It sure is a challenge transcribing nearly an hour of Mike Tyson talking about anything, let alone his take on a wide range of personal and professional topics. But it’s always worth it. Iron Mike seems to be good for at least four or five laugh out loud moments recently, and this interview was no different. Back in the spotlight because of the release of Hangover 2, Tyson took some time out to talk show business, his past and former lives, the world of boxing, and everything in between it seemed. Take a listen.
Tyson joined The Gridlock on ESPN Las Vegas to talk about how he would compare the two Hangover movies, what Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis are like as guys, all sorts of questions relating to his mental state, how he’s more happy than he’s ever been living a less crazy life, his take on all the pop culture news of the moment, the respective careers of Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins, how he wouldn’t mind being able to fight again but would never consider doing so because of the effect it would have on his family, being inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame, and being a boxing ambassador to the country of China.
On how he would compare the two Hangover movies:
“I don’t know, they’re both great. One of them is more graphic than the other, but other than that, they’re both great. Man, I like No. 2. I like No. 2.”
On what Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis are like as guys:
“They’re just young guys that are working hard trying to accomplish being the best in their field. Just regular guys, awesome guys, funny guys, down to earth pretty much real guys, in my presence at least.”
After answering a question about one of his daughters, Tyson was asked if he’d ever been in a happier place:
“Well nobody knows what happiness truly is. It’s just a word we express when we feel some exultation in our life. But other than that, this is just something I look forward to doing — cultivating a relationship with my kids. There’s seven or eight of them, all of them have different personalities, so some are more sensitive than others. So you have to get reacquainted with them.”
He’s enjoying this new life style right?
“Yeah, I love anything that’s not life-threatening or jail-threatening. Other than that, I’m cool.”
On Kris Humphries giving Kim Kardashian a $2 million dollar engagement ring:
“Yeah, everything’s beautiful in the joy of giving I guess, right? He gets a lot out of giving it to her. Imagine what he gets out of giving it to her that we can’t even pay with money. God is he a smut or what? I’m a smut too; I’m in the smut club.”
Whether the spark was there with his previous marriage after several years:
“Oh man, I should have been arrested back then for having a right to be married, you know? I don’t know, I was just never meant to be married at that stage of my life. I was just young and too stupid. Nothing in my life was a mistake, everything is supposed to happen to transcend you to the level which you’re supposed to be. I don’t know.”
On Kyle Busch going over 125 miles per hour in North Carolina recently, and how fast he once went when he was most reckless:
“I don’t know about that, but I know I was doing like 130 on my bike and I was still in last place.”
On what it’s like to be riding a motorcycle at 130-plus miles per hour:
“Oh man, it’s an interesting moment in your life….I can’t even express that feeling. It’s a feeling that you can’t even express what you’re trying to prove. If someone asks what are you trying to prove, you make up some kind of concoction that makes me feel free or something, but it’s really inconceivable. You really can’t explain it.”
But he wouldn’t ever do that now, correct?
“No, I have too much to lose now. I actually had more to lose then, but I’m focused on what I have to lose now.”
On Roy Jones Jr. continuing to try to fight when he seems to have a nice gig that he’s good at commentating for HBO:
“I don’t know if HBO is paying the bills, I don’t know what kind of contract he receives at HBO. I don’t know, it’s just ugly. It’s bad enough when you see a great fighter die, but what’s even worse is when you see the skills die before he does. It doesn’t look good for him right now. He’s been knocked out cold on a consistent basis. Cold, not just boom, count to 10. I mean really knocked unconscious.”
What about Hopkins overtaking George Foreman as the oldest heavyweight champion:
“That’s awesome. I wish I could still fight. I’m envious.”
On what made him great back when he’s more apt to take on the physical and mental rigors of training:
“I don’t know. Just 100 percent dedication, relentless, refuse to lose mentality. I don’t really know. I just had that desire. It just burned; I wanted to be the best in the world. That whole megalomania identity of you’re a God and how dare they challenge you. That’s sick stuff. I’m struggling to pay my bills with my kids, and I’m talking about how dare they….how’d I even get the audacity to think that? My family, they come from slaves and peasants, and it’s who is this guy, how’d they even make they believe that? I just went into this world of boxing believing that crap.”
If he realized how dominant and intimidating he was back in his prime:
“No, but even if that wasn’t the fact, I still would have believed because I was so full of myself, I didn’t have time to think of any of that. I was just so oblivious to that stuff.”
But was he having fun at that time?
“Yeah, yeah, it was a lot of fun. But it was almost like masturbating, you know? I was having a lot of fun but you’re not producing anything, you know?”
On if he expected the royal treatment at that stage of his life when he was traveling:
“Yeah, my whole barometer of thinking is different than it is now. Back then, I expected a fleet of cars and a whole mob of people to meet me and I should be a head of state and I should be a prime minister, because that’s my sick state, that’s how I was. Now, if I just get a cab I’m so grateful to the cab driver. It’s just my whole way of thinking now. It’s like, shit man!”
On his induction into the Hall of Fame:
“I’m always pretty weary of any club or organization that wants me as a member.”