“Life is short; I made amends with everybody,” Tyson said at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. “I’m recovering and I’m gonna die. If I don’t follow my steps, I’m useless.”
Atlas, along with Tyson’s Mentor Cus D’Amato, trained him to be a fighter in upstate New York in the early 1980s. The boxer and Atlas had a major break up after an incident in which Atlas said Tyson approached a relative of Atlas’ wife, in a sexual manner.
Atlas recalled in his biography borrowing a .38 from a friend, approaching Tyson, telling him to smarten up and firing the gun next to his head, deliberately missing.
“Mike has always been looking for an escape, a trap door,” Atlas said of Tyson in 2003. “He always lacked one essential ingredient in [situations of] building character: the ability to confront himself.”
Tyson said Atlas was key in his life back then. “I was wrong,” Tyson admitted. “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 recounted to fellow analyst 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.”