Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, once the most feared man on the planet, and still among the most feared believes his end is near. In an episode of his podcast “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” the boxing champ spoke with therapist Sean McFarland about the reality of death and the uncertainty of life.
“We’re all gonna die one day of course,” Tyson said. “Then, when I look in the mirror, I see those little spots on my face, I say, ‘Wow. That means my expiration date is coming close, really soon.'”
Tyson is 56 years old and, having been a professional fighter for a lot of his life, that takes a toll on the body physically and mentally. He also used and abused alcohol and drugs over the course of his life, which takes a tremendous toll on the body.
At his height he was one of the richest athletes in America, and at his height he suffered one of the biggest upsets in sports history, losing the title to a 42-1 underdog Buster Douglas. The following year he was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for rape.
Tyson regained the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles in 1996, but was stripped of the WBC title and lost the WBA to Evander Holyfield that same year. In their rematch Tyson was disqualified for biting off a part of Holyfield’s ear.
He continued fighting and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2003, but over the past few years he’s gotten his life under control. With age comes wisdom, and while he’s always been somewhat introspective, Tyson gets in-depth on his podcast.
“Money don’t mean s–t to me,” Tyson said. “I always tell people — they think money’s gonna make them happy, they’ve never had money before — when you have a lot of money, you can’t expect nobody to love you. How am I gonna confess my love to you when you have $500 billion?
“The false sense of security. You believe nothing can happen. You don’t believe the banks could collapse. You believe that you’re invincible when you have a lot of money, which isn’t true. That’s why I always say money is a false sense of security.”
This is clearly spoken from experience. Tyson earned over $300 million from his fights during his career and additional income from endorsements yet found himself in debt. He also went to prison at the height of his career. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he believes money provides a false sense of security.
When people abuse alcohol and drugs, as Tyson did, they are self-medicating in an attempt to deal with whatever trauma, pain, and/or distress they are experiencing. Even with all the riches, Tyson was not a happy man and clearly going through a number of issues.
Without proper acknowledgement of said issues and the willingness to get help from professionals, money alone will never solve anything. It most cases it only enhances the destructive and negative behaviors.
Like all human beings Tyson is a work in progress and is still evolving and growing. Hopefully, he’ll be around for many years to come.