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"About training the twelve year old Mike at Tryon reform school: 'Everything I showed him-he would go back to his room and practice it over and over. At three in the morning one could hear movement and the snorting from Mikes room, learning, perfecting what Id taught him the day before. The third-shift staff had to put him to bed every night.' [Fire, 41]"

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Mike Tyson News: Luz Whitney talks about her relationship with Tyson

Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 @ 04:34:08 UTC by tysonian

IN the ring he's known as Iron Mike, the raging bull who famously bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear. He has convictions for rape, road rage, assault and escaped another spell in jail last week by agreeing to 100 hours of community service after a brawl with autograph-hunters in a New York hotel.

But to girlfriend Luz Whitney the disgraced - and now bankrupt - ex-world heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson is just a big pussy cat, a gentle man she knows as "Papi".

Luz, 26, who has been dating Tyson for two years, says: "It makes me sad he still has this reputation as a mean, aggressive person. The real Mike is sensitive, funny, romantic, generous and extremely loving."

In fact, says Luz, the only time Tyson turns into a beast is in the bedroom. "The chemistry between us means our sex life is explosive. He's an animal in bed. He's so good, I call him The Bomb!"

Tyson is said to have blown the £260million he earned from his spectacular boxing career and to be down to his last £3,000 in cash. "I'm one of the most famous unemployed persons in the country, but believe it or not, I'm on the brink of starving to death," he said earlier this week.

He has filed for bankruptcy with £18million debts. Yet during our interview Luz gets a phone call from him asking her to get on a private jet and take his favourite Versace suit to Mexico where he is filming a TV show.

So just what is going on?

More quotes and pictures available in the extended section of this post (click 'Read More' below).

"Nobody but Mike knows how much money he has left," insists actress Luz, who says the TV company will pick up the tab for the plane. "Anyway, he can still earn a lot of money from things like commentating. He could sign a £10million contract for a fight tomorrow if he wanted."

And friends say that he has never been happier...pointing to Luz as the reason for the transformation. She roars with laughter at such an idea. "The reality is that Mike has done most of it himself. He is 37 now and he has matured. He is a very different person to how he was 10 years ago or even five years ago," she says.

They met six years ago at a gym in Las Vegas where Tyson was training. The attraction was instant - so much so he ordered her to leave because she was distracting him from his workout.

"He knew immediately he wanted me," says 5ft 7in Luz. "After he kicked my friend and I out of the gym, he offered us a tour of his house. It took him five years to tell me, but last year he admitted it was because he wanted me to see the place where I was going to live. He was that confident that he would get me. So arrogant!"

Luz, who was born in the Dominican Republic but brought up in New York, kept Mike waiting for four years before becoming his lover. She was put off initially by his conviction for raping Miss Black America beauty contestant Desiree Washington in 1992. "I was scared of his reputation as a violent man. He knew that and he asked me if I believed that he'd raped that woman.

"He told me that he didn't. I believed him then and I believe him now. But I still wanted time to get to know him as a friend." She adds with a grin: "Also, I wasn't stupid. I knew he could have any woman. I played hard to get and it worked. He stayed interested." Two years ago, Luz decided to give him a chance - although once again, she made him wait. It was four months into their relationship before they made love for the first time, at the W Hotel in Los Angeles.

"This is one of the reasons I want people to know the real Mike," sighs Luz. "For four months, he respected my decision to wait before sex. We slept in the same bed, but he was a perfect gentleman.

"The big night, he was so romantic. He put petals over the floor, opened Cristal champagne, and put a Luther Vandross CD on. It was one of the most romantic nights of my life."

She adds: "Being realistic, I don't think I would have liked him if I'd met him 10 years ago. He was different then. He says himself that he made mistakes and treated women badly.

"But he has changed. He controls himself much better now. He's never hit me. Never. He cares about me too much and he knows his own strength. He knows that if he put a hand on me, I'd be dead or my face ruined.

"If I'd met him 10 years ago I would probably have black eyes. He still has a temper. I have learned to recognise the warning signs. Those mean little evil eyebrows go up; he looks off into space. That means, leave him alone. The only problem is, I find him very sexy when he's looking evil!"

Luz adds: "He calls me 'Mami' (Mummy) or his 'Precious Angel'. He likes me to call him 'Papi' (Daddy). He likes to say that because my dad died, he has responsibility for me.He tries to educate me about stuff like history. He wants to look after me."

"And he takes good care of me. I had a boob job last year and he looked after me for three days. He gave me medicine, brushed my teeth and fed me. He even washed my hair. Imagine big tough Tyson standing at the sink trying to comb out my hair, getting frustrated and saying, 'woman, why've you got such kinky hair'?"

Tyson is legendary for his spending. He once paid £1million for a watch, £80,000 for a pair of Bengal tigers and owned cars worth £4million. So living with Tyson has introduced Luz to a world she had barely dreamed of growing up in a small apartment with 11 other members of her family. "The first time I saw his house in Las Vegas, I felt like a princess. We had a cook and 12 people who came with us wherever we went."

At the height of Tyson's spending, he'd ask Versace in Las Vegas to close its doors for £250,000 spending sprees. "He is a lot more restrained now," says Luz. "But he still has suits worth £5,000 hanging in his closet with the tags still on that he's never worn.

"And he loves to buy me clothes. He will come home with a Gucci handbag or boots for me. He likes to show me off so it has to be sexy."

Tyson has kept his sapphire blue Phantom Rolls-Royce, while Luz has a black Mercedes convertible. At Christmas, he bought her a leather and mink coat.

But suggest some people may see her as a gold-digger and the dark eyes flash and her Hispanic accent thickens. "That makes me angry. I am the one who'd rather hire a gown than spend thousands of dollars on something I wear once. But Mike won't let me do that. He calls me cheap!"

One of the reasons, she believes, that they have lasted is that he knows he can trust her. She stuck around when other members of his entourage melted away as the millions disappeared. And her mother Lucilla took him into her cramped New York home for six months last year after he was forced to leave his Las Vegas pile. "That was the happiest I have seen Mike," Luz recalls. "He helped my mom with the groceries and took out the garbage. She treats him like a son."

Now Luz is looking to the future, She has just landed a role in a £5m film called Simon's Curse and is moving to a Beverly Hills apartment with some of the money Tyson has given her.

Meanwhile Tyson still trains for four hours a day and Luz believes he will fight again before he turns 40. He is also in talks about a reality TV show similar to The Osbournes. So what about marriage? "Mike keeps saying he wants to marry me and have babies, but I'm not sure. And he's never asked me with a ring in one hand. I want a pink diamond, bigger than the one J-Lo got from Ben, if you're listening Mike!'

Right now, Luz has more immediate concerns. "I have to get him to take me to the Oscars tonight ," she says. "I have that beautiful Versace dress in my closet crying out to be worn. So I will talk to him, talk to him and talk to him until he says, 'Yes'."

It seems Mike Tyson has finally met his match.


Former World Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson (L) arrives with his girlfriend Luz Whitney at the premiere of 'Against the Ropes' in Hollywood, February 11, 2004

Source: SundayMirror


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