An Open Letter to Mike Tyson

By Joe Booker
Updated: June 24, 2005

HOUSTON, TX.—Dear Mike,

Mike I am writing this letter slow, because I heard that you didn’t read fast.

Thanks for the memories. We will remember you as the good, bad and the ugly. Most of all, we will remember the bad and ugly.

My, how time flies. It seems like yesterday when you busted upon the scene as the “baddest man alive.” You were just a young 20-year old when you won your first heavy-weight championship fight. You became the youngest man to ever win the heavy-weight championship.

Reporters wrote that you were the “baddest” man alive. Mike you knocked out almost everyone who got in the ring with you. People even compared you with Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and all the other great boxers. Boy you really had it going on. People said Don King protected you from the real boxers. It was also rumored you were beating upon a bunch of nobodies. Boy you did it when you let over-weight and out-of-shape Busty Douglas beat you. You should have been ashamed of yourself. We knew then it was the beginning of the end of the “Baddest Man on Earth.” Busty Douglas, Mike?

Mike you made a lot of money. Don’t tell anyone, but I heard that you made over $400 million and blew all of it. You know how people can discuss other people business. Mike that is the kind of money a large corporation make. Do you think I believe those people gossiping about you blowing $400 million? They are just jealous. Only corporations can blow that kind of money.

Mike, people are talking behind your back. They are saying that you are too old. What are they talking about? You are less than 40-years old. My Uncle Henry was 103 when he died and he drove a car until he was 98. Really, I’m not kidding. Now 103 is old, but Uncle Henry was smart. He stopped fighting when he was 14. That was when his Pa got a switch and took him behind the barn. That was the end of Uncle Henry’s fighting career. Too bad you didn’t meet Uncle Henry’s Pa

Mike when people start gossiping they don’t know when to stop. Mike this is just between you and me, so don’t tell anyone I told you. Did you know that people are going behind your back saying you bought a home that had 38 bathrooms and the home had so many rooms that you never went in some of them? People will say just about anything about a person. Man that house was a 48,000 square foot mansion in Farrington, Connecticut. Now Mike, isn’t that something to say about a person? I don’t think the City of Farrington owns a building that large. See how people can make up things.

One thing I respect you for and that is you really know who you are not.

“I’m not Mother Teresa, but I’m not Charles Manson either,” you said to reporters in January of 2002.

I can never forget when you wanted to see how the other half lived. Remember in March of 1988, when you were talking to reporters?”

“Real freedom is having nothing. I was freer when I didn’t have a cent. Do you know what I would do sometimes? I would put on a ski mask, dress in old clothes, go out into the streets and beg for quarters.”

Mike I bet when you put on that ski mask people gave at will.

Mike in your fight against Kevin McBride people said that you would have killed McBride if he would have slipped in your blood.

You said you have lost the will to fight. You are finally listening to people who are telling you to quit. George Custer wished he had listened to people. I know your Uncle (Sam) isn’t too happy to hear you say that. People are saying that your creditors want you to fight until you are 60. Can’t people be cruel and silly?

Mike you have always had a great outlook on life. Remember what you said back in 1987?

“I Know I am going to blow one day…my life is doomed the way it is. I have no future. I feel bad about my outlook; how I feel about people and that I’ll never be part of society the way I am.”

You said last year that you are not the same person you were when you fought Evander Holyfield

“I was a tough, bad-ass talking fighter, but I ain’t no mob figure. I did my time for the rape. I paid my money to Las Vegas. I paid my dues. I ain’t the same person that bit that guy’s (Evander Holyfield) ear off.”

Mike I am so proud of you. You want to be a missionary in another country. Maybe you can take Michael Jackson with you. You did say you visited Nederland, because you said you “had nothing else to do.” Michael will not have anything else to do, either.

What a coincidence! Both of you are named Michael. But he doesn’t like to be called Mike and you don’t like to be called Michael. Both of you had legal issues. Both of you had large homes. He called his Nederland. What did you call your home? It is rumored he will sell Nederland. You have already sold your 48,000 acres. Both of you made millions of dollars. Both of you lost millions. Both of you used to be admired by millions. I have never known two people so evenly matched.

At least you know who you are.