The Only Way To Be A Hero Is To Be Afraid

"How are you going to be a hero if you aren't afraid."-Mike Tyson

On the most recent episode of my podcast, Unplugged with Brandon Steiner, I spoke with former Heavyweight Champion of the world, Mike Tyson.

Mike Tyson is not only one of the most dynamic personalities in the sport of boxing, but in all of pop culture. One of the most influential athletes of the last 30 years, Mike will forever be known as one of the hardest punchers to ever strap on the gloves. The youngest heavyweight champion in the history of the sport, he has now regained his prominence as an actor, along with having multiple shows and films based around his life. Mike has become an icon.

In our conversation, Mike talks a lot about having fear in the ring. Fear isn't something to be viewed as a negative, it should be viewed as a driving force to achieve your dreams. For Mike his fear was not succeeding, and for you it may be something different, but you need to have a fear and it has to motivate you to accomplish your goals.

No matter who wants to admit it, we are all afraid. We each have different fears, but somethings frightens us more than anyone could ever imagine. The word alone scares me, but I don't let it take over me. You must embrace your fears. By doing this you are welcoming the idea that you can fail, but that you won't let the things that scare you prevent you from achieving your dreams. 

Fear is valuable, it drives you, it motivates you, and it makes you want to overcome every obstacle. Never let your fear control you. Always take control of your fear and then nothing will be in your way. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Growing up in Brooklyn
  • His first fight
  • Thoughts on the National Anthem protests
  • Fear in sports
  • If he regrets biting Holyfields ear off
  • The greatest fight of all time
  • ...and more.

Click below or go to iTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher to listen



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    Rachael Mildred on

  • Good morning Brandon -

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your Blog this morning about Mike Tyson. It stirred up three long lost memories about “Mike and Me.”

    The one that stands out the most is not sitting ringside at his 1988 World Heavyweight Championship title unification win (in 1:19 minutes of first round) over Michael Spinks (sponsored by Trump Plaza in AC), for which I did the PR and media relations . . . and it wasn’t the PR project that Bill Cayton, one of Tyson’s original managers, hired me to do to protect his relationship with Tyson from a power-grab by Don King.

    No, the Tyson story that stands out the most in my mind occurred in 1995 when the former World HW Champion was nearing the end of his three year prison stay for rape. One day that year, the phone rang in my midtown Manhattan office and my assistant told me that “Alan Dershowitz is on the line for you.” My first thought was: Why would the REAL Alan Dershowitz, the most revered Harvard Law Professor of his generation, be calling me? My second thought was: Oh shit, what the hell did I do that someone had to hire Alan Dershowitz to get back at me? And I don’t even want to say what my third thought was. But my worst worries were alleviated when he introduced himself on the phone and said, “I’d like to ask you for a favor.” In the moment, I couldn’t imagine what in the world I had that this legal icon could want. “You represent basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon, right?” he asked. Now I was at once confused and intrigued. I told him I did and he shared with me that he was going to represent Mike Tyson in his appeal of his rape conviction and that he was told that while the Rockets were in Indianapolis to play the Pacers that week that Hakeem planned to pay a visit to Mike Tyson in prison. Then came the favor: “Could you please speak with Hakeem before he goes to see Mike and ask him to take some time and go into some details as to what it means to convert to being a Muslim in America. Mike is on that path now and I want to make sure that he understands what that means.” I told Dershowitz I would be glad to do that, which I did — and Hakeem told me he would be glad to have that comnversation with Mike (which he later reported back to me went well.)


    Ira H. Silverman on

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