ABC News catches Iron Man Tyson between acts
In a fine bit of reporting, Jeremy Schaap and Nitya Venkatarman visited Mike Tyson in Las Vegas and the result is neither pretty or heartwarming.
In the shadows of slot machines, blackjack tables and the hotel’s wedding chapel, Tyson goes through the paces of his workout routine that serves no other purpose than to satisfy those who love to gawk at celebs down on their luck.
“I’m no ‘Iron Mike’ getting ready to conquer the world again,” insists Tyson. “It doesn’t mean that much to me anymore.
“You lose the people you love, your things, cars, tangible things and that’s truly what I believe. Everybody says, ‘He who dies with the most toys wins,’ but that’s just truly not a great substance.”
Sounding like a changed man for more times than anyone can remember or keep count, it’s almost but not quite possible to remember just how far Tyson has risen, and just how far he has fallen, during his reckless four decades on the planet.
A little over four years ago, a much reduced Tyson met Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title at the Pyramid in Memphis and had the stuffing beaten out of him before being KO’d in round eight. That should have been it, but Mike, knowing nothing else, kept fighting, and kept getting knocked out (in three of his last four bouts), before he finally, gratefully called it a day.
But Tyson, to the surprise of no one, has not, will not, cannot gracefully fade away. Just ask any of those who have gathered on the mezzanine level of the Aladdin Hotel every day since August 30 to watch him train.
“I think these guys are looking to see somebody that no longer exists anymore,” says Tyson reflectively. “It’s my attitude. If I was Mike Tyson had my facade on I’d be talking bad to some people, being tough. I’m just not that guy anymore.
“At least, I’m trying to exit myself from that person.”
Unfortunately, says Tyson about his transformation, “It’s not working out too well. I get knocked down, but I keep getting back up, being Mike and dealing with who I was in the past it’s just not working out too well.”
With the heavyweight division in perpetual disarray, people always ask him, “Mike, you want to fight Holyfield again?” But Tyson said he don’t want to fight nobody. I’m just trying to make a buck without getting splashed, without hitting anybody. I’m just a simple man now.”
Whether the complex former heavyweight champion of the world is just a simple man now is for you to decide.