Mike Tyson is fighting inner demons, a fact everyone has surmised by now. But on the newest installment of Fox Sports Net's Beyond the Glory
documentary series, Tyson is examined in Behind the Music fashion and given a forum to shed light on what torments him.
The documentary, narrated by rapper/actor Ice T and produced by David Michaels (brother of ABC Sports's Al Michaels), culls comments from four separate interview sessions with Tyson interspersed with fight and news footage, and insights from the people closest to the boxer.
Beyond the Glory
chronicles Tyson's life from his days as a youth in an abusive Brooklyn home to his time with boxing guru, the late "Cus" D'Amato, who took the 13-year-old under his protective wing, teaching him the pugilistic arts in primarily white, upper-middle-class Catskill, N.Y.
Seeing the ring potential, D'Amato kept Tyson out of serious trouble by making excuses — a trend continued by the fighter's various inner circles.
But Tyson is a tiger who can't or won't change his stripes. He was abusing and molesting women as far back as high school, behavior that eventually landed him in an Indiana prison on a rape conviction.
The Tyson portrayed in Beyond the Glory
is a Jekyll and Hyde character, both before and after facial tatoos. He is articulate and philosophical, talking about love, respect and the next life. Then, there is the brutish thug, filled with rage and hate. Tyson readily admits that he is a "monster" and a "master manipulator."
And that may be why the women in his life — from current girlfriend Luz Whitney to ex-wives Robin Givens and Monica Turner — are ready to make excuses and forgive him, each saying there is a warm-hearted child inside.
Beyond the Glory
tries to use the contradictions within Tyson to reveal the motivation behind his actions, but the film falls victim to making excuses for the oft-inexcusable behavior. If there is any villain, it is boxing promoter Don King, the Colonel Parker to Tyson's Elvis, using the boxer at every step of the way for his own personal gain.
Beyond the Glory does an admirable job getting Tyson and his inner circle to talk. But it Tyson's behavior in the various interviews that is most revealing.
Beyond the Glory: Mike Tyson debuts July 16 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.