Boxer Mike Tyson held a press conference this past weekend where he opens up about battling alcoholism and trying to make amends, specifically with Teddy Atlas, a trainer at the Catskill Boxing Club who helped train a teenaged Tyson in the early 1980s.
Atlas was dismissed from from the Catskill Boxing Club after he held a gun to Tyson’s head after Tyson was sexually inappropriate with a young female relative of Atlas’. Now, Tyson is looking to make amends with Atlas, as well as facing down his personal addiction demons.
I’m negative, I’m dark and I want to do bad stuff. … I went to my AA meeting … I explained to my fellow alcoholics and junkies that I was going to deal with this certain situation here.
I made the right decision … I made myself proud of me. I hate myself, I’m trying to kill myself, I hate myself a lot but I made myself proud of myself and I don’t do that a much. I was happy I did that.
Maybe it was overhwlmeing to Teddy and he didn’t get it yet, but he has to know this is sincere. I don’t want to fight you no more. I was wrong, I’m sorry. I was wrong. I just want to make my amends.
It’s all about love and forgiveness. In order for those guys to forgive me — I want others to forgive the things. I’m a bad guy, I want to be forgiven. … I want to change, I want to live a different life now. I want to live my sober life, I don’t want to die. I’m on the verge of dying because I’m a vicious alcoholic.
I’ve been, god, this is some interesting stuff. I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days and for me that’s a miracle. I’ve been lying to everybody else who thinks I was sober, but I’m not. It’s been six days, never gonna use again.
Tyson is visually choked up by the end of his speech and receives a smattering of applause from the press in the room.
Do you think he can change for good?