'Coke-head' Tyson used fake penis to fool testers
Mike Tyson was high on drugs during some of his major fights and used a fake penis filled with someone else's urine to fool drug-testers, he has admitted for the first time.
The former world heavyweight champion discloses in a new tell-all memoir that he spent a significant stretch of his turbulent career addicted to cocaine and marijuana.
"I was a full-blown coke-head," Tyson says in 'Undisputed Truth', published today. Recalling his shock 2004 loss to Britain's Danny Williams, he reveals he was taking drugs until shortly before the fight.
Tyson, now 47 and retired, describes his ferocious appetite for drink and drugs that dated back to trying cocaine at the age of 11 and first being given alcohol as a baby in New York.
He says that he was high before taking to the ring for a match against Lou Savarese in Glasgow in June 2000 – and came up with an ingenious method to prevent detection by the sport's official testers.
Confessing that he had taken "blow" and "pot" before the bout, he says: "I had to use my whizzer, which was a fake penis where you put in someone's clean urine to pass your drug test."
He blamed a $200,000 fine for testing positive for marijuana after a 2000 fight against Andrew Golota in Detroit on the fact that he was tested before having a chance to get the 'whizzer' from a member of his team, who he claims carried the device from fight to fight.
Tyson explains that he had taken cocaine before a notorious televised press conference with Lennox Lewis in New York in January 2002, which descended into an onstage brawl.
"I lost my mind," Tyson recalls. "I looked over at him and wanted to hit the mother-f*****." As the pair of heavyweights tussled, Tyson bit Lewis' leg.
Tyson, the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, says he regrets that his drug use led to "Herculean" mood swings.
After several years of rehabilitation treatment – between staging a one-man show, appearing in the film 'The Hangover' and socialising with A-list celebrities such as Victoria Beckham – Tyson said in August this year that he was close to death due to chronic alcoholism.
However, in his memoir he says his prodigious consumption had made sense at the time. "The history of war is the history of drugs," he says. "Every great general and warrior from the beginning of time was high."
Tyson's days of wild partying had already begun when he faced Britain's Frank Bruno for the first time, in Las Vegas in 1989. While admitting that he was in such poor shape that "Bruno should have kicked my ass", Tyson dismisses the notion that he was hurt by Bruno's memorable left hook at the end of the first round.
"People made a big deal that I was wobbled with the punches, but that wasn't so," claims Tyson, who recovered to win. He adds that Bruno "smelled of fear" at their rematch seven years later. By the time of that rematch, Tyson had been convicted of raping Desiree Washington and jailed for three years.
Tyson continues to deny rape, and rails against what he claims to be the injustice of his punishment. Yet he discloses that his sentence was comfortable: he ate lobster in prison and even embarked on an affair with his drugs counsellor.
While in jail he also took the opportunity to read literature by authors including Marx, Shakespeare and Tolstoy, but drew the line at Hemingway, whom he describes as "too much of a downer".
Tyson details his years of international womanising during the height of his career that led him through three marriages and to fathering eight children with a string of different women. And he explains how he repeatedly found himself on the brink of financial ruin despite earning tens of millions of dollars per fight at the height of his career.
At one point he forgot about a holdall containing $1m in cash, and on another occasion gave a hefty payout to a woman who unsuccessfully sued him after being bitten by his pet tiger. "I felt bad, so I gave her $250,000," he says. (© Daily Telegraph, London)