Mike Tyson Remembers His Rise & Fall in 'Champs' Documentary

by Raphael Chestang 4:52 PM PDT, March 13, 2015
Playing Mike Tyson Remembers His Rise & Fall in 'Champs' Documentary

Boxing legend Mike Tyson stopped by ET to talk about his new documentary Champs, but came to the brink of tears when remembering some of the roughest times of his childhood.

"They bullied me to be their slave," Tyson told ET's Kevin Frazier.

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As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, Tyson was picked on because he was a shy, pudgy kid who spoke with a lisp. To survive, he not only had to fight off bullies, but also poverty and hunger.

The story of Tyson's rise and fall is told in Champs, including Tyson's heyday as a heavyweight champion when Hollywood embraced the decorated boxer.

"The first big fight I went to was a Tyson fight," Mark Wahlberg said in the documentary. "There was nothing more exciting than that."

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"It was crazy in there," Denzel Washington recalled. "Just great energy."

But not all of Hollywood was on his side. Ex-wife Robin Givens called their marriage "a living hell" and divorced him in 1989.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and served three years in prison.

"Listen, I was born in hell," Tyson told ET. "And every step I took, if I succeeded, was one step out of hell, so I did a lot of stepping."

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Tyson was able to make a comeback, most notably in 2009's The Hangover, but the high of the big-screen comedy's success didn't last long. Tyson was soon facing his toughest battle, mourning the loss of his four-year-old daughter Exodus, who died tragically the same year.

"That's just something I have to deal with myself," said Tyson, who is working through his grief with wife Lakiha Spicer.

Tyson also feels for his friend Bobby Brown, who has been by his 22-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown's bedside as remains in a medically-induced coma.

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"Me and Bobby have so much in common, because we're members of a club that many people don't want to be members of," Tyson said. "We're bereaved parents."

Champs, out now, also covers the careers of Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins.