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Twenty five years after Mike Tyson’s reign as the most terrifying man in America ended the man has become a national treasure, the embodiment of the American dream in all its splendor and trash: a man who pulled himself up from nothing to the heights of fame and wealth, crashed back down to earth in spectacular fashion, the victim of his darkest impulses, and was reborn again as a warrior-philosopher-entertainer in peacetime and welcomed back into the warm embrace of American celebrity: a king of self-awareness in age of delusion.
Last night Tyson was a guest on the Conan show, and host Conan O’Brien asked the former heavyweight boxing champion if he had any advice for former UFC bantamweight women’s champion Ronda Rousey, who, like Tyson when he lost his belt to Buster Douglas back in 1990, recently suffered a knockout loss to a relatively unknown opponent after building a reputation as an invincible and indestructible fighting force, and who has spent much of the last two months in seclusion, hiding out, sources said, from the shame of defeat.
“You know she’s not out there a lot, she’s not communicating a lot. She’s been through a huge upset,” O’Brien said, aware that Mike Tyson is the poster child for second acts in American life, even after the most brutal deaths. “What would you tell her?”
At first Tyson responded like a life coach urging a traumatized patient back into functionality, and like a wizened fighter, resigned long ago to the cold realities of their chosen profession.
“She has to understand we’re in the hurt business,” he said. “And I don’t care if you’re the king of the hurt business, we’re in the business where we get hurt. And she’s got to be seen. Come out of the house, ….View full article