For the majority of his life, Mike Tyson received millions of dollars for being the best at a sport that calls on participants to use extreme force to defeat their opponents. In a a sense, Tyson lived his life outside of the ring with the same fearlessness but with less discipline.
On March 20, Rolling Out magazine visited the former heavyweight champion at his home in Las Vegas to discuss his road to redemption. During our encounter with Tyson, it was obvious that he had toned down a lot since his reckless days as a pugilist. He now finds solace with his homing pigeons and shooting zombies on the video game, Left for Dead. The fire that he once used to dismantle opponents when he stepped into the ring resurfaces when he discusses his past. Tyson enjoys the simple things of life now.
He speaks passionately about his time in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The days when he ran from bullies only to find his fighting power after fear drove him to protect himself. He recalls moments when he aligned himself with the most notorious street figures in his neighborhood only to delve into mischief activities that some would pay for later. Tyson says his escape from that life continues to baffle him today.
“How do you get out of something like that ?” Tyson wondered. “How do you get out of a situation where so many criminals are preying on each other everyday? It’s dog eat dog. When I go back to Brooklyn, I wonder how I made it out of that place. It was fate.”
Mike Tyson will appear on an upcoming cover of rolling out magazine. Visit rollingout.com daily to get more exclusive interviews, photos and video featuring Tyson.