Mike Tyson's autobiography "The Undisputed Truth" hits bookstores on Tuesday, and to term it "intriguing" is to say Tyson had a little bit of pop behind his punches. In assessing his life, career, dreams, and misdeeds, Tyson lays bare some fascinating tales of determination and depravity.
One of the more interesting segments of the book deals with the weeks before Tyson was facing prison in 1992. At age 25, Tyson had been convicted of raping 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington, and was facing 60 years in prison.
He spent the time between the verdict and the sentencing traveling America "romancing" his many ladyfriends. He turned to mysticism, following the guidance of a "hoodoo woman" who told him to put five hundred-dollar bills into a jar, urinate into it, and keep it under his bed for three days. He followed the instructions of a Santeria priest who told him to release a pigeon and break an egg in front of the courthouse and shout "We're free!"
All of his attempts to avoid prison failed. He was sentenced to six years and served three.
"In my mind, I had no peers. I was the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing," he writes. "I was a titan, the reincarnation of Alexander the Great." But even the greatest some day fall, and fall hard, as Tyson would learn and today acknowledges.
The 600-page book is a litany of crimes and other misdeeds, from Tyson's days as a youthful burglar to his plunge into bankruptcy. He takes an honest look at his actions during the late '80s and early '90s, when he was one of the biggest stars on earth. He maintains to this day that he did not rape Washington, though he acknowledges his own actions put himself into bad positions time after time.
"All I wanted back then was to be glamorous and glorious," he writes. "That’s why I [frittered] all my money away."