NY Post - February 27, 2004
Bankrupt boxer Mike Tyson is financially down for the count, saying things have gotten so bad that he's struggling just to put food on the table.
Tyson's comments came just hours after he reached a plea deal in his assault case that stemmed from a wild brawl with two fans at a Brooklyn hotel
last summer Tyson, who said he's blown all but a few thousand of the several hundred million dollars he earned in the ring, pulled no punches in
talking about his dire financial woes.
"I'm one of the most famous unemployed [persons] in the country, but believe it or not, I'm on the brink of starving to death," said the former
heavyweight champion, who's reportedly $34 million in debt. "I just want to pay my bills," said the disgraced, ear-chomping pugilist, who filed for
bankruptcy last August.
Iron Mike said he has a puncher's chance of getting off the mat financially by getting back in the ring.
But Tyson conceded he's become persona non grata at most major U.S. fighting venues because he's viewed as "a bad apple."
"I'll fight somewhere, probably in Mexico," said Tyson, who hopes to return to the ring in May or June.
"It's very difficult for me to make a living here. I have to earn a living somehow. I want to fight once a month. I'll go barnstorming."
Tyson said he's set to travel to Latin America to begin training for his return to the ring.
Tyson's wild spending sprees are legendary. He once plunked down $188,000 for two pet white Bengal tigers. But Tyson won't have to pay the price for a
brawl with two autograph seekers at the Marriott hotel in Downtown Brooklyn last June 21.
As part of the plea deal, Tyson agreed to 100 hours of community service and six months of counseling.
"I'm just happy it's over with," Tyson said. "I'm ecstatic with it. I'm just happy with the outcome of the whole situation."
Once that is completed, other charges against Tyson will be dismissed and he will plead guilty to disorderly conduct, which is only a violation.