The new Details features a nutty interview with Mike Tyson, wherein he peddles a new serene vegan shtick (“meat’s become a poison for me now”), which, depending on your thoughts about his past, may be a bit hard to swallow.
Tyson says there was no rage or terror in the ring: “If there is, they’re counting to 10 over you.” When the interviewer presses him about the famous Holyfield fight, Tyson has to explain how he’d gone wrong, making a weird analogy to writing so the Details man will understand: “16 months out of prison, already with two belts to defend? I had no business with those belts. I was already done. They put you, a writer, in prison, for three years, hands tied behind your back. Then they put you up against some hack, and you outwrite him, and they give you two awards. And then I put you up against a Nobel Prize winner? Absurd.”
When Tyson talks about gentrification in his childhood neighborhood of Brownsville, his descriptions feel slightly off because Brownsville is still a pretty rough neighborhood. Also, Tyson doesn’t make gentrification sound too bad.
I went back to Brownsville with my reality-TV-show crew, they’re doing a segment about my childhood racing pigeons, and Brownsville’s all upscale now. They got surveillance cameras, buildings that were abandoned cost, like, a million now, and I’m thinking, My life must’ve been a lie, ’cause there’s nothing there that looks like my childhood. This white woman come up, and I’m thinking, Wow. When I was a kid, she would’ve been robbed and raped and left for dead. This is a real strange scenario, and I just wanted to cry. I’m like, “Who am I? Where’s my heritage?”
Also revealed in the interview: Ali was an exuberant shit-talker.