*Mike Tyson is really feeling the pains of his past.
Touting his new autobiography, “Undisputed Truth,” the former heavyweight boxing champion sat down with Willie Geist of NBC’s TODAY yesterday to discuss his life and his troubled relationships with women.
Tyson has demonstrated his transparency on many occasions, and in this interview, he did not disappoint.
In writing his memoir it seems Iron Mike recalled some really deep stuff, things that makes him feel pretty awful about how he acted outside of the boxing ring during his pursuit of fame.
“I feel like a schmuck,’’ Tyson told Geist. “I feel like ‘el schmucko.’ For instance, I didn’t choose being a fighter; it chose me. Somebody told me, ‘Hey this is what you’re gonna do, you’re good at this.’”
Tyson admits that he wanted a greater life for himself than the one that the “deprived neighborhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn” had to offer.
“I didn’t want to be that person any more. So I went on that journey, and that journey took me to such a megalomaniacal perspective of myself,” he says of his meteoric rise in the boxing world.
In “Undisputed Truth” Tyson writes about the struggle to contain “Iron Mike,’’ his alter ego; the ferocious fighter inside the ring who would find his way outside the ring when real life got ugly. Tyson told Geist it was “almost impossible’’ to contain that side of him.
“That guy, he follows me,’’ Tyson said. “He even follows me when I perform on stage on Broadway. That’s my alter ego when I’m afraid. I can use ‘Iron Mike’ as an excuse, but I owe that to all the self-gratification I got out of being that person. It took me away from being that scared little kid to being a feared person, which I thought was a respected person.”
Tyson also writes frankly about his ill treatment of women during his life, which he believes relates to his childhood.
“I judge by the way my mother was being treated, so I thought that’s how women should be treated,’’ he said. “When you see the biggest woman figure in your life being treated pretty disrespectfully, you realize she’s accepting that. You realize this is just what it is.”
Therapy as well as his wife and five daughters have helped Tyson improve his interactions with women, he believes. “I really like to deep down believe that I am [better],’’ he said.
Watch the Tyson interview: