Mike Tyson has no intention to be Don King
August 20, 2013 9:09AM
Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Updated: September 21, 2013 6:25AM
He has raised pigeons and his fists. He has appeared on Broadway and behind bars.
Even for someone who once bit another man’s ear and got his own face tattooed, Mike Tyson’s next move might be the most surprising of his career.
He’s a boxing promoter.
Iron Mike Productions makes its debut Friday night in Verona, N.Y. — a few hours from Tyson’s old whomping grounds — with a main event between Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs) and IBF super-featherweight champ Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs) on ESPN2.
“You’re never going to ever hear none of my fighters say Mike Tyson ever stole from them,” Iron Mike said Monday.
In 1998, he sued promoter Don King for just that.
Tyson said he learned how to “hype the show up” from King but little else.
“If I was to learn something, I could learn how to manipulate my fighters and take advantage of them and tell them lies,” he said. “At the end of the day, I can have all their money in my pocket.
“And they’d be walking on the streets feeling sad for themselves and do attempted suicide and use cocaine and overdose, just like I did.”
The 47-year-old vowed to “work with some morals” as a promoter and wants to train amateur fighters.
He has shot a Fox Sports documentary and tours with his one-man show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” but he admitted he’s “never going to be wealthy again.”
“I didn’t know I wanted to get involved with boxing at first because I knew it was going to be a headache,” he said. “And I had demons from boxing.”
About five years ago, Tyson said, he was using drugs nightly in Las Vegas, “planning on killing myself,” when now-wife Lakiha Spicer encouraged him to build an entertainment company.
He was inspired to put on his one-man show, directed by Spike Lee, after seeing Chazz Palminteri do “A Bronx Tale.”
“Breathtaking,” he said. “Everything was dead silence. You could hear a mouse [pee] on cotton.”