Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is quoted as saying the best punch he ever threw sent Robin Givens, his wife at the time, bouncing off the walls.
Tyson's description of the incident is contained in a new biography which portrays the fighter as a sadistic thug.Tyson, who has battered Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes and Bonecrusher Smith in posting a career 36-0 mark with 32 KOs, told biographer and one-time friend Jose Torres that he never hit an opponent as hard as he did Givens.
"She really offended me and I went BAM. She flew backwards, hitting every wall in the apartment," Tyson said. "That was the best punch I've ever thrown in my entire life."
The biography, titled "Fire and Fear: The Inside Story of Mike Tyson," provides an insider's view of the volatile champion. Torres, a former light heavyweight champion, was a member of the Tyson camp until they had a falling out last year.
"Tyson encouraged me to write the book," Torres told The Associated Press, adding he has 12 hours of taped conversations with the champion. "He knew I would not do a story to hurt him ... From two or three excerpts, it appears like a hatchet job. It is not."
Tyson and Givens had a stormy one-year marriage, highlighted by her nationally televised claim that Tyson often terrorized her. Tyson, in turn, said the couple married on Feb. 12, 1988, only because Givens lied and said she was pregnant.
Tyson has denied abusing Givens, and once, in Givens' presence, told a group of writers: `Look at her - if I ever hit her, she would disintegrate."
Excerpts of the book provided by its publisher, Warner Books, Inc., indicated Givens was not the only woman abused by Tyson.
"I like to hurt women when I make love to them. I like to hear them scream with pain, to see them bleed," Tyson says in the book.
Torres also gives a look at the killer instinct Tyson brings to the ring for his fights.
Talking about his 1986 first-round knockout of Jesse Ferguson, Tyson says, "I was trying to push his nose bone up into his brains."
The book also provides unflattering portraits of a gold-digging Givens and an anti-Semitic Don King.
Torres writes of Givens screaming at one of Tyson's representatives at Merrill Lynch: "I want my money! Where is my money? You're one of Cayton's boys. We're going to take our money out of here."
Tyson's managers were Jim Jacobs and Bill Cayton. Jacobs has died, and Cayton and Tyson are embroiled in a bitter court fight over the champion's finances.
King, the wild-haired fight promoter who has taken over as Tyson's adviser, is quoted as telling Torres, "You know very well, Jose, that the Jews want to control Tyson ... The Jacobses, the Caytons. You know it."