Tuesday, 11 September 2012 20:03

Mike Tyson and Fighter Walkouts

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Just before a bout, a fighter enters the ring with his entourage to loud music. 

The entrances have become known to the fight world as the "walkout" and the appeal of this mini-spectacle has grown considerably through the years.

Today, there are three types of fighter entrances, all with distinctive means of giving a fighter that all-important adrenaline rush just prior a bout.

1) Inspiration/Self-Motivation
2) Intimidation and
3) Entertainment

Typically, most fighters use the walkout to music that helps inspire or self-motivate. They select music that uplifts them because that song has a special or sentimental meaning. For example, Evander Holyfield, who is very religious, would walkout to gospel music.

Conversely, some fighters - most notably Prince Naseem Hamed in the past - walkout (or "dance out") to popular, mainstream music in an attempt to electrify the crowd and draw energy from those in attendance. These fighters have no special attachment to the music nor is it meant to intimidate.  They are simply crowd-pleasers; rock stars looking to 'get their groove on' outside the ring before they do so inside it.

But others, like Mike Tyson in the past, use their entrances in an attempt to intimidate their opponents. The music, sometimes offensive to some, can be violent in nature and sometimes graphic and vulgar - But boxing is a violent sport so, for some fighters, this type of music only feeds a fighter's killer instinct and pre-existing passion to destroy.

Throughout combat sports history, there have been many memorable entrances, including some very bizarre ones. 


And while some find walkouts annoying and would prefer the participant to get straight to the fight, many find them intriguing as they have become an attractive part of the combat sports culture.

During the 1990's, there was arguably nothing scarier then a combination of "Iron" Mike Tyson and DMX's music, as the former entered the ring. Always sporting his menacing stare, Tyson would electrify crowds with his intimidating entrances.

"Iron Mike's" walkouts were also unique because he didnt dawn the traditional robe. Instead, he often wore a towel with a hole cut in it over his head.

One of Mike Tyson's most memorable and interesting walkouts occurred in his 1988 bout with Michael Spinks. It is memorable due to Tyson's request to have no music, just sounds. Many believed this to be a motivational and imposing tactic to get inside Michael's head.

Who knows if the ploy worked but 91 seconds later, Spinks was out cold.  

Mark Weber

Born and raised in Philadelphia, I currently reside in South Jersey which is about 20 minutes away from Philly.

I'm a Communications major at Gloucester County College and lifelong fan of several sports, including Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing.

I fell in love with Boxing during the era of the little giants... Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny Pacquiao, and Juan Manuel Marquez.