New York: Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has claimed he is on the verge of dying from ongoing drug and alcohol problems.
“I want to live my sober life. I don’t want to die. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.” Tyson has said.
Tyson, now a promoter, told a news conference: “I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven.
“So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I want to change my life, I want to live a different life now,” the former champion said.
Tyson admitted to being a continual substance abuser but was hopeful he was finally becoming clean.
“I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that’s a miracle,” he revealed.
After realising what he had shared, he paused before adding that he has not consumed alcohol or drugs in six days, which he called ‘a miracle’.
“I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not. This is my sixth day. I’m never gonna use again.”
Tyson’s struggle with alcohol and drugs has been well documented; he has been in and out of rehab three times.
He has also admitted that around five years ago he was contemplating suicide and overdosing — just before his four-year-old daughter Exodus died on May 26, 2009 when she was strangled by a cord while playing on a treadmill. He said that the tragedy served as a wake-up call.
“I didn’t think I’d be here much longer,” Tyson said. “I was planning on killing myself. I was overdosing every night. I couldn’t believe it — that I was waking up. Living life is different for me.”
“Life is short, man. I made amends with everybody,” Tyson said. “I’m a vicious addict and I’m recovering… And I’m going to die if I don’t follow my steps, I’m useless. If I don’t do what the book tells me to do, I’m going to die and that’s just what is going to happen.”
In a July 2012 interview, Tyson had claimed to have been sober for three years. He also credited his role in ‘The Hangover’ with helping him stay sober.
“I’m just constantly working on turning… It doesn’t happen overnight,” Tyson said. “I may have a good few years in me, but it’s still not out of me. You still have to work consistently. Every moment of the day you have to work.”