Former heavyweight boxing superstar Mike Tyson opened up about his sobriety and a 30-year beef with Teddy Atlas in an emotional press conference following his debut as a promoter on ESPN Friday Night Fights, according to FightNetwork.com.
Tyson brought up the personal struggles when reporters asked him about reconnecting with Atlas, his former trainer who now commentates for ESPN, at the Friday Night Fights event.
(Warning: Video contains language NSFW.)
The 47-year-old responded with a lengthy soliloquy that ultimately led him to discuss his sobriety:
I knew that there was a possibility that I would be here with Teddy and I didn't have a good thought in mind about that at first, because I'm negative and I'm dark. And I wanna do bad stuff. I wanna hang out in this neighborhood alone (his brain), that's dangerous to hang out in this neighborhood alone up here, right? It wants to kill everything. It wants to kill me, too.
So I went to my AA meeting. I had to make a discussion, check out what we gonna do. So I explained to them, 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, um, something like a Hatfield and McCoy, I kinda explained to them. I made the right decision. I made Cus (mentor Cus D'Amato) proud of me. I made myself proud of me. I hate myself. I'm trying to kill myself. I hate myself a lot, but I made myself proud of myself, and I don't do that much. And I was happy I did that.
Tyson's comments regarding his ongoing disagreement with Atlas and his recovery quickly transitioned into an admission about his drug and alcohol abuse when he told media that he had been sober for less than a week:
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.
Tyson, who described himself as "a vicious alcoholic on the verge of dying," added that he wants to be forgiven by Atlas and others and hopes he can change his life for the better.
In the midst of the interview, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world admitted to being a "bad guy sometimes" and doing "a lot of bad things."
Tyson went 50-6 (2 NC) during his professional career, winning his first 37 career fights before being knocked out by Buster Douglas in Tokyo in 1990. Tyson last fought in 2005, suffering a knockout defeat at the hands of Kevin McBride.
Since retiring from the sport, Tyson has given Hollywood a shot, making several cameo appearances in The Hangover film series. Tyson also stars in his own one-man Broadway show titled Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.
Just recently, Tyson returned to the sport of boxing as a promoter with his very own Iron Mike Productions.
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