What do New Bedford and Mike Tyson have in common?

Normally, not much, but New Bedford native-turned-actor Earl White has now tied the story of “Iron” Mike to the Whaling City.

White appears in Episode Four of the new Hulu streaming series Mike, a look at the life of the boxing legend. The episode, entitled “Meal Ticket,” focuses on the time in Tyson’s life when his original trainer Cus D’Amato has passed away and Tyson began to be managed by Don King.

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In a flashback scene that sets up how King came to be such a powerful man, King is running an illegal gambling operation and is owed money by a man named Sam Garrett, played by White. King – played by Grimm star Russell Hornsby – attacks Garrett, first with a pool cue and then stomping him outside in the street.

“That scene in particular was a time when Don ruled his own world. The man with the plan,” White said. “My character, Sam Garrett, owed him some money. It was said it was $300, but Don said it was more. Not fully sure, but from what I looked up, it was a pretty brutal situation in real life as well as on camera.”

WARNING: Graphic violence in the clip below.

Garrett died as a result of the beating, and King went to prison for five years after being convicted of second-degree murder. He emerged from prison to become one of boxing’s biggest promoters of all time.

“I think it's pretty rad to be a part of Don King's history,” White said.

White had to go through some special wardrobe fittings to look like a man straight out of 1966.

“Tucked under that mini afro were my dreads,” he said. “I had like 80 pins in my head keeping this wig down.”

Courtesy Earl White
Courtesy Earl White

He also had to learn how to take the beating on camera, because that was really him getting hit with the cue stick and getting stomped.

“I did all the stunts myself with the help from the coordinator,” White said. “I was super excited to see how it came out.”

We previously told you about how White was laid off from working at downtown New Bedford burrito restaurant No Problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, and turned that setback into an opportunity when he moved to New Orleans and began getting acting roles such as his appearance as “Street Poet” on NCIS: New Orleans last year.

His NCIS role might have given him more screen time, but his role on Mike is certainly quite memorable.

“It was a blast working on this set,” White said. “There were a lot of great people and amazing actors that I would have never in my wildest dreams thought I'd get to meet and work with.”

“Everything felt good and I'm honored to have been a part of the show,” he said.

You can catch White’s episode of Mike streaming now.

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