He’s an actor, a dancer, a comedian, he is the new Tyson
One little blond kid was bouncing on Mike Tyson's left leg, while his equally blond toddler brother occupied the other. The former baddest man on the planet once threatened to eat children, but now he was playing with two.india Updated: Oct 17, 2010 23:08 IST
One little blond kid was bouncing on Mike Tyson's left leg, while his equally blond toddler brother occupied the other. The former baddest man on the planet once threatened to eat children, but now he was playing with two.
"Me and this baby stuff," Tyson said as he waited patiently for the children's father to take a picture with his cell phone. "You believe I'd be doing this stuff?"
Ah, no. Unfortunately, there were precious few cuddly kid moments I witnessed in the years I spent covering the meteoric rise and fall of the ferocious fighter the world was always so infatuated with. I did see a lot of other moments, some riveting, others simply disgusting. Tailing along while Tyson tried to break arms, bite ears and knock guys silly wasn't always for the faint of heart, even if you stayed well away from the ring.
He was a brute of a fighter.
He was even worse as a man. "I got intoxicated with myself," Tyson admitted. "I didn't know how empty I was as the champ."
He hasn't been a champ now for 14 years, and hasn't fought for real in five. There will be no return to the ring, he assured me the other day, even if his legions of fans still believe that the Tyson of today could be the Tyson of 20 years ago.
He, more than anyone, knows better. He's known it for longer than you might think, but the money kept coming and he kept fighting even when he was just going through the motions.
Even that was better than his second life as the former Mike Tyson. A freak show when he was fighting, he became even freakier as a bankrupt junkie who ballooned to 351 pounds and seemed headed either to prison or an extra large casket.
But he's given up the drugs, and lost much of the weight. He hasn't stepped foot in a strip club in two years. And, incredibly, he's now in the middle of the most improbable comeback of all.
Meet the new Mike Tyson. Entertainer, actor, dancer and, yes, comedian extraordinaire.
Watch his latest video. Book him for your next event. "I took myself way too seriously then, but now I'm a big clown," Tyson said. "I'm fine with that."
So are a lot of other people, who are discovering a side of Tyson that would have been unimaginable in the days he was beating up people for a living. They saw him steal a scene in the hit movie "The Hangover," and watched him dance with Wayne Brady in a hilarious online video remake of the Bobby Brown classic "Every Little Step."
Making fun of himself comes easy these days for Tyson, and he's good at it. But there's more to come in his odd career path. He's going to be featured next year in a TV series on raising the pigeons he loves, and he's got plans to display his tattooed face on the big screen once again.
First Published: Oct 17, 2010 23:07 IST