Mike Tyson has always relied on a fighter’s instinct — both in and out of the boxing ring.
The American was once idolized as the youngest heavyweight champion of the world only to be swiped off his pedestal by criminal convictions and drug addictions.
But at the age of 47, and long since retired from the ring, the provocative pugilist told CNN he is only now facing his biggest battle.
“Being responsible – that’s going to be the most difficult fight in my life,” Tyson told CNN.
“I’ve never been responsible before. Just being a good husband and a good father. This is the biggest fight. This is the fight I’m taking with open arms.”
Tyson, who is married to Kiki, his third wife, and has fathered eight children, is determined to focus on his family and a new generation of young boxers after a high-profile and controversial career.
Fatherhood for the man dubbed “Iron Mike” is framed against his own experience as a shy kid turned street fighter growing up in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn.
“Drugs, thefts, gang infested, crime infested,” Tyson recalled of his childhood neighborhood.