Mike Tyson heads for England next week admitting for the first time in his life he feels loved.
The former world heavyweight champion is on a country-wide whirlwind tour of dinner chat-shows where fans can quiz him on his controversial career.
Tyson, who was the youngest-ever heavyweight champ at 20, has now hung up his gloves after consecutive defeats against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.
And the American legend insists he will be arriving in his second home when he visits United Kingdom.
Tyson, 39, said: “I have a lot of fans and friends in Britain and I’m just looking forward to getting there and being surrounded by them
“I love Europe but I must say I feel Britain is a second home to me.
I’ve been saying that for years.“Every town I’ve ever been in, the reception has been incredible. I’ve met so many great people.”
Tyson will be appearing in London, Manchester and Birmingham with tickets going so fast that another two dates in Doncaster and Derby have been added.
He rubbished stories he was ready to snub the unique tour, which entrepreneur Ray Fisher has spent a year planning. Tyson stated: “I’ve heard some rumours I’m not coming and they are wrong.
“I can understand that some people doubt I will be there but that is nonsense, I’m definitely coming.
“Ray has been putting in a lot of hours to make this trip a reality and for me it’s something new. I’m coming and I’m looking forward to it.”
Tyson quit boxing when he was stopped by Irish journeyman McBride in Washington DC in June.
And he has no intention of making another comeback despite lucrative offers. He has his finances in order after years of excessive spending. But he remains astonished his notoriety made him one of the most recognisable sportsmen on earth. Iron Mike said: “It always amazes me that so many people recognise my face. It humbles me because I’m just Mike Tyson. “But even when I go to remote places they all seem to know who I am.
“I have left boxing behind me now and moved on to another part of my life and it is exciting. I’m not really sure what I’m going to be doing.
“There’s some charity work I’m involved in but I’m keeping my eyes open all of the time and learning. “All that happened in my boxing career is behind me and I’m just looking forward to the future.
“I was a professional fighter and that meant I had to treat my opponents in a professional way. But that was Mike Tyson the fighter, now I’m more like Mike Tyson the Citizen of the World.
“I really had no idea that so many people could be this nice to me.
“All the love I have felt has made me realise I can do some good but I’m just not sure what I’m going to be doing in the future.”
Tyson is pleased to have finally moved on from the fight game, which earned him around £300million in an astonishing career.
He admitted: “I was a boxer for almost my entire life and now I’m a free man and that takes a bit of getting used to.”
The former ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ has endured his fair share of problems outside the ring. But he has somehow managed to keep his life together and now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
He admits he was stunned when told of the depression suffered by Frank Bruno, the man he beat for the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles in 1989 in Las Vegas. Iron Mike said: “I’ve heard about his problems and my heart went out to him and his family.
“I just hope he is surrounded by the right type of people and they can help him through his tough times.
“Frank was one of the nicest guys I ever met and I’m looking forward to spending some time with him when I get to England.
“Each time we fought I had to have sympathy for him because I knew the whole country was cheering for him.”
Bruno was stopped in the fifth round by Tyson in 1989.
Iron Mike insisted: “Frank was brave and a much better fighter than most people give him credit for.
“He caught me with a great shot early in that fight and I was all shook up.
“I had to dig deep and come back but it was not as easy as people thought it would be.”
Bruno had a second chance against Tyson in 1996 but again he was stopped, this time in the third.
Tyson added: “Frank was always very, very dangerous and I was careful of his power in both our fights.”
-- Source: thisdayonline.com
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