Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson’s ever-evolving life has taken an entrepreneurial turn: he’s touting a new line of marijuana products right here in Boston, which he credits with granting him serenity decades after leaving the boxing ring.
“It’s put me in a frame of mind where I can be at peace with myself, my family, my dear friends,” Tyson told the Herald.
The professional fighter once known as “the Baddest Man in the World” was at Ascend cannabis shop in downtown Boston Thursday promoting Tyson 2.0, a brand of marijuana flowers and edibles.
Tyson has transformed into an advocate for cannabis after a tumultuous history with drugs and run-ins with the law. He spent years behind bars in the 1990s and was then convicted on drug charges in 2007. At that time, he checked himself into an inpatient rehab facility for “various addictions,” and was ordered to serve three years of probation and 360 hours of community service.
In his 2013 autobiography, “Undisputed Truth,” Tyson described a vicious addiction to hard drugs that started when he was a pre-teen:
“I really think that one reason I started doing so much coke was because I was in a lot of physical pain from my boxing career. I know some hockey players who told me the same story. When you have that kind of pain, you can not be friendly with anybody. You’re like a lion with a hurt paw. ”
He’s found new stability through legalized strains of cannabis, he told the Herald.
“I do not have to have outbursts like when I took opiates. It keeps me healthy. ”
He categorized his pivot away from opiates to cannabis as a life-or-death decision.
On cannabis, “you’ll live. That’s the difference, ”he told the Herald.
Tyson 2.0 products will be available in stores in Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Nevada and Michigan. The line’s namesake said he personally tests every product line rolled out, but his favorite is the Toad strain, which promises feelings of happiness and relaxation.
After signing autographs and snapping photos with a long line of adoring fans at Ascend, Tyson went north to New England’s boxing Mecca: Lowell. He attended the New England Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Finals at Lowell Auditorium. It was a big night for all fighters involved, and he offered advice to young boxers with big dreams.
“This is to be taken seriously, but do not think if you do not win tonight, you will not have your night. This is all about never giving up and keep trying. By doing that, you’ll get your day, ”he said.
Tyson also remains dedicated to his most beloved creatures: pigeons. He told the Herald he currently keeps around 600 pigeons as pets. He has a soft spot for roller pigeons, which are domesticated birds that can be trained to tumble and roll in the air. He shared a video of one of his flocks soaring in synchronization.
“They’re doing pretty good,” he said, with a smile.