For the most part, people look at Mike Tyson and see him as a person who has managed to clean up his act. As someone who has been arrested on rape charges and was once the most feared fighter in the world, Tyson has shown us a softer side over the past several years with his light-hearted appearances in movies like “The Hangover.” However, he is still struggling with addiction.
In his first press conference after his promotional debut on “Friday Night Fights,” Tyson referred to himself as a “vicious alcoholic” and revealed that he is battling some serious addictions. Bad Left Hook transcribed the former Heavyweight Champion’s powerful quotes:
“I’m a motherf—. I’m a bad guy sometimes,” Tyson said while fighting back tears. “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. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic. Wow. God, this is some interesting stuff.
“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. This is my sixth day. I’m never gonna use again.”
That is a much different side of Tyson that the one we saw from the guy who joked about his inability to master his own video game. At one point, Tyson said “I hate myself” and explained how he has been going to AA meetings. He also talked about making amends with ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, his former trainer, 30 years after the two had a falling out when Atlas claimed Tyson approached a young female relative of his in a crude manner.
Atlas said he respected Tyson’s decision to approach him.
“He behaved like a man, what can I say,” Atlas said, via ESPN.com. “He came over, extended his hand and asked me if I’d shake it and said, ‘You’re not still mad at me, are you? I wish you wouldn’t be.’ … I give him credit for showing a gentleman’s side.”
Hopefully Tyson holds to his promise of remaining clean. It sounds like he’s at a rough place in life, so it’s certainly wise of him to continue seeking help.