Tuesday, March 10, 2020 2:49 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Mike Tyson cuts a contrasting figure. In his hey days as an undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, he ruled the boxing ring and fought mercilessly as though he had no tear in his lacrimal glands. A master of knockouts, he was dreaded both inside and outside the boxing ring. In a career spanning 20 years, he won most of his fights by technical knockouts, and held the WBC, WBA and IBF titles with panache. After winning his first 19 fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round, he developed a reputation as the most powerful puncher in boxing.
Not only is the youngest heavyweight boxing champion ever – having won it at 20 – he won 50 out of 58 lights and, until he hung up his gloves in 2005, was never afraid of the boxing ring. He looked forward to boxing fights and jumped to offers with the agility of a sprightly antelope.
But now, the 53 year old former champ, aka the baddest man on the planet, is now a shadow and afraid of not only his demons but of life outside the boxing ring. Not only is he currently battling mental health issues, he is addicted to marijuana (he once revealed he smokes $40,000 of weed a month, around ten tons, from his Tyson Ranch in California).
However, he now shed tears easily like a baby starved of breast milk. Mail Online reported recently that, while speaking during the latest episode of his podcast Hotboxin’, the Baddest Man on the Planet welled-up as he told legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard how he felt about himself – and the man he once was- after retirement from boxing. He broke down in tears as he opened up on how retiring from boxing has left him feeling like a shell of the man who once ruled the heavyweight division.
Tyson said he missed being feared by opponents, and admitted feeling ’empty’. And he is now ‘working on the art of humbleness’ after issues with his mental health “That’s why I’m so feared, that’s why they feared me when I was in the ring. I was an annihilator. It’s all I was born for. ‘Now those days are gone. It’s empty, I’m nothing. I’m working on the art of humbleness. ‘That’s the reason I’m crying because I’m not that person no more, and I miss him,” Tyson lamented.
Explaining why the discussion had left him in tears, Tyson, added as though he were a split personality: “Because sometimes I feel like a b***h, because I don’t want that person to come out because if he comes out, hell is coming with him. And it’s not funny at all. I sound cool, like I’m a tough guy (but) I hate that guy. I’m scared of him,” he maintained.
Tyson, who has battled mental health problems for years, and had once said in January that he had ‘lost the will to live and was at his lowest point also averred that “I’’m a f***ing student of war.”
“I know all the warriors. From Charlemagne to Achilles – the number one warrior of all warriors – and then Alexander and Napoleon, I know them all. I read about them all. I studied them all. I know the art of fighting. I know the art of war, that’s all I ever studied,” he said.