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After Prison, Divorces, Addiction, and a $100 Million Betrayal, Mike Tyson Reflects on His Past Attitude in a Brutally Honest Confession

Published 04/02/2024, 3:57 PM EDT

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Mike Tyson‘s life story is a whirlwind of extremes. Crowned the youngest heavyweight champion at 20, he ascended from the rough streets of Brooklyn to the pinnacle of boxing glory. But this meteoric rise was shadowed by a dark underbelly. Mike Tyson’s trainer, Cus D’Amato‘s death in 1985, was a devastating blow. The man who had become a father figure to Tyson was gone, leaving him vulnerable and adrift. Grief manifested as a descent into substance abuse, a desperate attempt to numb the pain.

A violent altercation on a Miami tarmac exposed the simmering resentment Tyson harbored towards his promoter Don King, for an alleged $100 million fraud. Besides betrayal from his promoter, Tyson also faced two divorces, one in 1988 and the other in 2003. He was also convicted and imprisoned on charges of rape in February 1992. So, after going through so many things, it is evident that Tyson had some lessons to share about how life has its way of humbling someone’s ego. We’ll that’s exactly what he did.

Mike Tyson keeps it real with Antonio Tarver

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Introspection took center stage on a recent episode of Mike Tyson’s podcast, ‘Hotboxin’. The conversation with guest Antonio Tarver, the former light heavyweight champion, turned philosophical when they discussed life lessons. Tyson, who’s navigated his own share of struggles, listened intently as Tarver expressed his frustration about never being able to fully celebrate victories due to opponents making excuses. Here, the once brash “Iron Mike” surprised everyone with a blunt yet powerful response: “I don’t give a f**k.”

However, the mood soon shifted as Mike Tyson delivered a surprisingly candid confession. “Listen, can I keep it real with you?” he began. “I used to be bulls***ing. I know life has a bigger f**k you hand than me.

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Tyson acknowledged his past tendency to put on a tough facade, admitting, “I used to be talking s**t, I said that before a couple of times, thinking I was harder.” Tyson revealed that after being through so much life itself had humbled him. “Then life hit me and life said f**k you,” he confessed.

This cryptic statement hints at past experiences that forced Tyson to confront his limitations and shed his bravado. This self-awareness resonated with Tarver who chimed in with, “Wake up call man.

But what was the darkest point in Iron Mike’s life that led to his transformation? Mike Tyson’s life took the darkest turn when he experienced the death of his child in 2009.

What led Iron Mike to change his ways?

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Back in 2009, boxing legend Mike Tyson sat down for his first major interview since the tragic death of his 4-year-old daughter, Exodus. Appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the interview promised to be an emotional one, with Tyson grappling with the unimaginable loss. “My angel,” Tyson’s voice said, quivering with emotion and profound sadness.

Mike Tyson had lost Exodus just five months prior in a tragic accident. Exodus was found unconscious at her mother’s home, tangled in a treadmill cord. “If somebody’s to blame for it there will be a problem,” he stated simply. This loss had a profound impact on Tyson. The rage that might have been his first instinct was replaced by a deep protectiveness towards his remaining family.

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They’re my biggest asset,” he declared, “The only thing that matters to me now.” Moreover, Tyson got more involved with his family and became a better man altogether after the tragic incident. What are your thoughts about Mike Tyson’s transformation? Let us know in the comments section.

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Written by:

Chirag Radhyan

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Chirag Radhyan is a senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports. Having authored close to 2K articles, he is a live-coverage specialist, contributing to the detailed reportage of live boxing events ranging from the Jermell Charlo vs Canelo Alvarez bout to Ryan Garcia vs Gervonta Davis. Moreover, his coverage of the off-court drama between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury received widespread appreciation from readers.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai