Tyson unplugged: On media, fans and his reputation
WAILEA, Hawaii -- Mike Tyson, preparing for his June 8 fight with Lennox Lewis on the island of Maui, has kept a rather low profile.
Tyson admits biting Lewis ...
then takes it back
| NEW YORK -- Mike Tyson admitted biting Lennox Lewis' leg
during a news conference melee that led to the loss of the former
heavyweight champion's Nevada boxing license.
"I did bite him," Tyson told FOX News Channel in an interview scheduled to air Saturday night.
Tyson earlier apologized for the Jan. 22 brawl during a news conference in New York, but refused to say whether he bit Lewis.
After Tyson was denied a license to face Lewis in Las Vegas, the fighters agreed to a June 8 bout in Memphis, Tenn.
On Friday, Tyson explained himself in a statement released through spokesman Scott Miranda.
"I said I bit Lennox because that is what everyone wanted to hear. I will say anything to get under his skin," the statement said. "But on June 8, flesh will not be enough. I will take Lennox's title, his soul and smear his pompous brains all over the ring when I hit him."
Tyson was suspended from boxing in 1997 for biting Evander
Holyfield's ear during a bout in Las Vegas.
Until a Wednesday conversation with a group of television reporters, including ESPN's Max Kellerman.
Tyson, usually calm but at times hostile, opened with a lewd response to a female reporter, who asked him about the upcoming fight ("It's no doubt I am going to win this fight and I feel confident about winning this fight. I normally don't do interviews with women unless I fornicate with them. So you shouldn't talk anymore ... Unless you want to, you know.").
At different times during the session, he was introspective, angry and bitter. Weighing 230 pounds -- near his fighting weight, thanks to morning runs and afternoon sparring sessions -- Tyson talked about himself, how he's perceived publicly, his legacy and the Lewis fight (though sparingly).
Some of it was graphic, some unsettling, some incomprehensible. Among his thoughts:
"I would have been in shape. I would have been active. (Evander) Holyfield, those guys wouldn't have been champion when I was around, but I went away for four or five years inactive and that made them competitive for a time.
"But you really have to look at the science of the situation. You guys come here to talk and report but you don't actually look at the facts of what this business is all about. The best thing that happened to those guys and they should stand on their mother's shoulders and kiss my ass because I went to prison or they would not be existing right now. They'd be a flash in the pan and would have made some money and opened up a restaurant or bar somewhere where they live at."
|Tyson's Sunday Conversation|
Mike Tyson spent part of his interview going one-on-one with ESPN's Max Kellerman:
Kellerman: "If you win this puts you in the Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson level. How do you control the fight?"
Tyson: "It's interesting that you put me in the league with those illustrious fighters, but I've proved since my career I've surpassed them as far my popularity. I'm the biggest fighter in the history of the sport. If you don't believe it, check the cash register."
The rest of the discussion will be part of SportsCenter's Sunday Conversation following the Cubs-Dodgers game (approx 11 p.m. ET).
"Sometimes you guys have no pride, so no matter what I say, you guys ... it doesn't affect you because you don't care about nothing but money. So every now and then I kick your (expletive) ass and stomp on you and put some kind of pain and inflict some of the pain on you because you deserve to feel the pain that I feel.
"I wish that you guys had children so I could kick them in the (expletive) head or stomp on their testicles so you could feel my pain because that's the pain I have waking up every day."
"There's no one perfect. We're always gonna do that. Jimmy Swaggart is lascivious, Mike Tyson is lascivious -- but we're not criminally, at least I'm not, criminally lascivious. You know what I mean. I may like to fornicate more than other people -- it's just who I am. I sacrifice so much of my life, can I at least get laid? I mean, I been robbed of my most of my money, can I at least get (oral sex) without the people wanting to harass me and wanting to throw me in jail?
"That's just who I am. I want to have a nice career for my children. I want them to have a great education I want to fly my birds. I want to live my life. I want to have a drink every now and then. I want to have a charity event every now and then. And every now and then, I want to fornicate and that's just being a human being.
"I feel like sometimes that I was born, that I'm not meant for this society because everyone here is a (expletive) hypocrite. Everybody says they believe in God but they don't do God's work. Everybody counteracts what God is really about. If Jesus was here, do you think Jesus would show me any love? Do you think Jesus would love me? I'm a Muslim, but do you think Jesus would love me ... I think Jesus would have a drink with me and discuss ... why you acting like that?
"Now, he would be cool. He would talk to me. No Christian ever did that and said in the name of Jesus even ... They'd throw me in jail and write bad articles about me and then go to church on Sunday and say Jesus is a wonderful man and he's coming back to save us. But they don't understand that when he comes back, that these crazy greedy capitalistic men are gonna kill him again."