Mike Tyson, London, July 21, 1989, Courtesy: The Ring Magazine. (From Boxer)
“Bankrupt boxer Mike Tyson is financially down for the count, saying things have gotten so bad that he’s struggling just to put food on the table.”
BROKE TYSON: I’LL FIGHT FOR FOOD, by Adam Miller, The New York Post, Feb. 27, 2004
Whenever I read about Mike Tyson’s travails—rape convictions, ear-biting, arguments with reporters, acrimonious divorces, fist-fights in a Brooklyn hotel, facial tattoos, bankruptcy—I always think of the scene in Barbara Kopple‘s phenomenal, empathic 1993 documentary Fallen Champ in which Tyson, age 15, has a breakdown between bouts at the 1982 National Junior Olympics in Colorado and sobs to his trainer Teddy Atlas:
“It’s all right now… I’m Mike Tyson… everybody likes me, yes, everybody likes me… I’ve come a long way, I’m a fighter now, I’m Mike Tyson.”
Just beneath the tabloid spectacle of Tyson’s public decline is a very real tragedy. Unfortunately, Tyson is such an unsympathetic figure that it’s hard to feel bad for the guy. Sadly, his story’s gonna get a lot worse before it ends.