November 8, 2013 in Sports

Think you really know Mike Tyson? Think again

Tim Dahlberg Associated Press

(Full-size photo)

Mike Tyson’s life story is the gift that keeps giving.

And giving. And giving.

At one time he was the baddest man on the planet, a heavyweight champion who terrorized anyone who got in his way, inside the ring or out. More recently he’s unburdened himself as perhaps the most tortured soul on earth, with a one-man show on Broadway that Spike Lee has turned into an HBO special airing Nov. 16.

It turns out that Tyson didn’t tell us everything. Not to worry, because he’s taken care of that in a hefty autobiography that might be the most soul baring book of its genre ever written.

The title is “Undisputed Truth,” and the truth is that Mike Tyson is one messed up dude. He’s desperate to put his demons to rest, but the book needed an extra epilogue written just before printing to talk about him falling off the sobriety wagon once again.

And though things might be better these days in Tyson’s world, he constantly warns that he’s not far from slipping off the edge, or slipping back into a strip club to party with drugs and women.

“Sometimes I just fantasize about blowing somebody’s brains out so I can go to prison for the rest of my life,” he writes. “Working on this book makes me think that my whole life has been a joke.”

If so, Tyson has yet to figure out the punch line. Though he has reinvented himself in recent years as a family man and vegan with enough comedic chops to act in movies, he says he lives daily with the dark past of a junkie who loved to snort cocaine and drink and was constantly preoccupied with finding women to bed.

The book, in Tyson’s voice but written by Larry Sloman, offers a fascinating look into a life that up until now had already been well chronicled.

Tyson is brutal on himself throughout the book, despairing of his lack of self-control and feelings of inadequacy. But he’s equally brutal about the people around him in a career that made him more than $300 million, yet left him so broke today that he says he will never be able to pay off his IRS debts.

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