Is Mike Tyson Headed For Reality TV?
Iron Mike says his girlfriend has been pushing him to try 'Dancing With the Stars.'
By Eric Ditzian
Mike Tyson: undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, disgraced jailbird, star of his own acclaimed Sundance documentary ... reality-TV contestant? If Tyson's girlfriend gets her way, Iron Mike will one day make his way to ABC's dance floor.
"She got me watching 'Dancing With the Stars' and said, 'You should be on "Dancing With the Stars," ' " Tyson told MTV News. The boxer, who is the subject of the new documentary "Tyson" (in theaters Friday), was not exactly receptive to the idea. "I'm living with this woman, and I'm saying, 'Are you sick?' "
Athletes from the football field to the ice rink have thrived on "DWTS." Legendary Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, speed-skater Apolo Anton Ohno and figure-skater Kristi Yamaguchi have all won the competition. And even Evander Holyfield — whose ear Tyson infamously munched on during a 1997 bout — appeared briefly on the first season before getting kicked off for a shaky jive performance.
Tyson's girlfriend has also pitched him on a reality show about his life. "She said, 'Hon, listen. I know some people, and I think it would be a good idea if you're a producer and you control everything that happened and you have your own reality show,' " Tyson recalled. "I said, 'Are you crazy?' "
While he may not be interested in taking part in any sort of reality show, he said he has become a reluctant fan of countless programs, including "For the Love of Ray J," "Candy Girls," "Tough Love," "Rock of Love Bus With Bret Michaels" and all the "Real Housewives" series.
"I don't like this stuff, man!" Tyson said. "I despise this stuff, but I know the stories. I know what's happening. I know who's who. Well I say, 'Yeah, she's a dirty dog this girl right here!' "
Since winning the heavyweight crown at the age of 20, Tyson has continually battled his own demons, from drug and sex addictions to depression. (Read what he had to say about Chris Brown's alleged altercation with Rihanna.) And for all his joking about reality-show viewing, he does express a certain wariness when it comes to letting anything or anyone affect his own mental health.
"This stuff can pollute your mind," he said. "I don't care what level of intellect you have. This stuff can rot in your mind."
And he told MTV that he often asks his girlfriend, "You allow these people to invade your mind? You don't know these people! How do you hate this person? You don't know this person!"