If there is anyone in the sporting world most privy to the pitfalls of fame and fortune, then Mike Tyson is your man. The former “Baddest Man on the Planet” has elected to share his personal experience of sporting tragedy with UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, who himself was recently in a spot of bother.
From Tyson, original quotes reported by Kevin Francis of the Daily Star (h/t Boxingscene.com):
"I had millions of dollars during my life but I didn’t have a support system. I had a bad support system, so I received bad support. Nobody really knows Jon Jones and he is now in a time that is vital to his career. We know him as a great fighter and the way he carriers himself, as a great individual, a humanitarian.
But is he going to let the bright lights and the dark shadows invade his life? Will he be one of those rising meteors that flies through the air and lights the world up, but then dies down in a moment? I hope not.
You live and you learn from mistakes.
Hopefully I can use some of my downfalls to make myself better, make people around me better and show that you can come back from anything."
Since capturing the 205-pound crown at the young age of 23, “Bones” Jones’ rise has been nothing short of meteoric.
Thus far, the Ithaca, N.Y., resident has successfully defended his title on three separate occasions and defeated four former champions in the process.
That said, an inadvertent striking of a Faustian bargain (media) has propelled him from MMA nonentity to overnight superstar—television appearances and endorsement deals have come aplenty.
However, said bargain also has its negative aspects.
For a while he was the darling of the media—he averted a mugging and came to the aid of a mother and her child.
Nevertheless, another side of Jones soon surfaced, which, if only for a short period would turn his goody two-shoes image on its head.
In May of this year, Jones was arrested and charged with a DWI offense after crashing his Bentley into a telephone post. No one was injured, but it could’ve been worse.
Following the above mentioned incident, Jones has more or less stayed out of the media’s spotlight and kept a low profile.
With that in mind, according to recent reports via Yahoo! Sports.com, Jones has now been sentenced for said DWI offense.
He had his driver's license revoked for six-months and was fined $1000. He also incurred a bill of $6,500 for damage to the telephone pole.
With regards to Tyson, at 20, he became the youngest ever heavyweight boxing champion in the history of the sport when he decimated the late Trevor Berbick in two rounds.
In his day, the now 46-year-old was a hell-raiser personified, and as he alluded to, squandered a fortune.
The native Brooklynite’s fall from grace was the culmination of a myriad of incidents, none more so than when he lost his titles to James “Buster” Douglas in February of 1990.
From that point onwards, his life and career spiraled out of control, and he eventually wound up incarcerated for several years on a rape charge.
Tyson, however, has managed to turn his life around, and for the better.
If there ever was a rags to riches and back to scratch story, well, Tyson is it.
Jones is no Tyson for sure, but it would be wise to heed the warnings of sports' most polarizing figure.
Jones is slated to throw hands with Dan Henderson at UFC 151.