Former world heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson (pictured center) lost his cool and hurled quite a few expletives during a live televised broadcast, after a Toronto news anchor hit him with a loaded question regarding his past sexual assault conviction.
The interview, which took place on Wednesday afternoon at the CP24 Toronto News station, was hosted by anchor Nathan Downer (pictured right). Tyson was in town to promote his famed one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.
As the former-boxer-turned-showman sat down with Downer, he probably expected to have a discussion about his stage show that has traveled throughout the country and has been met with rave reviews, but instead, Tyson was ambushed by an unexpected question that unraveled him. Downer inquired about Tyson’s recent meeting with the city’s controversial Mayor Rob Ford, the Canadian politico who has managed to remain in the spotlight but not in a good way. Ford was embroiled in a substance abuse scandal, admitting he had a crack addiction, and has also been cited for public drunkenness.
Regarding the Tyson/Ford meeting, Downer boldly asked the former fighter if he, a convicted sex offender, had further damaged the mayor’s re-election campaign by associating with him, “Some of your critics would say, ‘You know, there’s a race for mayor, we know you’re a convicted rapist, this could hurt his campaign,” Downer said. “How would you respond to that?”
Ding-ding! The bell went off!
Tyson did not go ear-biting ballistic, but it was clear he was heated by Downer’s unexpected below-the-belt question. Tyson responded to Downer by saying, “I don’t know who said that, you’re the only one I heard say that,” Tyson said. “And I don’t have no comment for that, because it’s negative and you’re being negative…and I met the mayor. And there’s nothing they can do about it.”
But Tyson couldn’t just slough off Downer’s mention of his past offense, he had to let off steam, so he let the news host have it stating, “It’s so interesting that you come across like a nice guy, but you’re really a piece of sh*t … fu*k you, that was a piece of sh*t.”
Downer tried to continue with the interview by bringing the topic back to Tyson’s one-man show, but Tyson was not playing ball. The host then calmly reminded Tyson, “We’re on live TV here,” to which Tyson responded, “I don’t care, what are you gonna do about it?”
Tyson’s promoter, Al Choko (pictured far right), who sat next to Tyson during the interview, tried to redirect the off-topic conversation back to the one-man show but then Downer asked, “Is it nerve-wracking for you to do something like [a Broadway show]? Or is it more nervous for you to box?” asked the news man. “It’s more nerve-racking for me to hear us talking to a rat piece of sh*t like you,” Tyson answered.
Downer eventually realized he had gone down the wrong path and the interview was headed nowhere, so he quickly ended it.
Later on in the day, Downer took to Twitter writing:
No ill will toward Mike Tyson. He lashed out at me and that’s okay. Not taking it personally pic.twitter.com/e27mfrOagJ