Published: September 8, 2004
By G. Leon
Boxingtalk.com’s Greg Leon was able to get a hold of former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, “Iron” Mike Tyson last night. Tyson informed Boxingtalk.com that he was unaware of any of the details surrounding the dispute involving Shelly Finkel and Ted Watley, and of any 50% split with Ted Watley. He also voiced concerns about who was looking out for Mike Tyson’s interest as opposed to their own. Some of the language is raw, but in fairness to Mike he was confronted with a lot of information that he was kept in the dark on. During the second half of an nearly 90 minute interview, at Mike’s request Shelly Finkel and later, Ted Watley were added to the call. The exchanges that ensued could represent the biggest story in boxing this year. It appears that both Mr. Finkel and Mr. Watley will have a lot of explaing to do…to Mike Tyson, if to no one else. In the interest of serving our readers and boxing the real deal, these conversations will be transcribed in their entirity and we will be giving them to you FREE OF CHARGE.
GL: How are you feeling Mike?
Mike Tyson: “I’m doing okay, my leg hurts a little and I’m really disappointed by what happened at the fight. Everybody thought it was a great fight and it’s been many years since I looked that well. I’m very disappointed and I know it’s really nothing for my career, because guys lose, come back and win titles all the time, but I was very disappointed because I trained so hard.
GL: In this first round it looked like Vintage Mike Tyson, was it disappointing to you to have that injury…
MT: (cutting in) “You know people told me, I haven’t seen the fight and I’m hurt to see the fight. I don’t know, I’m just trying to get my shit together and get on the road without getting frustrated or discouraged. It’s very discouraging for me to get back on the road, and you get disappointed sometimes with yourself. Matter fact, you’re talking to me right now and it would kill you if this same story would go somewhere else, that would fuck you up for real! Can you picture that disappointment? I know you could picture it, but that’s the way I feel with the fight.”
GL: It’s like you can taste the success in the ring and then as quick as you could taste it….
MT: (cutting in animated) “Aw man! That was the word I couldn’t put my fingers on but I felt it all coming to me, I was ready to knock this guy out and become a sensation again and then pow, oh shit, I’m going to get my bitches back, I’m going to get this money back, I’m going to get it all back.
GL: Obviously, you have no doubts that if that knee injury never took place Williams wouldn’t last another round?
MT: “That fight was getting ready to be over, if he would have gotten hit one more that fight would have been over. But now it’s just so fucked up. All of these people are out making stories that this guy was too tough for me or this guy was this, or this guy was that, but people should know this guy wasn’t too tough for me. He was a journeyman but that fight was about to be over. He fought back and he was gallant, and the bravest thing he did was step in that ring with me.”
GL: I’ve been in the middle of Shelly Finkel and Ted Watley for the past two days, I know you probably don’t get on the net much…
MT: “I wish I knew how to work the motherfucker, then I would.
GL: Ted Watley and Shelly Finkel have been going back and forth for the past two days on my website. (I then gave Mike the chain of events that led to the original story and how everything has gone in the past two days, we got to the point where I told him Shelly Finkel said Ted Watley was being brought in as a father-figure type, Tyson erupted with the following!
MT: “Do you think I need any of those motherfuckers to be a father-figure? I hope he didn’t say that because out of everything that offended me the most. Ain’t no motherfucker out there my father, these motherfuckers don’t give a damn about me like that. If my father was around he would have acted like a father and dealt with some of these guys that abused me. If Shelly thinks he needs to bring in a father-figure then Shelly’s a fool. I’m the man now, they’re my sons. All of those guys, Shelly, Ted, all those guys, they’re all my sons, I’m nobody’s son. They’re my motherfucking sons. How the fuck could any of them be Mike Tyson’s father? They don’t got the pedigree. Regardless of their lifestyles or schooling they don’t got the pedigree for this type of shit.
GL: Did you know that Shelly Finkel was giving Ted Watley 50% of what earned with you for serving as a father-figure?
MT: “Do you think I belive any of those motherfuckers? I like everybody but I don’t want to deal with these guys where you got two men fighting over me, don’t they know they’re embarrassing me? Two men fighting over me, I’m embarrased that they’re doing that shit, but do they care about how I feel? Don’t you think they’re embarrassing me with you telling me all this shit. I didn’t know nothing about this and this is an embarrassment. Do you think they’re aware of that?
“Once they’re good friends in love with each other and now they don’t like each other anymore. If Shelly was doing something wrong, why would he invite (Watley) to come in and help him come in and then say Shelly’s doing wrong? (Watley’s) doing that because he’s saying that 100% is better than 50%. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but people kind of think that I’m a stupid motherfucker because sometimes I show apathetic attitudes towards certain things in life, but I see everything that’s going on. You’ve got these two grown men fighting over me and they ought to be ashamed. I didn’t know anything and I hadn’t been appraised on shit that was going on, but I hope they realize how foolish they look and how embarrassed I am.
“Now that I think about it, a lady friend of mine did tell me they were saying some nasty things and it’s really embarrassing because don’t none of them motherfuckers give a shit about me because they don’t give a shit about how embarrassed I feel right now. I don’t even want to do this shit sometimes when you got motherfuckers fighting over me. Can Mike Tyson finish his career without two grown men fighting over his big black dick? I don’t know why these guys are doing this humiliating shit. It’s like I can’t deal with my loss with any dignity.”
“But when people see how I generate that money and see how I fill those seats and the tickets are not given away like on other promoter’s fights, when people see those seats as cold hard currency and there’s no free rides, crazy shit happens! I’m the kind of guy, and I was talking to a young lady friend of mine who asked me, did you ever think you would be this big? I said, ‘no my intentions were not to fascinate the world with my personality, I just wanted the boxing world to bear witness to my existence.’ I didn’t know that I was going to be some big world-wide motherfucker when I walk the streets of Paris the whole block shuts down, but I’m the kind of guy who likes to stay on the down low.
“I like do things other people might look at as kind of funny, because as you get older that’s not what’s happening. As you get older, all that fun, fame and fortune isn’t what you think it’s going to be.”
GL: I bet sometimes you wish you could walk down the street like a normal person.
MT: “And having a girl go out with me, and I have to worry about her turning me down because if she does, it’s in the paper. I don’t even go to the parties because I don’t what the fuck might happen. I want to walk in the club try to get laid but I’m scared because I don’t know if this girl’s going to say I raped her. So when I’m out, I’m sweating like a pimp with one hoe!”
GL: Will you fight again, or are you just focusing on getting healthy again?
MT: “Right now I’m just getting therapy on my leg. I’m walking around and doing good though. I was in deep shit though because it’s like I’m starting all over again, learning how to walk. This is the only thing that has ever intimidated me about fighting. After all of these years fighting, this thing with my leg is the only thing that prevented me from fighting. I never worried about brain damage or anything like that, but when my leg got fucked up it put me in another environment. I kind of realized that I’m as tough as I think am, (laughs) I may have to deal with the possibility of the reality that I might have some bitch in me know because this leg shit hurts!”
“But back to these motherfuckers embarrassing me, that’s humiliating.(Sarcastically) Make sure you put it in your strory that I’m sure they’re doing this in my best interest because they truly care about me. But let them fight because I might find out something I need to know. As a matter of fact, we’re going to make this really hot, I want you to put these guys on the phone with us because we’re going to make a big story out of it this time.”
At this point, Boxingtalk.com conferenced in Shelly Finkel, who later conferenced in Ted Watley. Part 2 will be dropping tomorrow, stay tuned to see what was said once Finkel got on the phone, you definitely don’t want to miss it!