Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!!! Mike Tyson knows all about being ready to step in the ring as a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Iron Mike was the youngest and first boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.
Most fans are familiar with the boxer and his exploits in and out of the ring (his tattoo on his face, playing himself in The Hangover, etc) but most people don’t realize Tyson is a long-time Benfica fan.
The 49-year-old showed up to the Portuguese side’s International Champions Cup match against the New York Red Bulls sporting the team’s 2015/16 home jersey. He took a photo with the team in the locker room and got the VIP treatment.
— Sport Lisboa Benfica (@SL_Benfica) July 26, 2015
— Int Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) July 26, 2015
Tyson’s passion for the side developed years ago after a Portuguese-American friend gave him and official jersey of the ‘Aguias (Eagles)’.
“It’s been many years, but I still have that sweater at home,” Tyson said in an interview with Diario O Jogo. “It was offered by a friend of mine, a son of Portuguese immigrants in the United States. He always spoke to me about Benfica and his passion for the club, so I was curious. I’ve read about the story of the Glorious (Benfica’s nickname).”
The passion has stayed with Tyson. He tweeted his condolences for one of Benfica’s best players ever, Eusebio in January 2014.
R. I. P. Eusebio Black Panther BENFICA forever
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) January 7, 2014
Iron Mike was not able to stare down the Major League Soccer side and scare them into submission. The Red Bulls won the match 2-1.