Who Is the 'New Mike Tyson'?

ByABC News
September 13, 2006, 7:50 PM

Sept. 13, 2006 -- -- Once one of the world's most popular athletes, Mike Tyson is once again the main event in a Las Vegas Hotel. Only this time, the event's in the lobby.

In the shadows of slot machines, black jack tables and the hotel's wedding chapel, Tyson works out for the amusement of the masses.

"I'm no 'Iron Mike' getting ready to conquer the world again," he says. "That's not who I am. It doesn't mean that much to me anymore."

Once upon a time, Tyson lived four lifetimes in one. He was the youngest heavyweight champion ever. He made -- and lost -- hundreds of millions of dollars. He was convicted of rape and imprisoned. And he was ordered by a judge to undergo psychiatric evaluation. Doctors said he was bipolar, that he couldn't control his anger and that he suffered from low self-esteem.

But all of that seems forever ago.

Today Tyson says all those years were a lie, that as you get older you realize that life is really about loss.

"You lose the people you love, your things, cars, tangible things and that's truly what I believe," Tyson reflects. "Everybody says, 'He who dies with the most toys wins,' but that's just truly not a great substance."

More than four years ago, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight championship against Lennox Lewis. After he was knocked out in the eighth round, Tyson thought he would fade away into oblivion.

But today -- despite being knocked out in three of his last four fights and announcing his retirement -- Tyson has not faded away, especially in the eyes of his fans who have gathered every day since August 30 to watch him train on the mezzanine level of the Aladdin Hotel.

His management team says the training isn't for a real fight but for a world exhibition tour. And perhaps it's not surprising that Tyson finds himself in these circumstances: broke and millions of dollars in debt.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, more than 700 people crammed into the narrow space Tyson uses. The attention makes him uncomfortable.

"I think these guys are looking to see somebody that no longer exists anymore," he says. "It's my attitude. If I was Mike Tyson ... had my facade on ... I'd be talking bad to some people, being tough. I'm just not that guy anymore."