Tyson, 38 this week, receives some early presents

By
TysonTalk

Published: July 11, 2004

Norm Frauenheim
Jun. 28, 2004

Mike Tyson turns 38 on Wednesday with plenty to celebrate.

Don King agreed to pay him $14 million – $8 million now and $6 million over the next two years – in a settlement Friday of a $100 million suit. In a new book, celebrity lawyer Alan Derschowitz writes that Tyson was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1992 because of evidence withheld in an Indianapolis courtroom.

For a middle-aged man with reported debts of $40 million and a notorious personal ledger, those are small gifts. But they are a new beginning, another one.

According to papers filed Thursday in bankruptcy court, Tyson plans to fight seven times over the next three years.

If he sticks to the plan and everybody from the Internal Revenue Service to an ex-wife collects, another world title might be his payoff.

Trainer Freddie Roach has been impressed with his work at Central Boxing near downtown Phoenix for a comeback fight July 30 in Louisville against somebody named Danny Williams of Britain.

Tyson, who began sparring Friday, was at 229 pounds last week. Roach expects him to be at 222 against Williams in his first fight since a 49-second demolition of Clifford Etienne on Feb. 22, 2003.

Physically, Tyson looks good. He has been relaxed, friendly and almost sounds grateful for all the attention he continues to get.“I’m a hot commodity now,” Tyson said in an almost surprised tone when he first opened camp at Central a couple of weeks ago. “Everywhere I go – New York, Los Angeles, wherever – people are stopping (and) asking: ‘Mike, Mike what are you doing, what are you going to do?’

“Man, I’m chillin’ out, just chillin’. Know what I mean?”

But things are about to heat up all over again. Tyson’s personal history is haunted by crazy moments that surface along with – or perhaps because of – the pressures that accompany the countdown to an opening bell.

Before Etienne, he went out and got the facial tattoo that even Roach believes was a sign he didn’t want to fight. On Wednesday, Tyson will officially be a year older.

But there won’t be any real celebration until, and if, he follows through in the ring with some newfound discipline and maturity.

Life’s lessons, he calls them.

“I never possessed enough money to learn life’s lessons,” said Tyson, who has earned a reported $300 million in the ring. “You can’t purchase them. You got to live them.”

At 38, he has one more chance to show that he has.

Source: azcentral.com