Tyson filed for Chapter 11 protection Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, said Debra Grassgreen, his attorney. The action, she said, shows Tyson has taken control of himself and wants to resolve his money problems.
“As a professional fighter, who relied on others to manage his affairs, he discovered that his debts far exceeded his assets,” Grassgreen said in a news release. “Now, he has taken the lead in bringing order to his financial affairs.”
The 37-year-old Tyson, who became the youngest heavyweight champ at age 20, spent much of his $300 million in ring earnings on mansions, automobiles, jewelry and extravagant gifts for his entourage. He even bought Bengal tigers.
A good portion of Tyson’s take also went to promoter Don King. Tyson is now suing King for $100 million. The lawsuit, set to go to trial in September, claims King cheated Tyson out of the money after he was released from prison in 1995 after serving three years on a rape conviction and then went back to boxing for the promoter.
Earlier this year, as part of a divorce settlement, Tyson agreed to pay his ex-wife, Monica, $6.5 million from future earnings.