Mike Tyson: 'My life is a blur'

Former heavyweight champ on boxing, theatre, regrets and money

Interview, The Knowledge

What can we expect from your one-man show?
I don’t know what to expect. I don’t rate it. People say it’s funny – it’s not meant to be funny. People think it’s supposed to be a stand-up comedy show – it’s not meant to be that. It’s just me explaining my life as I remember it. At first when I did the show, people laughed a lot and I didn’t think things were worth laughing at and I didn’t know how to take it – I was offended. And then I realised that if they’re laughing then it must be a good show. I don’t take it personally anymore.

In your show, will you take questions?
There’ll be no questions. Everybody wants to be quiet.

How does being on stage compare to boxing? Do you get an adrenalin rush?
I do it with the same spirit as I do when I fight. The only difference is I don’t go to the hospital after every performance.

Do you miss boxing?
You know something that’s interesting? Boxing actually found me. I’m not anybody special – this [boxing] is not meant for me. I think I’m a little too emotional – and I push the envelope too far.

Is this extreme personality reflected in your show?
Absolutely – that’s why my wife’s in my ear because I have to be careful what I might say.

You’re known for your love of animals. Why do you think you connect so well?
I’m just instinctive. When you want to take care of them and they don’t trust you, the fact that you can get an exotic animal to trust you is really some interesting stuff. They really never trust you but they will never betray you. If you found an animal or a wolf in the wild, sick and hungry, and you fed them, they wouldn’t betray you. They’ll leave you and they won’t bother before they desert you but if you ever did that to a person, they would betray you.

What is the craziest thing that you remember buying at the height of your wealth?
My life is like a blur to me. I blew so much money on some ridiculous stuff. I dunno, I bought a couple of tigers. I bought some guns. I bought some really awesome stuff.

Listen, I don’t have any money now. I’m not going to be able to have a nice car for years to come.

You’re a spiritual guy but people, such as Don King, have done bad things to you in the past. Can you forgive those people?
Hey, I have to forgive those people in life.

How about regrets?
I wish a lot of things were different but I can live my life the way it is and still be happy. But I wish things were different, I wish I didn’t make a lot of mistakes – not necessarily financial mistakes but just the way I chose to live my life.
Mike Tyson – The Undisputed Truth is on November 7 and 8 at Dubai World Trade Centre. For tickets visit www.miketysondxb.com

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