Tyson says he hopes to stay sober

Aug. 24, 2013 at 7:34 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson said in Los Angeles he is struggling to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

At a news conference to promote ESPN's "Friday Night Fights," Tyson said he has been lying about his sobriety, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I haven't drink or took drugs for six days, and for me, that's a miracle," Tyson, who seemed close to weeping, told reporters Friday. "I've been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I'm not. This is my sixth day. I'm never gonna use again."

Tyson said he was trying to make amends to trainer Teddy Atlas. Atlas was dismissed in the early 1980s as an assistant to Cus D'Amato, the trainer who discovered and adopted Tyson. Atlas' Wikipedia entry says Atlas, not yet 20 himself, discovered the 16-year-old Tyson had misbehaved sexually with an 11-year-old girl, a relative of Atlas.

Tyson said he wants to turn his life around.

"I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven," he said. "I wanna live my sober life. I don't wanna die. I'm on the verge of dying, because I'm a vicious alcoholic."

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