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Mike Tyson on The Passing of Nelson Cuevas: “We Lost One of The Best People in Boxing”


By: Hans Themistode

Mike Tyson has always been misunderstood. 

He’s outspoken, brash, reserved, quiet and unapologetic about who he is. 

The first thing that comes to mind when reading those words that describe Mike Tyson is, how can someone be both quiet and outspoken? It doesn’t make sense. But Tyson is very much introverted and extroverted. 

At times, Tyson can be an open book. Willing to share his story with all that care to listen. Other times, he would shy away from people and prefer to be by himself. Tyson’s misunderstood nature led him to many public beefs with the media during his 20 year career.

There weren’t many who truly knew the former Heavyweight champion. He came off as an intimidating man who won most of his fights before he even landed a single punch. Yet, there was one man who knew Tyson better than most. While many believed the violence that Tyson displayed in the ring was just a part of who he was, New Jersey Hall of Fame cut man and trainer Nelson Cuevas knew him as being just a great young man.

“I knew Tyson since he was 13 years old,” said Nelson in an interview with Boxing Insider. “When I first met him, Cus told me that he was going to be a world champion. I wasn’t sure if he had what it took because he was so short and chubby. He was also just a shy and nice kid. In my head I thought, this kid is just way too nice to really have that killer instinct to become a champion but man was I wrong.”

“The first time that I saw him fight in my gym is when I knew he was special. He was so nice. You would think he was a sissy but when he fought, oh my gosh. He would destroy people. I remember Mike knocking out some kid that was 18 and he was 14 years old at the time so he was always just an amazing fighter. I used to advise him and he used to work out in my gym. Most of his amateur fights used to happen in my gym and he would put on a show every single time.”

The relationship between both Cuevas and Tyson runs deep. That special bond that they once shared, makes the recent death of Cuevas particularly painful. 

With the entire world battling the Coronavirus pandemic, Cuevas lost his battle just a few short days ago at the age of 80. 

The career of Tyson was a lavish one. His career earnings was an estimated 700 million. He spent his money on every and anything that he wanted. Fast cars, drugs, expensive clothes and even pet tigers was what Tyson emptied his funds on. 

In a nutshell, he had himself a great time. 

Yet, no matter how much fun Tyson had during his career, it all paled in comparison to when he spent his time with his dear friend.

“We lost one of the best people in the boxing world,” said Tyson via his Twitter account. “Nelson Cuevas died from complications with CoronaVirus. Being around him during my amateur career was the best time of my life.”

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