• Boxing

Mike Tyson claims he's close to dying

ESPN staff
August 28, 2013
Mike Tyson has admitted to being a continual substance abuser © PA Photos

Mike Tyson has claimed he is "on the verge of dying" from ongoing drug and alcohol problems and admitted that he is a continual substance abuser.

Tyson, 47, told ESPN that he was "a bad guy sometimes ... I did a lot of bad things, I want to be forgiven".

"I want to live my sober life. I don't want to die. I'm on the verge of dying, because I'm a vicious alcoholic."

Tyson appeared to have the world at his feet in the late 1980s after he became the youngest heavyweight champion in 1987 aged 20. For three years he was considered unbeatable but after a loss to Buster Douglas in 1990 his career and private life went into a spiral of decline.

He was jailed for rape and has repeatedly found himself in trouble with the authorities. He now works as a promoter.

"I hope they can forgive me," he said. "I want to change my life, I want to live a different life now. I haven't drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that's a miracle.

"I've been lying to everybody that thinks I was sober, but I'm not. This is my sixth day. I'm never going to use again."

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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