Esquire’s Eric Spitznagel caught up with Iron Mike for a pretty sweet over-share session as the former heavyweight champion prepares for a 31-city tour of his one-man show “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth”, directed by Spike Lee. (It was originally going to be called “Boxing, Bitches, and Lawsuits”, but Tyson said his current wife “freaked out” over the title.)
Anticipating you’ll be unable to read the entire Internet today, here are five highlights from the Q&A that you may not want to pass up:
In order to succeed greatly, you have to be prepared to fail greatly. If you can’t do both of them, you’ve got a problem.
On life’s challenges:
Nobody gets out of this world free. We all have to do some suffering before we leave. Unless it’s a miscarriage or something, we’ve all got to do some suffering. They get a free pass. But the rest of us, nobody is getting off this planet free. And in doing that, we all learn about ourselves. We learn that we’re alike even though we’re different. We’re alike in our feelings and our pains and our happiness. We learn how to be humble … Treat the world the way you want to be treated. That’s the problem now. We don’t care enough about each other anymore.
On Japanese prostitutes versus American prostitutes:
Japanese are so much better. At least you don’t have to worry about them fighting afterwards. The U.S. prostitutes are fighting with everybody, shooting at everybody. It’s like dating a gangbanger.
On catching his first wife Robin Givens in bed with Brad Pitt:
I know he knew who I was, and he kinda hollered, “Yo, dude.” He jumped out of bed and he looked like he was doing a move from “The Matrix”. You know what I mean? Like one of those fancy moves when you’re kicking and floating in the air … He was moving all over the place.
I thought he was doing that Brazilian dance, the Capoeira or whatever. That’s why I didn’t attack him, ’cause I thought he was doing some new exotic karate stuff. This was pre-Matrix, so I was like, “What’s this shit?” If I knew about The Matrix, I would’ve whipped his ass. ‘Cause I knew that wasn’t going to hurt me or anything. he wasn’t Brad Pitt then. He was just some cast-couching actor. He wasn’t no Brad Pitt. He was a nobody. It still hurt.
On dissing offers for personal appearances:
I work hard not to be a trained monkey. So I try not to go for those kind of offers. I need them to respect me. You can’t buy me with money. I would do it for free if you had some decency or respect in the way you talk to me. But instead it’s “Hey, take $20,000 to be my son’s toy for two days.” Fuck you! You know?
Read the rest of “Mike Tyson Isn’t Afraid of Hecklers or Semi-Automatic Rifles” here.