Mike Tyson, Ex-Trainer Teddy Atlas Make Amends

Mike Tyson has made amends with the man who nearly shot his head off back when he was living in Catskill, N.Y. In Tyson’s debut as a promoter Friday night, he said he made amends with ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, who was his former trainer, as the first steps to his recovery  from a “vicious alcoholic.”

“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.”

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