According to an article Sunday on ProBoxingInsider.com, very few athletes have been able to repair their public image as much has Mike Tyson has over the years. Once one of the most controversial people in the world, Tyson has been able to change the opinions of many who used to harbor strong contempt for the former world champion.
In another move towards redemption, Tyson made amends on Friday night with his former trainer, and current ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, considering it an important step in his recovery as a "vicious alcoholic."
"Life is short; I made amends with everybody," Tyson from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y., where he was making his debut as a promoter.
"I'm recovering and I'm gonna die. If I don't follow my steps, I'm useless."
It was Atlas who, along with Cus D'Amato, helped turn Mike Tyson into an indestructable machine back in the early 1980's. However, the pairing was short lived as they had a falling out after an incident in which Atlas said Tyson approached a relative of his wife's in a less than respectful manner. In his autobiography, Teddy Atlas said that following the incident, he approached Tyson with a gun, threatening him, and warning him to smarten up.
"Mike has always been looking for an escape, a trap door," Atlas said back in 2003. "He always lacked one essential ingredient in [situations of] building character: the ability to confront himself."
Mike Tyson admitted on Friday that Atlas was extremely important to him back then, saying "I was wrong."
"I have a lot of pain, and I just want to heal it, and that was part of it, right there."
"He behaved like a man, what can I say," Atlas conceded to broadcast partner Joe Tessitore. "He came over, extended his hand and asked me if I'd shake it and said, 'You're not still mad at me, are you? I wish you wouldn't be.' ... I give him credit for showing a gentleman's side."