Having to wear glasses in the first grade was a real turning point in my life. My mother had me tested, and it turned out I was nearsighted, so she made me get glasses. They were so bad. One day I was leaving school at lunchtime to go home and I had some meatballs from the cafeteria wrapped up in aluminum to keep them hot. This guy came up to me and said, “Hey, you got any money?” I said, “No.” He started picking my pockets and searching me, and he tried to take my fucking meatballs. I was resisting, going, “No, no, no!” I would let the bullies take my money, but I never let them take my food. I was hunched over like a human shield, protecting my meatballs. So he started hitting me in the head and then took my glasses and put them down the gas tank of a truck. I ran home, but he didn’t get my meatballs. I still feel like a coward to this day because of that bullying. That’s a wild feeling, being that helpless. You never ever forget that feeling. That was the last day I went to school. I was 7 years old, and I just never went back to class.
Mike Tyson’s HBO Special and Autobiography Both Come Out Next Month
As Mike Tyson continues his well-documented struggle with drugs and alcohol, he remains very public in facing his demons. This candor has helped shift popular perception of Tyson from unabashed jerk to flawed, but sympathetic guy. Directed by Spike Lee, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is an extension of the former fighter’s one-man show that details his up-and-down life. It debuts on HBO on Saturday, November 16th.
The excerpt also encompasses his robbing houses, his first fight, early experiences with pigeons, his mother’s prostitution, and passing through various juvenile detention centers before receiving his first formal boxing training.