The Universe of Discourse

Wed, 09 Aug 2023

No plan survives contact with the enemy

According to legend, champion boxer Mike Tyson was once asked in an interview if he was worried about his opponent's plans. He said:

Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.

It's often claimed that he said this before one of his famous fights with Evander Holyfield, but Quote Investigator claims that it was actually in reference to his fight with Tyrell Biggs.

Here's how Wikipedia says the fight actually went down:

Biggs had a solid 1st round, connecting with over half of jabs while limiting Tyson to only three. Biggs would continue to use this tactic early in round 2, but Tyson was able to connect with a big left hook that split Biggs' lip open. By round 3, Biggs had all but abandoned his gameplan and …

Tyson's prediction was 100% correct! He went on to knock out Biggs seventh round.


The actual quote appears to have been more like “Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time”. The “punched in the mouth” version only seems to date back to 2004.

Further research by Barry Popik.

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