Meet the Kinder, Gentler Mike Tyson

No more partying, he's been 'suburbanized'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 12:24 PM CDT
Meet the Kinder, Gentler Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson, left, and Lakiha Spicer arrive at Spike TV "Guy's Choice" awards in Culver City, Calif., on Saturday, June 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Despite the Maori warrior tattoo that still adorns his face, there’s little that seems warrior-like about Mike Tyson these days. In a long New York Times Magazine profile, Daphne Merkin paints a picture of the “suburbanized” Tyson: No gold caps on his teeth, no pet tiger, no nonstop Cristal—he doesn’t even eat meat anymore. Instead, he lives in a nice home in a gated community, where he is in bed by 8pm and wakes early, spending his time reading philosophy and taking care of his homing pigeons. “I’ve learned to live a boring life and love it,” he says, but Merkin notes that Tyson seems to be almost willing himself to lead such a life. He is helped along on this journey by wife Kiki, who met Tyson at just 16 and, now 34, says, “We know all of each other’s secret stuff.”

Tyson acknowledges that he is purposely steering clear of the bad influences of his past—a past Merkin traces in detail in the piece, from his troubled childhood to his glory days after being discovered by boxing trainer Cus D’Amato to the highly publicized struggles that followed. Tyson seems to think the way D’Amato raised him may not have been such a great idea in the long run: “They were telling me how great I am … They kept it in my head,” he says. “I always had to have the supreme confidence that I’m a god and superior to everybody else, which is just sick and crazy.” He says he went “insane for a great period of my life,” because “I just knew how to get on top, I didn’t know what to do once I got there.” Even so, he has no regrets: “I’m too young for regrets,” he says. “I’m not in the grave yet.” (More Mike Tyson stories.)

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