Published: December 15, 2004
The weariness in Mike Tyson’s voice was not there because of the hour that he spent in the ring holding the mitts for a half-dozen kids at Gleason’s Gym yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t even the fact that he signed every autograph request and smiled for every camera – cell-phone models included.
No, this was the kind of weariness that comes from years of being in the spotlight, of having your every mistake magnified and reported all around the world. Of having your love life and failed marriages become fodder for a voracious celebrity-hungry horde of media.
“My life (stinks),” Tyson said as he concluded a press gathering inside one of the rings at Brooklyn’s venerable boxing haven.
Tyson said he is not interested in resuming his boxing career anytime soon, even though his adviser, Shelly Finkel, said Tyson will make a comeback in March.
“Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I think I don’t more times than I want to,” Tyson said regarding his future in the ring.
He was KO’d by Danny Williams (yeah, the guy who was destroyed by Vitali Klitschko Saturday night in Vegas) back in July. He tore the meniscus cartilage in his left knee. But he said he hasn’t been to physical therapy in two months and needs another six weeks of rehab to get the knee healthy.
It is obvious from the brief time he spent with reporters that Tyson is going through another tumultuous time in his personal life, which is manifest in his comments about not knowing why he exists.
“I’ve reached a point in my life where I say what is all this (stuff) for,” he said regarding his fame, lost fortune and notoriety.
Inside that same ring a few minutes before he sat down with reporters, Tyson held a pair of yellow and black boxing mitts and gleefully let the mighty mites swing away. He was working on completing 100 hours of community service that stemmed from an incident outside the Brooklyn Marriott last year.
Click Read more below for the full story.That didn’t matter to Shueshona Norville, a 9-year-old from Brooklyn who likes singing more than boxing.
“It was fun,” she said. “I don’t think I hurt him.”
Tyson’s entourage included his son, Amir, 7, his nephew, Taj, 8, his former wife Monica, his sister, Jackie Rowe and his lawyer. Amir pounded his father’s mitts, but Tyson said the kid isn’t cut out for boxing.
“Not my son because I don’t think my son has it in him. It takes people that come from this type of world,” said Tyson as he surveyed the hungry boxers who dipped and skipped around him.
Tyson took great joy in working with the young boxers that came at him in waves. With sweat pouring from his shaved head, he occasionally offered a helpful tip.
“When he was here the last time he told me some things that helped me,” said 9-year-old Sherif Younan of Brooklyn. “He told me to always move your head. If you don’t you’ll get hurt.”
Sherif Younan Sr. stood outside the ring and watched his son, who has already won amateur tournaments and is presently fighting in the junior Golden Gloves, rip into Tyson’s mitts.
“He knows everything about Tyson,” the elder Younan said. “He idolizes him as far as boxing is concerned. Outside of the ring … we discuss that, too. You always have to take the good with the bad. You can idolize his work ethic. Mike Tyson wouldn’t have been Mike Tyson if he didn’t work hard. The rest of the stuff outside of boxing I tell my son not to follow. He’s smart enough to separate what’s good from what’s bad.”
Maybe smarter than Tyson, whose lifestyle seems to have worn him down.
“I think he’s just tired of everything and he wants to live a normal life now,” said his sister, Jackie Rowe.
But if you’re Mike Tyson, will that ever be possible?
Source: New York Daily News.