We see the boxers in the ring and in the business atmospheres of the sport. But boxers show a different aspect of themselves to the other boxers. Here’s Monte Barrett sharing some insights about his friend Mike Tyson:
“We played basketball in Ohio. We talked about the game, life, about my amateur background. He said I started boxing as a professional at a great time. You’re not burnt out. As an amateur you got 40 fights, you’re in a good place, you can grow, keep learning on the job but you don’t have time to BS. So his whole thing was don’t waste not time BSing. If you want to take it for real, for real. One other thing I remember he said Don King was the best promoter in the world [smiles]. I know he’d take those words back in a minute.”
“He said to me also I remember, The only thing a man does to you is what you allow him to do. So it was good, we played basketball in Ohio at King’s camp. We just relaxed, he had probably four or five Bentleys and Mercedes in the camp in the driveway. You know, he had all that money coming home.”
Does Tyson have any skills in basketball?
“Hell no. He was throwing bricks. But dents in the backboard. We had a really good time though. Then I saw him again when King went to court with Chavez. Then we all had dinner, talked BS.”
“Then we saw each other at Jimmy Glenn’s, we had a great conversation. We talked, I told him how I thought he did a great job on Oprah’s show. And I really looked up to him. I told him I was on the edge of my seat crying. I said he spoke value for a lot of fighters on just an emotional level of what we go through. He gave me a big hug and shook my hand. I really love that brother and I appreciate it. He said, In boxing when you cut off all the layers, you show who you are truly and be sincere, always be sincere for yourself.”
“And I told him, Thank you for what you did for the sport of boxing. He brought a lot to the sport of boxing. But we had a good conversation.”
Do you think Tyson is different now than when you first met him in the 90’s?
“Yeah, he was more cocky, arrogant then. Now he’s more humble. He’s been through his journey. So when you go through a journey, you gain a lot of wisdom. So I think he’s in a better state now and his temperment is very good. And he seemed to be good, you know? He’s doing is (Animal Planet) show for the pigeons. He seemed to be in a good state and I’m happy for him.”
“I first met him in ’92 or ’91, before he went to jail. I met him in Brooklyn – I used to live in a place called Linder projects. He used to have a good friend who would always be there. So he used to come with the Jaguars and all that stuff. That’s when I first originally met him. But he’s good people.”
Two-time heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett is weighing options about resuming his heavyweight boxing career, including a pay-per-view rematch vs. David Tua.