Mike Tyson has fought both in and outside the boxing ring to moderate a reputation renowned for world dominion, yet smeared by personal plight, and it has taken decades to come out clean on top.
For two years now, the Scary Movie 5 star has maintained a sober, scandal-free existence that appears to be stable, unlike in times past.
It’s a minor accomplishment to some, but for a man who has repeatedly abused women, succumbed to bankruptcy, and bitten a chunk out of his fighting opponent’s ear, it’s a milestone.
Can Chris Brown ever be redeemed?
Presumably then, the 46-year-old can sympathize with the challenge that Chris Brown currently faces in cleaning up his own damaged public persona, and offers advice on the matter.
“Chris Brown’s a wonderful kid,” Tyson tells theGrio. “He’s what, like  years old? And he’s just getting into arguments with people? That is a recovery [mechanism]…He needs anger management or whatever, it may not even be that extreme. But when you’re talking about a young guy and the world’s magnifying on him, that’s difficult for anybody to handle.”
Tyson adds, “He just has to grow up a little, and realize that we’re not in control of nothing but ourselves. We don’t have control over nobody, the world, nothing. The only thing we can do is empower ourselves.”
Knocked out by the women in his life
Like Brown, Tyson’s downfalls have played out vividly in the press, and he has struggled with a volatile and abusive relationship towards women.
The heavyweight champion, known as “Iron Mike,” has been married three times with eight children along the way. His highly-publicized first marriage and divorce to actress Robin Givens was plagued by allegations of domestic violence and spousal abuse. Years later, he was convicted of raping a woman in an Indianapolis hotel room, and went to prison for three years. And last April, he admitted to impregnating a jail official.
Subsequently, Tyson was diagnosed with bipolar disorder; lost his youngest daughter, Exodus, at the age of 4 after she was caught in a treadmill cord and suffocated; and found himself broke, living paycheck to paycheck, when his excessive lifestyle got the best of him. This was all recently, of course. Tyson is said to have been arrested 38 times by the age of 13.
Who the ‘new’ Mike Tyson?
Lately though, the headlines have changed. The boxer converted to Islam, adapted sobriety and veganism, and “defanged” Iron Mike along with the evils of his past. Now, the media asks, who is this ‘new Mike Tyson’ anyway?
“I don’t know about reformed, but I live a different lifestyle,” he explains. “I lost my little daughter at 4-years-old. It’s been a whole different scenario, a different barometer. I wanted to change my life completely to heal from that pain…I was so extreme in the other direction, so I had to go extreme in this direction.”
In return, karma appears to be looking out for the sports legend. In fact, Tyson is so twinkle-toed he’s spent the past year starring in his own Broadway play, and admits it feels uniquely uncomfortable that young people now consider him a good guy.