Verona, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Mike Tyson reached out to apologize to his former trainer and now ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas during his debut as a promoter Friday night for an incident 31 years ago.
Tyson said it was part of his steps to recover as a “vicious alcoholic.”
“Life is short; I made amends with everybody,” Tyson said at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. “I’m recovering and I’m gonna die. If I don’t follow my steps, I’m useless.”
“He behaved like a man, what can I say,” Atlas told fellow analyst Joe Tessitore. “He came over, extended his hand and asked me if I’d shake it and said, ‘You’re not still mad at me, are you? I wish you wouldn’t be.’ … I give him credit for showing a gentleman’s side.”
Atlas and Tyson had a falling out after the latter approached a young female relative of Atlas’ wife in a crude manner.
In his biography, Atlas stated that he borrowed a .38 from a friend, tracked down Tyson one night in 1982, and told the future heavyweight champion to smarten up, and firing the gun while deliberately missing.
“Mike has always been looking for an escape, a trap door,” Atlas said of Tyson in 2003. “He always lacked one essential ingredient in building character: the ability to confront himself.”
Tyson said he had a lot of pain that he wants to heal, and that the incident with Atlas was part of it.