L O S A N G E L E S, Sept. 15, 2000 -- During a bizarre, profanity-laced tiradeThursday, Mike Tyson said he’s on anti-depressant medication for areason.
“I’m on the Zoloft to keep me from killing y’all,” he toldreporters during a news conference to promote his Oct. 20 fightagainst Andrew Golota in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The state boxing commission in Michigan has expressed concernabout Tyson taking the drug and the fact that he stops taking itbefore fights.
‘Almost an Animal’
“It has really messed me up, and I don’t want to be taking it,but they are concerned about the fact that I am a violent person,almost an animal,” Tyson said. “And they only want me to be ananimal in the ring.
“That’s why I set the pay-per-view records. There are 9 million people who see me in the ring who hate my guts, most ofthem white. But that’s OK. Just spell my name right.”
Tyson showed up more than 2½ hours late for the scheduled startof the news conference, having missed his flight out of Las Vegas.The start was rescheduled from noon to 2 p.m., but Tyson stilldidn’t make an appearance until 2:40. By that time, Golota hadanswered a few questions and left.
Tyson seemed highly agitated, at one point stripping off hisshirt and jumping onto the table on the dais, responding to aquestion about his condition.
‘I’m a Street Person’
He also apologized for his almost constant stream of profanity,saying: “This is how I talk. I’m a street person. I never wantedto be a street person; I don’t even like them. But that’s how mylife has turned out.
“I’ve had a lot of tragedy, humiliation and degradation.”
He said he only recently figured out why reporters don’t likehim.
“I’m so ghetto, I didn’t realize it’s because I’m being paid,not because I’m a black man,” he said. “And you know what I’mgoing to do? I’m going to keep getting paid.”
Once the undisputed world heavyweight champion, Tyson said heisn’t interested in titles now.
“I don’t know anything about being the heavyweight champion, orbeing a good, respectable person,” he said. “I just want them tokeep bringing guys on and I’m going to strip them of their health.I bring pain, a lot of pain.”
Thursday’s press conference added to Tyson’s legacy. ”I want to make sure your kids and your grandkids rememberme,” Tyson said. “I want your great grandkids to remember me andsay, ‘Wow, wasn’t that a bizarre individual?”’
Tale of Two Fighters
Both Tyson and Golota have a history of ring transgressions,including Tyson’s biting part of Evander Holyfield’s ear off andGolota losing twice to Riddick Bowe for hitting low.
Golota still said he didn’t expect the fight to be a dirty one.
Tyson, asked if he was concerned about Golota hitting him belowthe belt, smiled and said, “I hope he does hit me low. I reallyhope he does.”