On Thursday, "Piers Morgan Tonight" juked and jabbed in a way like never before, as former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson showcased the unabashed honesty and candid insight that has helped make him one of the most fascinating public figures of the last three decades.
At 20 years old, Tyson became the youngest ever fighter to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles. However, as he explained to Piers Morgan, the heights to which he rose were equaled only by the depths to which he sunk:
"You go to drugs," he said. "You try to get that high again. But then you realize all the drugs, all the meth, all the cocaine, all the liquor, you can't produce that high no more. You can't produce that high. Then you realize that high comes from within."
Now 46-years-old, and more than seven years removed from his last match, the International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee revealed that the only real way for him to dodge the lure of drugs and alcohol, is to avoid the temptation altogether:
"I never look at myself as this could never bother me again. Once I think that way, I'm looking for my next hit," Tyson admitted. "That's how much of an animal I am when it comes to drugs and addiction and stuff. I'm really a nasty animal."
Having seemingly rehabilitated himself, the man once regarded as the baddest on the planet said he's thrilled to have adopted a healthier existence:
"That's how come I'm so happy that it's changed my life. I'm with my family. I am learning how to be a functioning human being in society. This is just so awesome."
Following their sit-down interview, Morgan and Tyson took to their feet, as the two laced up leather gloves for a lightly-contested sparring session.
Prior to Thursday, the last time "Iron Mike" dulled on the padded mitten, he got his "ass kicked."
The "hardest hitter in heavyweight history" as crowned by ESPN.com, Tyson let the host in on a little trade secret:
"The objective is to hit the guy with the punch and not allow them to see it."
Even in a casual environment, the British television presenter was unable to avoid allowing fear to creep in:
"Do you know what?" Morgan asked. "Even being near you wearing boxing gloves is intimidating. You're Mike Tyson."
After one good jab from Morgan, the host exclaimed, "[Manny] Pacquiao, Tyson, I'm back. 'AC 360,' you can't do this."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interview, as Tyson describes the last time he hit someone, before throwing some quick punches at the fearless host. And, for much more with one of the greatest boxers of all-time, catch Tyson in a special charity event in Las Vegas, as on December 7th he'll launch his foundation "Mike Tyson Cares." Additionally, starting next year the budding actor will take his one-man show – Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth – on the road for a national tour.
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