Airs Wednesday, July 16 at 8:00 PM on Fox Sports Net
Documentary Includes Exclusive Interview with Ex-Wife Robin Givens
Mike Tyson shares his complicated and controversial life story like never before on the first ever two-hour installment of Fox Sports Net's critically-acclaimed documentary series BEYOND THE GLORY, airing on a special night – Wednesday, July 16 at 8:00 PM local time (check local listings, viewer discretion strongly advised).
Tyson, the former heavyweight champion, granted unprecedented access to producer David Michaels in four interview sessions totaling 12 hours in various settings.
"I wanted to capture what it was like to hang out with Mike for a couple of days and be in his world, not take Mike to our world" said Michaels. "We wanted to get his perspective, and the only way to do that was to let Mike talk."
The narrator for this special edition of BEYOND THE GLORY is rapper and TV actor Ice-T.
BEYOND THE GLORY explores the many people, places, fights and other events in Tyson's life, as seen through the eyes of "Iron Mike" himself and some of the people who know him best. Tyson, comfortable with Michaels and the interview surroundings, was particularly forthcoming.
"We were in no hurry. It was more about sitting around with him and being with him. We went along with Mike's schedule and he felt comfortable enough to be himself," Michaels related. "We started talking about his pigeons. I think he was a little surprised I spent so much time and showed interest in that. That led to him eventually opening up and talking about his mom," Michaels said. "Mike is like our id. He says things that we all just think about. He's an amazingly complex person."
Unlike other documentaries on Tyson that have relied on newspaper reporters and others who have dealt with Tyson on the periphery, BEYOND THE GLORY features interviews with some of the people that know him best, including former trainer Teddy Atlas, ex-wives Robin Givens and Monica Turner, and Tyson's attorney Dale Kinsella. Givens' involvement in the show is her first public interview regarding Tyson since the couple's appearance on the Barbara Walters Special in 1988.
"As we went along we made a decision that the only way people would be in the show was if they had been in (Mike's) 'interrogation room', so to speak. We made a clear judgement that we were not going to interview people that were not in Mike's inner circle," Michaels said.
Michaels is renowned in sports television for his work with NBC's coverage of the Olympics, horse racing's Triple Crown and much more. Michaels, brother of ABC announcer Al Michaels, also produced the 2002 BEYOND THE GLORY episode on figure skater Oksana Baiul. David is the uncle of Steven Michaels, who joins Frank Sinton as executive producers of BEYOND THE GLORY. David and Steven Michaels had talked for the last several years about doing the definitive Tyson story. The opportune time to approach Tyson about this project came after the ex-champ made an appearance last year on Fox Sports Net's BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD.
On BEYOND THE GLORY, the influential people in Tyson's life are examined, including: the tough love provided by guardian Cus D'Amato, who taught Tyson the fight game along with Atlas and later Kevin Rooney. Business advisors good and bad – Jim Jacobs, Bill Cayton, Don King and Shelly Finkel. The many opponents who fell victim to Tyson's fury – like Trevor Berbick, Michael Spinks, James "Bonecrusher Smith," etc.; and those who would expose his weaknesses, namely Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Also, the women in his world: His late mother, Lorna. The goodness of surrogate mother Camille Ewald. Givens and her mother, accused of trying to capitalize on Tyson's fame and fortune. Desiree Washington, a beauty queen candidate whom Tyson was convicted of raping in an Indianapolis hotel room. And the relationship with Turner, the mother of Tyson's child.
The Tyson storytelling travels back to Brooklyn, where he was raised on the pugilistic arts on the borough's tough streets. Then to a detention center/boxing training ground in the Catskills. Tokyo, where Tyson and Givens honeymooned, and later where he would suffer a stunning, career-altering defeat. A state prison in Indiana where Tyson was incarcerated for three years. And, Las Vegas, the place Tyson now calls home, but also the city in which he displayed his most stunning display of ring anger.
The third season for BEYOND THE GLORY, the Sports-Emmy nominated series, features 20 original programs and is now a Fox Sports Net in-house production under the direction of executive producers Sinton and Steven Michaels.
Future original episodes of BEYOND THE GLORY include: Curtis Martin (July 13), Cal Ripken Jr. (July 20), Tony Hawk (July 27), Jerome Bettis (Aug. 3) and Bobby Bowden (Aug. 31).
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