VERONA, N.Y. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson opened up and revealed the demons he has been battling following his first promotional fight card Friday night.
Speaking to reporters after the 12-round draw between Argenis Mendez and Arash Usmanee at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, Tyson talked about his suicidal tendencies as an alcoholic.
“I’m negative and I’m dark and I want to do bad stuff. I want to hang out in this neighborhood alone,” Tyson said, pointing to his head. “That’s dangerous to hang out in the neighborhood alone up here. It wants to kill everything. It wants to kill me, too.”
Tyson described going to Alcoholics Anonymous and the growth he’s trying to pursue.
“I hate myself, I’m trying to kill myself,” Tyson said. “I hate myself a lot, but I made myself proud of myself.”
In one jarring moment, Tyson said he’s on the verge of dying due to his alcohol and drug use.
“I want to change my life, I want to live a different life now. I want to live my sober life. I don’t want to die,” Tyson said. “I’m on the verge of dying because I’m a vicious alcoholic.”
Breaking down, Tyson told the crowd that he will never use again in an effort to clean up his life.
“I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that’s a miracle,” Tyson said, his voice cracking. “I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not. This is my sixth day. I’m never going to use again.”
Tyson, a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, has organized an outfit called “Iron Mike Productions,” and his aim is to be a full-service agency for up-and-coming fighters, who can learn the sport, in and out of the ring, from one of the greatest.
Tyson, who has lost millions of dollars through the years, hopes to provide his fighters with a structured environment for success, and to be able to help them learn from his mistakes.
“You’re never going to hear them say ‘Mike Tyson stole from me.’ Hopefully, they’ll never end up like me,” he said. “I’m not a magician. The only thing I can do is suggest — go in the right direction. We have to look for happiness within.
“I can’t stop somebody from hurting themself.”
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)