WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MIKE TYSON
"The Baddest Man On The Planet"
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT “MIKE TYSON”
I recently viewed an intriguing interview between Oprah and Mike Tyson. I am not at all a boxing enthusiast. It may seem asinine but I actually cringe when the blows are struck. I always feel; that it is someone’s child being hit. I realize that boxing is a premier sporting event enjoyed by the masses! Still, it cannot be healthy taking such fierce persistent, unrelenting blows to the body! The body was not designed to be a human punching bag! It will eventually at some point take its toll on your body, win or lose.
Now, whenever I see the once virile, physically powerful, strong forceful Muhammad Ali I am that much more adamant on my stance. His brilliant intellectual mind, encased in an abused listless shell of a body that was once the epitome of strength! His body remains a clear reminder as evidence of the deferred pain and suffering that one suffers from boxing. Ouch! So many blows to the head has to bash, short out its circuitry and greatly disturb ones nervous system! Excuse my tangent here! Back to my point!
Seeing Mike Tyson brought back many memories. The main thing that stands out in my mind about Mike Tyson is that he is so ferociously angry! He proceeds like a rabid lion, in such an animalistic fury preying stance, angrily and profusely pouncing on his opponent with such a vehement forceful vigor! He seemingly has such an unyielding unconcern that seems to reduce his opponent to a mere meaningless object! What a cannibal! My how he shocked fans and boxing officials when he bit Evander Holyfield on his ear not once but twice!!
Let’s not forget that interview with Barbara Walters, along with he and his former wife actress, Robin Givens! I remember how Robin shared vividly about His intense anger and his livid rage! How she and her Mother hid from Mike Tyson and… Mike admitted that he too was taken aback by Robin’s unwelcomed, unexpected candid response. He did not have a clue that she was going to expose Him and his frequent volatile anger tirades in front of the world! He openly admits at the time; he then, so wanted to hit her! I am glad however he was able to muster up some restraint… Mike did not try to justify his anger nor his floundering inability to constrain himself on numerous occassions.
The cameraman noticeably zoomed in on Mike. As they say the camera does not lie! Mike who was known as “The baddest man on the planet!” However, as I watched and listened attentively to Mike Tyson I could see him for the now broken contrite man he is. As I listened I could hear his distressed soul crying. Not in a contrived or orchestrated manner. Through his transparency I could see and hear that there has never been anyone there for him. Imagine that! No love, comfort or guidance, nurturing or discipline; no wonder all the terribly explosive, excessive, animalistic behavior! He was really trying to compensate for his very low self esteem! The only person who was somewhat there for him was His boxing coach. His coach; Constantine, Cus D’mato became his only living hero!
Born Michael Gerad Tyson on June 30 1966! In good ole Brooklyn New York! Mike encountered trouble from the very beginning. He was abandoned at the age of two by his father. His mother was left struggling trying to raise three children alone, had to move to a very rough and rugged neighborhood! Mike was shy and withstood much bullying! It is from here he began to learn how to defend himself by street fighting! He was a wild child running the streets. By the age of thirteen (13) Mike had been arrested more than thirty (30) times! He was expelled from Catskill High School and was sent away to the upstate Tyron School for Boys a tough reform school!
It is here Constantine known as Cus D’mato found him and rescued him from reform school! Cus D'mato was known for helping and taking interest in promising fighters. Cus D’mato saw potential in him. Their relationship became more than he being just his trainer, he became his father figure. He trained Mike well. When he unexpectedly died of pneumonia, Mike Tyson was crushed and felt alone and abandoned once again. His face grimaces as he transparently shares their relationship! His mother shortly after died of cancer. She never saw him make it or be anything other than a “wild child” and…. I believed this further fueled the flames of His inner mounting anger that help him forcibly win the title as the youngest “heavyweight champion” of the world ever! At 20 years old Mike had an astonishing 22- 0 record; 21 of those fights were KNOCK OUTS! He refuted all challengers until… He was indicted for rape and imprisoned! He candidly admits he lost his faith in prison… The rest of Mike’s story is documented in detail and available on his DVD. “Tyson” it premièred at the Cannes Film Festival!
Mike so desperately wanted to win at something! Boxing was his way out of his dysfunctional violent, tortuous, haphazard meandering life! This was his way of coming out on top despite the many life hurdles that continued to only defer and hindering him the ability of maturing emotionally. Mike fell into a downward spiral; drug use, more decadence, erratic behavior and violence. Anger further nested its way into all avenues of his entire life. It was that anger that fueled and earned him the title of becoming “heavyweight champion of the world.” How sad. This only just further subliminally solidified and justified his anger. His anger rewarded! Ironically it was for this boxing he was awarded and won hundreds of millions of dollars. No doubt he was taken advantage of in this area! Lack of proper financial aptitude; that too was mismanaged and squandered and eventually lost along with his already fragile rather low self esteem, dignity and quite limited security and significance!
As one watches Mike Tyson with Oprah it is so easy to see that this strong forcibly strong man has been broken many times over. When Oprah mentions the death of his young daughter, devastation moves across his tormented face. Mike can hardly speak above a whisper about his arresting almost paralyzing hurt! Apparently she was found on a treadmill with the cord wrapped around her… He shakes his head and says “his angel,” he does not want to know the details of her death. He admits, it just might erupt a volcano of anger that he is just now beginning to learn how to harness and diffuse. Ironically his precious little angel was named “Exodus!”
Mike no longer wants anger to throttle and fuel his emotions and dominate his life! Now, His children and his new wife mean all the world to him! Here, Mike again openly admits that it he is struggling, this is the first time he has committed to a monogamous marriage! He has never had any positive role models. Yet he is sincerely trying to overcome the misconstrued images of him having a tough prehistoric archaic cave man mentality! Mike has had limited responsible role models. He admits he only watched people from afar and on TV. So he admits he just took bits and pieces from here and there…
I once again applaud Oprah for providing the venue and allowing Mike to be seen in her arena. The genuine concern Oprah has emits from her eyes as she allows Mike just to be. She does not try to over ride or cover up his emotions. As he allows for the erroneous tough guy façade to lift. It is behind the veil of anger you can see a kind hearted man that has learned to function in life with much overwhelming emotional baggage and many other unseen weights. I believe even "The Baddest Man On The Planet" can change. Just perhaps the compassion that is extended to an unknown person or that of one that has been lost in the jungle and then discovered, can be extended to Mike Tyson the man? He is still a human being who deserves to be loved, and the opportunity to learn how to love and trust. This is really what life is about! He has been for so long caught up in a whirlwind hurricane. Tormenting him and angrily spinning him about from place to place throughout his entire life.
Although Mike Tyson has made and lost hundreds of millions of dollars. He is just now learning, I believe for the very first time how to live! He has paid his dues to society. He now wants to build a better life that matters. A life where his children can be proud of him and he of himself! A new wife at his side… Mike Tyson has lost much. It is my prayer that he reaches out to the Lord! He now has the opportunity to gain the most priceless gift; which is finding purpose and peace! I think with the right kind of consistent support this time Mike Tyson can become all that he was created to be. The power of God's Love is Awesome! I hope that Mike makes it to the tenth round this time! And I don't mean in the boxing ring....