Mike Tyson sits down with Graham Bensinger for an interview at the boxing legend’s Las Vegas home. Over the course of two days, Tyson speaks about his violent childhood, becoming the heavy-weight champ, his subsequent fame and massive spending of the millions he made. He additionally goes into detail about his long struggle with drugs and admits he was “a mess” while filming the first “Hangover” movie. Tyson says he’s not the same person he once was, claiming people aren’t interviewing “Iron Mike” anymore.
Tyson compares himself to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and says he sees similarities between the two of them: “Well, Floyd seems to be going through some stuff like me right now, like realizing no one’s his friend and everybody is probably – even though I hate to say it – maybe everybody’s kind of a little jealous of him because he is Floyd Mayweather.”
In a potential fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., Mike Tyson says he doesn’t think it will happen: “I don’t know. I don’t think it’s going to happen now. I don’t think it’s that exciting no more now. These guys – believe it or not, they’re getting kind of old. They’re not as fast as they used to be.”
Tyson talks about his violent childhood and admits he was in no way prepared for his fame after becoming the youngest Heavyweight Champ ever: “I’m some guy robbing houses and mugging people and then, next thing you know, “Heavy Weight Champ of the World!!” You know, it came out just like that, that quick. And it’s just, of course, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There’s no way I could have prepared myself to handle that.”
Mike Tyson’s marriage to actress Robin Givens once dominated the tabloids. While going through their divorce, Tyson says they would still regularly meet up to have sex. Tyson also shares an amusing story with Bensinger about an unexpected encounter with actor Brad Pitt: “I was doing a divorce but I – we – every day, before I would go to my lawyer’s office to say she’s a pig and stealing, I would go to…her house to have sex with her. This particular day, someone beat me to the punch. And I guess Brad got there earlier than I did.” Bensinger asks Tyson about his reaction: “I was mad as hell. I was going to…You should have saw his face when he saw me.”
Tyson was hounded by the media after Givens made claims that he abused her during the marriage. Bensinger asks Tyson: “The media over the years has widely reported about your treatment of women…how fair do you think the coverage has been?.” Tyson responds: “Whatever it was the common denominator is that I was there, I caused some of it too. So it didn’t come out of the air … wow, Mike Tyson is a woman-abuser and we have no evidence … I’m a human being, I’ve abused women … women abused me.”
In 2009’s blockbuster movie “The Hangover,” Tyson admits to being “high on cocaine” and credits his fellow cast members for helping him through the rough time: “…you know, I was a mess. I was overweight, 200 and – 380 pounds. I was a pig, high on cocaine, and they had to know I was messed up. I couldn’t talk. I had the cocaine talk…So those guys are just beautiful people. They’re just beautiful. They had my back, and I appreciate that and stuff then they asked me to come back.”
During his boxing career, Tyson had reportedly made up to 400 million dollars, only to lose it all and eventually find himself 50 million dollars in debt. Bensinger asks him how close he is to being out of debt: “I’m totally out of bankruptcy now. Thank God but… I mean I’m concerned and like we’re just so… I’m just living, like I was explaining, living on life’s terms, taking care of my family loving each other and allowing ourselves to have a happy future.”
Tyson’s one-man show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” was a big success. Tyson is enthusiastic about telling his story on stage: “All I can say is ‘Thank God I’m able to do it. I’m truly grateful that I’m working with my wife.” Bensinger asks if the adrenaline rush is the same as walking into the ring: “Absolutely. Just the people there. You know you have to entertain them. You want to succeed. You want them to say, ‘When can we see him again?’ That’s what it’s all about.”
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About In Depth with Graham Bensinger
The 4th season of Emmy-winning In Depth with Graham Bensinger premiered early September and features more ground breaking interviews with top sports figures including Terrell Owens, Brian Urlacher, and Jerry Rice.
Featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as Conan, and called a “whiz kid” by national media, Graham first launched his career with an internet-based sports radio station he developed in 8th grade. Today at age 27, Graham has traveled the world interviewing top sports figures. His list of interview subjects reads like a “Who’s Who” of sports’ most notable figures ranging from legends Muhammad Ali, Pete Rose, Jim Brown, Dan Marino, Pete Sampras, and John Madden, to today’s newsmakers including Manny Pacquiao, Barry Bonds, Ozzie Guillen, Tony Romo, Yao Ming, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Venus & Serena Williams, Aaron Rodgers, Commissioner David Stern, Joe Namath, Jimmie Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Mike Krzyzewski, Shaun White, Tony Hawk, and Joe Torre.
The most notable of his past interviews include spending time with Mike Tyson at his Las Vegas home, an interview which earned Graham an Emmy award, an extensive interview leading up to the Olympics with Kobe Bryant, and an exclusive 2005 interview that resulted in the suspension of Terrell Owens.
Now in its 4th season, the show reaches more viewers than ever with 82 million households reaching 71% of the United States covered through national syndication in top U.S. markets and regional sports television networks across the U.S., Yahoo! Sports, and will air internationally on television on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, and Setanta Sports in Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia.