In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with the former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson from the November 1998 issue.
“I took [boxing] back to its raw form. Kill or be killed. The winner gets it all. That’s what people want. I gave everybody what they want. And they paid me for it. People are afraid I’m going to unmask them for what they are. Hypocrites.”
“I expect the worst to happen to me in my life. I expect people to fuck me and treat me bad. That’s just what I expect. I fight it. I try to do something about it. I’m not going to let anybody walk over me. I expect that one day somebody, probably black, will blow my fucking brains out over some fucking bullshit, that his fucking wife or girlfriend might like me, and I don’t even know she exists. Some bullshit will happen. I expect that to happen in my life. No one gives a fuck about Mike Tyson. If someone accuses Mike Tyson of a horrible crime, they say, ‘Yeah, he’s capable of that, Mike probably did it.’ Nobody’s fighting a crusade for my black ass.”
“I don’t want any sympathy from anybody. All I get is more bombardment. Fuck ’em! I’m ready to fight anybody. Not physically, just whatever is necessary. I just want to fight someone. That’s who I am. Fuck ’em! That’s why I’m assertive and aggressive and take no shit. I’m ready to go any time.”
“Raising pigeons is something I’ve done all my life. Something like racing horses or gambling. Just something I do. A hawk once killed 98 of my pigeons. You can’t imagine what was in my head, what I was going to do to that hawk. I waited for him a long, long time. Finally I trapped him. I had him, right there in the trap, but I just stared at him. He was huge and powerful and intimidating and ominous-looking. I didn’t have enough nerve to do anything. I couldn’t kill him. I opened the gate, let him out, watched him fly away.”
“I’m always trying to be cool, take care of my children, not kill nobody, not say anything anymore. I always do my best to be cool. I know I’m going to blow one day.”
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