so much f—king venom in me, I wanted revenge. I felt like somebody did something to me, you know … I thought that shouldn’t have happened to me.”