Mike Tyson: “I Used To Hate Myself…”

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(Photo courtesy of Mike Tyson instagram)

“Iron” Mike Tyson owned the ring when he was boxing. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them in the first round in under 60 seconds. Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.

But now at age 51, Tyson is a changed man. More gentle, more laughing and a husband and father. But this suburban-like Tyson took a long road to get to after his bout with depression and drugs. During a recent press conference, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson said that he was “on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.”

“I’m a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven,” said Tyson back in early 2000s. “I’m negative, and I’m dark,” Tyson added, “and I want to do bad stuff.”

Tyson went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to discuss his temptation to use drugs and alcohol and the former Champ vowed not to use drugs or alcohol going forward.

(Photo credit: DailyMail/Brad Barket/Getty Images)

“Even though I possessed incredible discipline when it came to boxing, I didn’t have the tools to stop my slide into addiction,” admitted Tyson. “When I got a chance to get high — boom, I’d get high. I wouldn’t call my sponsor, wouldn’t call my therapist, wouldn’t call my sober companions.

Now, in order to kick it, I had to replace the cravings for drugs or alcohol with a craving to be a better person.

I’ve learned that being sober is more than just avoiding drugs or alcohol. It’s a lifestyle focused on making moral choices and elevating the things that make life worth living to the forefront. Don’t get me wrong. If I craved drugs or alcohol, I’d still give in. I could never fight those cravings. But when I am focused on doing good and being good, and practice the day-to-day mechanics of a sober, healthy life, I don’t get those urges to do bad things to myself.”

In 2009, I vowed to get sober after the accidental death of my 4-year-old girl, Exodus. I was determined to live a better life for the sake of my family, but…