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Mike Tyson on D&C: ‘I’m still rebuilding myself by living a life that I really want to live’

01.09.14 at 10:07 am ET
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Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who is on a national tour with his one-man show in which he talk about his controversial life, checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Tyson’s show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” which stops in Foxwoods on Jan. 24, features him recounting his personal and professional trials and tribulations, including his drug and alcohol problems and his prison sentence following a rape conviction.

While Tyson had a Hall of Fame career, he acknowledges that he could have accomplished so much more.

“Absolutely I think I wasted my career. I think I wasted my life for a small period of time,” Tyson said. “At this stage of my life I’m still rebuilding myself by living a life that I really want to live and allowing myself to be the person that I want to be and the man I want to be now. It’s late in life, but I’m just very grateful. That’s the word I’m just trying to convey, it’s gratitude. I have a great deal of gratitude now. And I can change my life and live my life the way that I believe that it’s meant to be lived and be the man that I want to be now in life.

“All those other things, being a bunch of women, a bunch of cars, bunch of drinking, smoking, that allowed me to be the man I wanted to be. Not being in that situation, and not being in that spirit anymore, I don’t know, in this middle age of my life I’m prepared to be the man that I want to be, even if it takes me into my 60s and 70s — God forbid if I live that long — I can at least be the person I want to be and I should be and I deserve to be.”

One of Tyson’s nicknames was “Baddest Man on the Planet,” which aptly described his behavior in and out of the ring.

“Well, I believed I was at that particular time,” Tyson said. “The fact that I was just pretty much testosterone- and ego-prone, so at that time in my life I probably believed that stuff. But that was just me being a little insecure kid back then.”

One of the people Tyson rips in his show is legendary promoter Don King, whom Tyson said stole “lots of money” from him.

“I’m just telling the truth,” Tyson said. “There’s nothing personal about it. It’s just what it was. ‘€¦ Everything’s pretty much objective. If I was really personal about this I couldn’t do the show. I’d start feeling sorry for myself. So I have to be very objective and be like an actor portraying Mike Tyson, who I can do better than anyone else. I’m just one of those guys if I’m emotional about this stuff I might start crying and feeling sorry for myself. So my main objective is to be objective.”

Asked about his financial situation, Tyson said: “Hey, I could always use a buck or two. But I’ve been worse. I’ve been worse. It depends on what do you mean financially? Do I have the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ money? No way. But do I have a better life, can I live functional? Yeah, I was the Baddest Man on the Planet with hundreds of millions of dollars, but I can’t get anything done — I might even forget to eat. Things are just a lot better now.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On Dennis Rodman‘s controversial trip to North Korea: “It’s just not good stuff. I don’t know what Dennis is thinking. Mr. Rodman I’m sure had good intentions. And I’m sure [Kim Jong-un] the gentleman over there, the president, he treats them with a good payday, of course.”

On if he would ever fight again: “No, that’s not going to ever happen again. I’m just not that person anymore. I would have to be a totally different person even to be in that environment again. That’s just not who I am.”

On his seven kids and what they know about him: “They know everything about me. They’ve seen the play. They can turn on television.”

On his future: “As of now, this is what I’m doing. I’m not clairvoyant. I can’t dictate what my life is going to be 10 or 20 years from now. But I’m just hoping I’m staying on the same pace that I am now and the positive perspective, doing wonderful things. I’m really doing wonderful things, and I have great deal of opportunities to do incredible things, so I’m very grateful for that.”

Read More: Dennis Rodman, Don King, Mike Tyson,