From the outside, it seems like Mike Tyson is doing well. He’s on the verge of a new career as a boxing promoter, and has lost more than 100 pounds since tipping the scale at 380 at his unhealthiest point. During a press conference at the Turning Stone Resort in central New York, however, Tyson revealed he’s still battling drug and alcohol addiction, and his condition may be worse than ever.
“I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that’s a miracle. I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not,” Tyson told reporters at a press conference Friday. “This is my sixth day. I’m never gonna use again.”
Tyson knows that he is battling a deadly disease.
“I’m on the verge of death, because I am a viscous alcoholic.” He said during the startling press conference.
Tyson has had a lot of ups and downs in his life. By the age of 16, his mother was dead and his father was locked up. Boxing trainer Cus D’Amato took him in and Tyson became “Iron” Mike, the most feared boxer in the world.
That all collapsed when he was convicted of rape in 1992. When he got out of prison, he recovered as a boxer to the point he fought Evander Holyfield twice, in two of the biggest fights of all time. Holyfield won the first fight by TKO, and the second one was the night a desperate Tyson took a bite of Holyfield’s ear, establishing him as one of the craziest guys in sports.
Tyson’s boxing career slowly and sadly eroded, and he began putting on weight.
And then, astonishingly, Tyson became one of the most beloved characters in pop culture. He started getting acting roles, and he did well in them. He played himself in “The Hangover” and did a one-man Broadway show, which was turned into a film by Spike Lee and will air on HBO. Tyson appeared on FOX Sports Live during its first week and next month will be seen on FOX Sports 1 in the documentary series “Being: Mike Tyson”.
Tyson’s honesty and self-awareness have served him well in his post-boxing life, but every now and then it seems like Tyson wants to remind everybody that he’s still a deeply hurt, deeply troubled person.
“I’m a bad guy sometimes,” Tyson told reporters. “I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven. So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life. I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die.”
Tyson confessed during the press conference that the bad blood between him and his ex-trainer, Teddy Atlas, had been weighing heavily on him and it was part of the reason he sought to make amends.
“I knew it was a possibility that I would be here with Teddy and I didn’t have a good thought of mind about that at first because I’m negative and I’m dark and I want to do bad stuff. I want to hang out in this neighborhood alone,” he said pointing to his head. “That’s dangerous to hang out in this neighborhood alone up here. It wants to kill everything. It wants to kill me too.”
To prepare for the burden-lifting move, however, Tyson sought help from his peers at Alcoholics Anonymous.
“I went to my AA meeting. I had to make a discussion to check out what we gotta do. I explained to my fellow alcoholics and junkies that I was gonna deal with this certain situation here and I explained the feelings that I evoked from it. Almost like, something like a Hatfield and McKoy. I kinda explained to them,” said Tyson.
And so on Friday, after 20-years of strife, Mike Tyson buried the proverbial hatchet with Atlas.
“I was wrong and I’m sorry. I was wrong and I just want to make my amends. If he accepts it or not at least I could die and go to my grave and say I made my amends with everybody that I had hurt. It’s all about love and forgiveness,” he said.
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