Mike Tyson had to show BAPTISM PAPERS to prove he was 14 in amateurs as no one wanted to fight the ‘ferocious’ teenager


MIKE TYSON was forced to show BAPTISM PAPERS to prove he was 14 – as no one believed the teenage sensation’s age.

The future heavyweight world champion was first mentored by the great Cus D’Amato in the boxing’s mastermind’s famous Catskill gym.

At the time, Bruce Silverglade was head of the amateur circuit and tasked with matchmaking Tyson’s bouts.

But Silverglade – who now owns the world famous Gleason’s boxing gym – had to do all sorts to prove Iron Mike’s age.

He told Southamptonjournal: “I was involved in most of his fights.

“We had a hell of a time. He filled out when he was 14 years of age and in the junior Olympics, it’s based off age.

“So at the time, ten-year-olds could fight 11-year-olds and so on. No one would ever believe his age, he was a man, he looked like a man.

“He was 14 and he looked like a fully developed man. So we would have birth certificates, baptism papers, passports.

“No one would believe he was a kid. We had a lot of problems, but he was great.”

Tyson was a two-time junior Olympic champion all before his 16th birthday.

The pair would travel from the small Catskill village – upstate New York, which has a population of only 4,000 – to Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn for sparring.

Silverglade recalled: “In the Catskills, it was a very small gym, there was no sparring, so when he had to prepare for any of his fights, he would come here.

“Teddy Atlas – who was one of our trainers – was the one working with him at the time. So he brought Tyson into Gleason’s.

“They spent many, many hours training here at Gleason’s. He lived up in the Catskills which was an hour north of here.

“So obviously he didn’t train here on a daily basis but he’s from Brooklyn, it wasn’t far from here.”

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