(USA TODAY) -- In his
first interview since declaring himself a "vicious alcoholic" on the
"verge of dying," former heavyweight Mike Tyson opened up about his
battles staying sober.
"I won't survive if I don't get help," Tyson told Matt Lauer on the TODAY show during a sit-down interview in Las Vegas that Lauer described as "candid, confusing and revealing."
I start drinking and I relapse, I think of dying," Tyson said. "I'm in a
real dark mood, I think of dying. And I don't know if I want to be
around no more."
Tyson surprised the media last week when he used a
press conference touting his return as a boxing promoter to confess his
battles with addiction.
"I want to change my life, I want to live a different life now," he said at the time. "I want to live my sober life. I don't want to die."
Six days after, Tyson told Lauer he's been sober 12 days.
a real challenge," Tyson said of his fight to stay clean. "I don't know
if I like this sober guy. It's hard for me to live normal. Straight is
Tyson, who has an upcoming memoir, HBO special and Fox
Sports 1 documentary series, told Lauer he's been fighting demons in his
head since he was born.
"Yeah, it is kinda strange and scary,'' Tyson said. "I was born that way."
Tyson has been making amends in his life, he still won't apologize for
the 1991 incident with Desiree Washington that led to a three-year
prison sentence for rape.
"I've done nothing," Tyson said. "I
really didn't do anything to to her. I didn't rape her, I didn't beat
her, I didn't do anything to her. I'm not going to make amends."
Lauer asked Tyson about whether all his failures will help him succeed in his fight to conquer his addictions.
percent," Tyson said. "No one's failed more than I did. No one's seen
more than I've seen. I'm the king of the barbarians. There's no one who
can surpass me in the pain I've endured."