Friday Fluff: Mike Tyson shows his gentler side
During his three decades in the limelight, we’ve witnessed Mike Tyson’s high highs and low lows, but, as of late, he’s revealing a kinder, gentler side. The boxing legend was photographed with his two youngest children, Milan, 3, and Morocco, 1, and a nanny at LAX airport in Los Angeles on Monday. The kids appeared to be pretty wiped out from the flight and enjoyed the ride in their double stroller.
Iron Mike — who has been gearing up for a one-man show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” which runs at the MGM in Las Vegas from April 13 to 18 — has been vocal about his shift in priorities since his early days as an ear-biting champion boxer. Most important, he is making his third marriage to wife Lakiha Spicer a success. “I want to die being a married guy,” the father of eight told USA Today. “I don’t wanna die doin’ cocaine or liquor. A friend said, ‘Mike, don’t you feel stupid, your old (expletive) dealing with these two young kids?’ That is what I want in my life. I want to be hen-pecked, man. I don’t want to be 55 and still (acting) tough with cigarettes rolled up in my sleeve. I just want to have some balance. Either I’m a pussycat or a blood-thirsty conqueror. But I’m trying to work it out. I just want my wife to really like me. I don’t want her to leave me and take the kids.”
This is quite a departure from the man who famously threatened rival Lennox Lewis by telling him, “I want to eat your children.” Of that famous line, he told the paper: “I was an insecure, scared guy who didn’t want anyone to bully them around anymore. When I look at those interviews, and I’m saying those things, I am so nervous. I was thinking, ‘Wow, I hope no one (does anything to me).’ I’m surprised no one blew out my brains. I just wanted to be a swashbucklin’ fighter. I forgot all about being a human being.”
“The Hangover” star’s life changed most significantly when he suffered the loss of his 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, in 2009. The girl, whose mother was the boxer’s ex-girlfriend, died in a household accident. At the time, Tyson was already in a relationship with Spicer and they married just weeks after the tragedy.
“I have a lot of wreckage from the past,” he told USA Today. “All the wounds are still [expletive] open. I’m still dealin’ with that, these kids. … You know, it’s a constant struggle with life on [these] terms. But I’m not givin’ up. Every time I give up, every now and then I will say, ‘Hey, I wanna try it again.’ But then you have so many mountains in life to climb. Then you say, ‘Wow, this is why I gave up in the first place.’ Dyin’ is so easy. It’s living that’s hard.”