Mike Tyson? Joe Louis? Helmuth von Moltke the Elder? Fair Play? Walter Payton? Mike Lupica? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: The opponent of a well-known boxing champion stated that he had a plan to win an upcoming match. The champion replied with a caustic dismissive remark. Here are four versions:
(1) Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time.
(2) Everyone has a game plan until they get hit.
(3) Everybody has a plan until they’re punched in the mouth.
(4) Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
Would you please help me to locate a citation and identify the two boxers involved?
Quote Investigator: In August 1987 the Associated Press news service published a piece about a boxing match planned for October in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1
Tyrell Biggs says he has a plan to beat heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. But the man they call “Iron Mike” is not impressed.
“Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time,” Tyson said.
QI believes that professional boxer Mike Tyson should receive credit for this remark. The phrasing has evolved over time. Thanks to researcher Barry Popik who found the above citation.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1987 August 19, Oroville Mercury-Register, Biggs has plans for Tyson (Associated Press), Quote Page 1B, Column 2, Oroville, California. (Newspapers_com) ↩