Thursday 14 December 2017

Katie Taylor should go pro, says Mike Tyson during Limerick visit

Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson pictured at Thomond Park
Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson pictured at Thomond Park

Kathryn Hayes

FORMER heavy weight boxing champion Mike Tyson has advised Irish boxer Katie Taylor to go professional.

Speaking during a visit to Limerick last night, the 46-year-old said the Olympic Gold medallist should go on to win a world title belt.

Tyson, who is on a UK and Ireland tour during which he takes questions from audiences, made his only Irish appearance at Thomond Park last night.

When he was asked if Ireland's golden girl should go professional he replied: "Why not? What's the purpose of winning a gold medal? To have (IT) and to show it off? You need to go pro and win a belt."

Tyson, was the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion in the 1980s.

In 1992 he was convicted of raping teenage beauty queen and served a three year prison sentence.

Five years later he was suspended from boxing after he bit rival Evander Holyfield during a bout.

When asked last night about his advice to young boxers, he said the professional boxer's life was "all about sacrifice".

"You have to think like that champion. You have to live like that champion. You read about these guys, they live pretty much like a monastic life style.

"They don't pretty much get involved in sexual activity, they focus on work, on dedication, on discipline, so that is basically what you have to do. It is a really hard life to live to be a fighter. To be a boxer, to live life by those guidelines it's really tough. It's almost like being a hermit. I would never want to live that life again."

700 people attended last night's sell out event where fans paid €70 to meet Tyson or €35 to be in the audience.

A photograph with Tyson cost a further €20 or €100 for a signed photo in a frame.

Among those queueing outside Thomond Park was Paul Cummins, who drove from Edenderry. "I'm here to see the legend Mike Tyson. I can't wait to see him and that's the truth."

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