Mike Tyson is a good friend of WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show, so it was a shock when the boxing great said last month that he was “on the verge of dying” due to substance abuse problems.
Now 34 days sober, Tyson hopes it’s all behind him — for good. He joined Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Wednesday to talk about his battle to steer clear of drugs and alcohol, though Tyson says most of his troubles really came after hitting the bottle.
“I never get in trouble when I’m on drugs,” Tyson said. “I only got in trouble when I was drinking, so that’s why drinking is really bad for me.”
The troubled Tyson has managed to turn around his image, thanks in part to his popular one-man show, “Undisputed Truth,” a confessional on his exploits in and out of the ring. Now he has a six-part documentary, “Being: Mike Tyson,” set to premiere Sunday on network television.
Tyson said it was all the “love” that drove him to drink.
“I got too much love,” Tyson told Boomer and Carton. “I received too much love from people. I can’t handle that too well — too much success. And it seems like nothing, but I get nervous when too many people want to hug me and kiss me and love me and are proud of me, and I just can’t handle that stuff.”
“I don’t know, that’s just the way I am,” he added. “I’m used to conflict.”
The 47-year-old, who has been brutally honest about his alcohol issues since coming clean during a press conference in August, said he doesn’t drink to get drunk.
“I drink to die,” he said.
Asked to explain, Tyson replied: “You’ll never get it. That’s the whole thing. You’ll never get it. Don’t even try to conceive it.”
Tuesday’s in-studio appearance had a sobering start, but soon came out the quirky Tyson we’ve grown to appreciate.
“Did I ruin your day?” Tyson said to Esiason, who shared his disappointment upon learning of the former boxer’s substance abuse issues. “Then you know what I’m gonna do? Poof! Make your day good again. Now your day is good again.”