Thursday, December 23, 2004

"Dying can't be as bad as living"

Click here for AmazonHas there been a tragicomic character in recent memory as simultaneously compelling, disturbing, and paradoxical as Mike Tyson? If you haven't been tracking the escapades of the former heavyweight champion and ex-con, he recently lost two bouts in a row. The latter, against journeyman Danny Williams, was specifically designed to catapult him back into the ranks of contending heavyweights.

Instead, it has relegated Tyson into a state of semi-retirement and shattered his dreams of rebuilding his wealth, once valued at around $400 million. He now lives in a $100,000 house in Arizona, contemplating his fall from grace... and a new life.

...The last time I'd met Tyson was more than a year ago, after Frank Bruno was taken to hospital to help him deal with his own demons.

Tyson says he cried for his old foe at the time and is glad when I tell him Frank is on the mend.

"That makes me happy," he says. "The worst thing that can happen to you is for you to lose your mental powers, especially when you've got a wife and kids."

And he should know. Muttering something about a boxer's biggest fight coming after he leaves the ring, Tyson then comes over all philosophical.

"Dying can't be as bad as living," he muses. "There's no way that dying can be as bad as living. But while you're living you have to live.

"I don't know what I'm doing. I just live, I guess, get some food. But I don't cook. I go to restaurants every night." Asked how he fills his days, he replies: "I don't do anything. My life sucks." ...

The Mirror: Dying can't be as bad as living

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