Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson said at an emotional press conference in New York over the weekend that he has been lying to his friends about being sober and that he is "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 the 47-year-old Tyson. "So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don't wanna die."
"I'm negative, and I'm dark," Tyson added, "and I want to do bad stuff." He told reporters that he went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to discuss his temptation to use drugs and alcohol -- a temptation he tied to an expected reunion with his former trainer Terry Atlas, a relationship he characterized as "something like a Hatfields and McCoys."
Tyson apologized to Atlas, saying, "I don't wanna fight you no more. I was wrong. I'm sorry. I was wrong. I just wanted to make my amends."
He went on to say he hasn't "drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that's a miracle." The former boxer vowed not to use drugs or alcohol going forward.
"I've been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I'm not," said Tyson, who is now a boxing promoter. "This is my sixth day. I'm never gonna use again."
"I hate myself. I'm trying to kill myself," Tyson said in his seemingly off-the-cuff comments, before celebrating having resisted temptation over the past six days. "I hate myself a lot, but I made myself proud of myself. And I don't do that much."