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Fenech Explains Why He Left Mike Tyson Over Face Tattoo

Former world champion and veteran trainer Jeff Fenech recently conducted an interview where he reflected back on the day he walked away from heavyweight Mike Tyson, after the boxer got his infamous face tattoo.

Fenech had trained Tyson for his 2003 showdown with Clifford Etienne.

During the training camp, Tyson no-showed a training day and instead went to a tattoo artist to get the face tattoo - a week before the scheduled fight with Etienne.


Fenech was so upset with Tyson's decision to skip training for face tattoo, that he refused to train the former two-time champion for the remainder of the camp.

The fight, which was carried by Showtime, saw a one-round shootout where Tyson scored a knockout with a counter-punch. The fight lasted only 49 seconds.

The Hall of Famer revealed that he had a heart to heart conversation with Tyson, who admitted that one of the reasons he got the face tattoo is because he didn't really want to fight. 

“Mike Tyson was a freak at his peak and I think that the only person that ever beat Mike was himself,” Fenech said on Fox League Live.

“That day he didn’t turn up to training and that would happen sometimes with Mike he would go a bit AWOL. This time he didn’t turn up so I went home and I was staying at Mike’s house in Vegas. All of a sudden the door opened and I saw his car coming so I straight away went to see what the problem was and what had happened.

“As I looked at him he had this huge tattoo down the side of his face and I thought wow. My first impression was that I’ve never had a tattoo in my life, but I thought we are fighting in a week and when you get a tattoo you can’t fight because they scab up and it wouldn’t be healthy to do that.

“We sat down and spoke and he didn’t really want to fight and he wasn’t prepared to and that was one of the reasons he got the tattoo. After a good hour talk I was in tears when I left the house that night. I went and stayed in a hotel because I was pretty despondent. I was away from home for eight weeks in Vegas getting him ready for the fight and I stayed in a hotel and got on the first flight back to my family because that was my priority.

“A week later he fought and knocked out Clifford in one round and I was upset. I was happy for Mike that he won, but I was also upset that I had trained him for eight weeks and I wasn’t a part of that win.”

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Fat_asian on 04-17-2020

Mike peaked at such a young age. Almost unnatural to be in his prime that young aka to also be out of his prime that young too. The thing is with Mike, he was a childhood prodigy. Still a teenager…

Comment by BoloShot on 04-17-2020

[QUOTE=5000boxing;20521043]Just letting you know that they have ways of controlling you.. Hollywood is a dirty game! You don't have to be guilty to serve time.. All u really have to do is piss the wrong people off..[/QUOTE] Dude you're preaching…

Comment by 5000boxing on 04-17-2020

[QUOTE=BoloShot;20520838]Why are you telling me that? I don't believe everything I read. I'm very skeptical of what I read in fact.[/QUOTE] Just letting you know that they have ways of controlling you.. Hollywood is a dirty game! You don't have…

Comment by TheMyspaceDayz on 04-17-2020

I wonder what would have happened if Ettiene stretched the fight out and repeatedly hit Tyson’s recently tatted face. Would have made for an interesting lesson.

Comment by BoloShot on 04-17-2020

[QUOTE=5000boxing;20520665]Don't believe everything u read.[/QUOTE] Why are you telling me that? I don't believe everything I read. I'm very skeptical of what I read in fact.

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