Mike Tyson Has Much To Live For and He Has To Keep Going

Colin LinneweberSenior Writer IOctober 15, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Mike Tyson attends Sony Pictures Classics' screening of 'Tyson' at the AMC Loews 19th Street on April 20, 2009 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson said Monday during an interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that his deceased 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, was “my angel.”

Tyson claimed that he did not want to be provided full details of her death because, “if somebody’s to blame for it, there will be a problem.”

Last May, Exodus died at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center after she suffered a terrible accident playing on an exercise treadmill at her home.

According to reports, Exodus was discovered by her seven-year-old brother, Miguel, unconscious and tangled in a cord.

Miguel found their mother who untangled Exodus and administered CPR on her child before she called for medical attention.

Exodus was immediately placed on life support in the hospital until she succumbed to her injuries the following afternoon.

Exodus’ death was the latest and most awful chapter in Tyson’s horribly troubled life.

“Kid Dynamite,” a Brooklyn product, who was arrested 38 times by the age of 13 for committing various petty crimes, became the youngest boxer to ever win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at 20 years of age in 1986.

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The person most responsible for Tyson’s transformation from street thug to prizefighter was legendary trainer Cus D’Amato.

D’Amato taught Tyson, 42, everything he knew in regard to the “sweet science” and he eventually adopted the precocious pugilist into his family.

Prior to Tyson’s emergence, the sport of boxing had never before seen a fighter with such outstanding hand speed, accuracy, coordination, power and timing.

Tyson was deemed “The Baddest Man on the Planet” and no opponent seemed capable of challenging the physical marvel in the ring.

Sadly, D’Amato died in November of 1985 and his death and subsequent lack of guidance initiated a chain of events that crippled Tyson’s vast potential.

In 2003, Tyson, who Ring Magazine ranked #16 on its list of the 100 greatest punchers of all-time, declared bankruptcy despite having earned in excess of $300 million in the ring.

Two years after he filed for Chapter 11, Tyson retired from boxing with a record of 50-6 with 44 knockouts after he lost to a journeyman named Kevin McBride in Washington, DC.

In the aftermath of his loss to McBride, Tyson was quoted in the USA Today as saying, "My whole life has been a waste. I've been a failure. I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life."

Since his retirement, Tyson appeared to have found genuine contentment with his existence and place in society.

Last winter, “Iron Mike” promoted a documentary about his life titled Tyson at which point he revealed to The New York Times that he had been sober for 20 months after years of drug and alcohol abuse.

"I don't know who I am," Tyson admitted. "That might sound stupid. I really have no idea. All my life I've been drinking and drugging and partying, and all of a sudden this comes to a stop."

D’Amato once sagely philosophized to his pupil that “nature is a lot smarter than anybody thinks. During the course of a man's life he develops a lot of pleasures and people he cares about. Then nature takes them away one by one. It's her way of preparing you for death."

Mike Tyson’s care and love for his baby girl, Exodus, was reportedly absolute and a ghastly freak of nature took her away from him last spring.

In his interview with Winfrey, Tyson called his family “my biggest asset” and he said his children are “the only thing that matters” to him now.

As an outsider with zero direct knowledge of Tyson’s mental state, one should have concern for “Iron Mike’s” welfare.

Tyson has overcome more obstacles in his life than most individuals could even fathom.

However, the heartbreaking loss of Exodus may ultimately create demons inside Tyson that can’t be exorcised and her loss may prove to be too much for him to conquer.

As Tyson once ominously said, “I just want to escape.”

Now is not the time for Tyson “to escape.”

“Iron Mike” still has six-children and they have to be “the only thing that matters” to him henceforth.

Tragically, Exodus is dead.

But, Mike Tyson is still alive and he has a lot to live for.

One can only hope that “Iron Mike” sincerely realizes this.

Tyson can’t allow this catastrophe to be nature’s way of “preparing” him “for death” by his own hands.

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