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Lowell Cohn: Mike Tyson — an honest ex-fighter, unveiled

  • In this photo taken on April 20, 2009, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson attends a special screening of Sony Picture Classics' 'Tyson' in New York. An upstate New York wedding went an extra round when the boxing great just happened to stumble upon the wedding party posing for pictures. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

Mike Tyson is saying,

"Hey, well, check this out. I was planning on killing myself. My wife was just my friend at that time and I asked her to spend some time in Vegas. She got pregnant and she had to go to prison in two weeks. When she came back, she started talking about building a company.

"When she's saying this, I'm saying, 'Look at the state we're in.' I didn't want to bust her bubble. She'd probably leave me. And I kept saying, 'Yes baby, yes baby.' I saw Chazz Palminteri (in a one-man show). I said, 'Baby, I think I could do this.' We staged some shows. I took questions. Someone who worked for Spike (Lee) said, 'You've got to see this. Let's take it on Broadway.'

"It all started from my wife telling me, 'We can do this.' My daughter died. I just wanted to live a different life. Living life is very difficult for me. I just wanted to be a savage fighter. I had a paradigm shift in life. In '08, '09, I wanted to kill myself. I was just OD-ing every night. I couldn't believe I was waking up."

As Tyson speaks, I'm typing as fast as I can. It's a national conference call for Tyson to announce he's going into boxing promotion. He's on the line talking fast, talking Brooklyn, talking how I understand talking.


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