Mike Tyson was on Oprah today, October 12, 2009, and he was full of many emotions. Mike Tyson sat across from Oprah who was gentle with him and asked him some pointed questions about his life growing up. She asked about the death of his beloved coach, the man who made Mike Tyson who he was in the ring.
Oprah told Mike Tyson he was "scary." Mike answered, seriously, "I scare myself. I'm a scary guy"." Oprah asked "why?"
Mike said "even to this day I'm very overly protective of my feelings."
Oprah points out "Mike's mother died when he was 16 and he never knew his father. One of the most poignant parts of his life was his memories of his boxing trainer."
Clips from the film were shown by Oprah and Mike said "I did everything he told me to do and I won. I won every amateur championship. I won every championship because he told me what to do. And I started believed in this old man. We had a totally different relationship." Mike said "I feel like I'm going to cry." And then the tears flowed.
Mike said "he (my coach) spoke with me every night about discipline and character." Oprah said "it was really moving to see you talk about Coach. He died in 1985."
Oprah said "how did his death affect you? Mike said "I started drinking and doing drugs." Mike said "I lost my desire to fight." Mike Tyson's eyes welled up with tears when talking about his coach.
Mike said his coach "was such a great guy." Mike said "I wan't prepared for living life." Mike said "we would sit down and watch all the...." Oprah said "fight?" Mike said "oh man." Mike started crying with Oprah. He was speechless.
Mike said his coach told him "no one can beat Mohammed Ali."
Oprah said "you were trained to be a warrior and walk through the world knowing no one can do you harm." Mike said "I never thought I was the toughest fighter in the world."
Oprah said "I went to your fight in Atlanta and I realized fighting was an art. And then you walked in the room and I saw fear. I saw the presence of fear and I knew that guy couldn't last very long. The fighter's bravado went away."
Mike said "I studied all the greatest fighters in the world. I picked up certain characteristics of certain fighters."
Oprah talked about the documentary "Tyson" which Oprah said showed such a different side to Mike Tyson.
Mike Tyson said "only when I walked into the ring, the fear went away. I thought I was a god. As far as combating."
Mike said he "thought of himself as a god with a little g". Then he said "I guess I could have been a god with a big G."
He also told Oprah that as he walked into the ring "how dare did they want to challenge him. Subconsiously I'm like a peacock."
Oprah said "did watching the film bring you to a new level of self awareness?" Mike "said yes. I don't want to go down that row. I don't want to destroy my family."
Mike said his drug of choice "was everything." Mike said a guy tried "to have an intervention" on Mike but "it didn't work."
Oprah asked who Mike loves now? Mike said "I love my babies now." He talked about his beautiful wife. Mike got married in June to Kiki.
Mike talked about a young daughter who passed away from sort of accident. He started crying about "his angel". A photo of his little girl was shown. He said his years in rehab taught him to be responsible after his daughter died. He said "I don't want to say the wrong thing."
Oprah said "his daughter died of a freak accident." Mike said "I don't want to know how" how his daughter died because it would have blame tied to it and he would have someone to blame and he doesn't want to blame anyone. He said his first reaction to hearing of his little daughter's death was "rage". Mike said "I'm tired of losing and want to win."
Mike said "his biggest asset is his children." A photo of Mike with all of his kids was shown on the screen.
The interview was very moving. Mike Tyson talked about a lot of topics which were obviously very raw for him and he cried openly at points during the interview. He was obviously trying to be as open as possible, even sharing that he was picked on as a little boy because he was fat.
Leave it to Oprah to get some of the most compelling interviews.
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