Sports

Mike Tyson on cannabis, opiates in sports, and fixing boxing

“I feel like I’m overrated. No one deserves this much love,” Mike Tyson stoically exclaimed as he sat down for the first time all day on Saturday.

Inside the brand-new Apothecarium cannabis dispensary in Lodi, NJ, Tyson took some time out of his unusually busy day to discuss his new outlook on life with The Post, in between meeting thousands of “Tysonites”.

Tyson’s humble mentality might come as a shock to fans who have not followed him in recent years. But fans of his podcast, Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson — or followers of his new cannabis brand Tyson 2.0 will know — this is the new mindset that the former baddest man on the planet has adopted.

The best part is — he’s as healthy as he’s ever been — both mentally and physically. This really is the new Tyson 2.0, a man reborn; with some help.

“Cannabis and other plant medicine have helped me get to this point where I am who I want to be,” Tyson told The Post. “It all comes down to your mind and your head. Your mind and head can be the worst neighborhood in the history of the world.”

Tyson currently uses Cannabis where he has his own line of wildly popular products available throughout New Jersey that recently added Ric Flair to his line.

Mike Tyson signs autographs for fans in Deptford, NJ
Mike Tyson signs autographs for fans in Deptford, NJ
Brian Roberts, Tyson 2.0

On Labor Day, Tyson traveled throughout New Jersey to promote his new bitten ear-shaped edibles available at Cannabist in Deptford, Zen Leaf in Neptune, and Apothecarium in Lodi, New Jersey. Eventually, those will expand into Delta 8 and CBD across all states that they are legally allowed (Delta 8 is available in 29 states at the time of writing).

Tyson’s goal is to declare war on opiates; specifically in sports. An old friend, and fellow New Jerseyite, the late Arturo Gatti, is one athlete who had a bad relationship with drugs.

Arturo Gatti and Mike Tyson
Arturo Gatti and Mike Tyson
Mario – Ringside Lounge Jersey City

Mario Costa, Owner of the Ringside Lounge in Jersey City, is a friend of Tyson since he was a kid. He told The Post, “Arturo started with his broken hands. They took a bone from his hip and put it in his hand, so they started with the Percocet. Mike would never take that because of Cus [D’Amato] his mentor [would never allow it]. Arturo got addicted. He used to say his breakfast was three Percocet.”

A close friend, Gatti, would take his own life in 2009 at the age of just 37.

Mike Tyson and greets fans.
Mike Tyson greets fans.
Brian J. Roberts

This is still a problem in sports today, too. Packers legend Brett Favre had a very public battle with painkillers during his time in the NFL. His successor, Aaron Rodgers admitted to Joe Rogan that he used Percocet to offset the pain to play in games in a recent interview.

With so many varying experiences in his life, Tyson has a wealth of knowledge to spread. The opiate crisis is top of his agenda right now and despite boxing Roy Jones Jr. in 2020, the sport that he dominated for nearly 20 years is nowhere near his concern.

Still, he offered up some solutions to problems with boxing and even discussed the beleaguered boxing stars, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, who are each coming off consecutive losses.

“Your family and kids… That’s all that matters”

Mike Tyson to struggling boxers, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder

Mike Tyson stands in front of a packed house at Zen Leaf Cannabis Dispensary in New Jersey. (Photo Credit Brian J. Roberts)
Mike Tyson stands in front of a packed house at the Zen Leaf Cannabis Dispensary in New Jersey.
Brian J. Roberts

Joshua is in a spot where he is teetering in his career. Once profiled for greatness, he has lost two in a row and three of his last five.

He told The Post, “He [Joshua] has to have some gratitude; forget this guy [Usyk] beating me. Thank the guy, we are friends, and we helped each other make money. Your family, your kids, they got money now. That’s all that matters.”

Making money is exactly what Joshua is doing.

According to numerous reports, Tyson Fury is expected to match up with the struggling boxing prodigy. Tyson explains that boxing is all about perfecting your craft with the end goal of setting up your future. That fight should be a PPV-office hit, despite Joshua opening as a +300 underdog according to numerous oddsmakers.

He continued on Wilder, “Wilder should be laughing at everyone. He’s making tens of millions of dollars. Guys can’t pay their cab fare but call him a bum,” Tyson said while laughing.

Mike Tyson departs after a long day.
Mike Tyson departs after a long day.
Brian J. Roberts

Unfortunately, the state of boxing has been in a sorry state for years. Mostly because of under-the-table deals and shady business dealings.

He explained “Boxing has always been like this, the problem with boxing is everything is never on the table,” Tyson exclaimed as he slammed his hands onto the table. “There’s s–t always under the table. Until we get rid of that problem, boxing will always be a mess and only the elites will make money.” Tyson said.

Despite fighting Roy Jones in November 2020, boxing is nowhere near Tyson’s primary focus. His primary focus is helping people. Whether it is being comfortable in your skin or substitutes for heavy drug use; Tyson has put his efforts into fixing societal problems.

He left me with one final bit of important advice he has gained throughout his years.

“Life is about properly using your ego,” he said. “It’s important to have a good relationship with your ego. It can drive you to do great things if used correctly.”

Shot by: Brian Roberts, Frank Bonilla, and Mike Angeles

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