Mike Tyson has provided drama inside the ring, outside the ring, basically wherever he appeared, whatever he was doing. The boxer turned promoter, who has a new six-part docu-series being unveiled Sept. 22, and an autobiography coming out in mid November, had turned a corner, apparently, after hitting bottom amid rampant drug use and suicidal ideation in 2009. But that doesn't mean the drama has stopped, or his road is now paved with nothing but serenity. Tyson offered up the makings of another chapter of a life lived most tumultuously when he admitted on Friday night that he's had a slip in his sobriety. The boxer has admitted using cocaine to the extent he said he was surprised when he'd awake the morning after a binge, but several months ago, he was proudly stating he'd been sober for four years.
During the post-fight press conference at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY following his first show as a promoter, the boxer kayoed the assembled press by admitting he'd been lying about his sobriety.
“I want to live a sober life, I don't want to die,” Tyson (seen above in photo, after main event Friday, with boxers Arash Usmanee and Argenis Mendez, right) said. “I'm on the verge of dying because I'm a vicious alcoholic and I've been, um, wow … this is some interesting stuff, I've been, um … I haven't drank or took drugs in six days,” he said, voice on the verge of cracking, as he held up six fingers for emphasis. “And for me, that's a miracle. I've been lying to everyone thinking I'm sober, but I'm not. This is my sixth day. I'm never gonna use again,” he said, his voice cracking more.
I reached out to a publicist for Tyson, requesting an interview, to try and learn some specifics about his relapse. The spokesperson said he wasn't doing interviews at this time, and offered this statement:
“Mr. Tyson is like any other human being suffering from the disease of addiction. It is vastly accepted that relapse is a part of recovery. There is no cure for this disease, only a daily reprieve. Unfortunately Mike has made some mistakes recently but fortunately he now recognizes them and is willing to fight his way back to the road of recovery.”
Follow Woods on Twitter.