“They Will Kill You”: CEO of $4 Billion Empire Opening Up About His Drug Addiction and Getting Beat Up Prompts Brutally Honest Response From Mike Tyson

Published 10/14/2023, 7:15 AM EDT

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A towering figure behind a $4 billion business empire sat across from Mike Tyson. The setting? ‘Hotboxin with Mike Tyson,’ a candid podcast. Expectations hinted at tales of business bravado. Instead, the CEO unraveled a shocking past steeped in addiction. A childhood wish spiraled into something desolate, and that continued for the next ten years.

From model student to drug-addled nights, Grant Cardone’s story was not of success, but of survival. But why did this business magnate reveal such a personal, dark past to Tyson?

Mike Tyson and Cardone bond over shared similarities


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Mike Tyson has had his fair share of run-ins with substances. Known for his fierce punches inside the ring, Mike’s life outside it has been equally tumultuous, grappling with substance abuse. This made the setting even more poignant when Grant Cardone, the CEO of a $4 billion empire, chose to open up about his battles with addiction on the podcast.

Cardone began, “So when I was 15 years old, I kept wishing my dad to come back. I wanted a strong man in my life and I had three uncles.” Transitioning from a nostalgic tone to a serious note, he continued, “I kept thinking that they were going to come help. They didn’t. Then Danny the drug dealer, at 15, said ‘hey, I’ll be your daddy’. I’m like, let’s go man. He started showing me the drug thing and literally within 12 months, I was using drugs every day.”


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DJ Whoo Kid, curious, interjected, “You were hustling and using it or you just like?” Mike Tyson, drawing from his own experiences, empathetically added, “Trying to eat that pain.”

Nodding in agreement, Cardone elaborated, “I mean, like every drug addict is going to move something, you know. But for the next 10 years, every day for the next 10 years, I went from being a good middle class, good grades, good kid, people liked me, to being beaten up every weekend. 27 stitches in my face, 50 in my head.”

Mike Tyson, visibly moved, questioned, “Hey, what’s the cause of this?”

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“Drugs,” responded Cardone. Mike concluded, with a gravity only he could convey, “I thought ’cause you’re getting into fights and sh*t. Every now and then they will kill you too.” Mike Tyson went through a similar experience in his life.

Mike Tyson’s battle outside the ring


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Mike Tyson, the unparalleled boxing legend, contended with significant challenges beyond the boxing ring, particularly his struggle with substance abuse. In the zenith of his prominence during the late 1980s and 1990s, Tyson’s drug-related troubles were widely recognized. This resulted in a series of legal troubles and health complications.

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His addiction played a pivotal role in several of his well-documented personal and professional setbacks, including his prison sentence in the early ’90s. Tyson has confessed that during some of his fights, he was under the influence, revealing the depth of his dependence. After hitting rock bottom, he sought rehabilitation in the 2000s.

The shared understanding between Tyson and Cardone underscored the raw, powerful dialogue. The stories of Mike Tyson and Grant Cardone serve as a stark reminder of the devastating effects of addiction, transcending status, or wealth.


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The undeniable resilience displayed by both is inspiring, but it begs the question: how many others suffer silently, without the platforms or resources to share their stories or seek help?

Watch This Story: Mike Tyson Doubtful How Long He’d Be Able to Continue His Hotboxin’ Podcast


Written by:

Mrinal Mishra


One take at a time

Mrinal Mishra is a Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports. With over 800+ articles published on ES, Mrinal is known for his extensive coverage of live events, including the recent Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo fight.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal