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‘What the Hell’: Mike Tyson Disputes Claims of His Earnings from Nintendo In Iconic Punch-Out!! Video Game, But Admits It Was A Bad Deal 

One of the most iconic video games in history is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!.

Nintendo released the Punch-Out!! video game in 1983 and struck a deal to use Tyson’s name in 1987. Released by Nintendo in 1987, the game still has a cult following.

Image Credit: Twitter @miketyson screen shot

After winning the WBC heavyweight title with a second-round TKO over Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

He rode 1987 as the “baddest man on the planet,” defeating four opponents, setting up his early January 1988 bout against Larry Holmes.

However, before Christmas in 1987, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! hit stores, and the world of video games was never the same. By 1990, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream replaced Mike Tyson. Mr. Dream is the game’s final opponent, whom Little Mac faces in the Dream Fight at the end. His fighting style was designed to emulate Mike Tyson’s.

“It broke all the records,” Tyson said on a recent Vlad TV episode. “We anticipate them doing a new one too. They were discussing taking me out of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, and it was a hailstorm of negative reviews for that, and so we’re contemplating doing it with someone else, and no one can be angry, and then we can go our separate ways happy.”

Tyson claims he’s received the short end of the video game deal. He says he lost royalties from the millions of copies sold over decades.

Unfortunately, that was a harsh introduction to capitalism for a kid who came from nothing and rose to iconic status pulverizing people. The champ was often preyed upon by those savvier from a business standpoint.

However, over the years Tyson’s financial awareness has improved tremendously. He’s a leading player in the booming cannabis industry and has numerous businesses and profitable investments.

According to his Vlad TV interviewer, Zab Judah, the company gave Mike Tyson $50,000 for three years with no royalties, but Nintendo made $1.7 billion.

That’s the kind of loss that he refuses to take these days.

“Hey, that was a bad deal, but I don’t think it was 50 G’s,” Tyson said. “I think it was $1.2 million or something in that range but it was just a really bad deal. I didn’t know nothing about business, what the hell.”

The video gaming industry is now estimated to be worth $178.73 Billion in 2021, which is an increase of 14.4 percent from 2020. This is a marked difference from what was predicted in 2016, forecasting a total worth of $90.07 billion for the same period.

In 2019, when the Mr. Dream version of Punch-Out!! went to Nintendo Switch users online, Tyson responded with a tweet.

“Heard Nintendo was doing the new “Punch Out” without even contacting me. It wont be the same. My knockouts made the game. That’s whack. Mr. Dream? Everyone tell Nintendo America who they think of when they hear ‘Punch Out’.”

Tyson’s demurrals about not knowing anything about business notwithstanding, has had a resurgence over the years.

To find out more about Mike Tyson’s historic venture into video games early in his career, click here.


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