Mike Tyson has revealed he has a rare medical condition called sciatica after photos surfaced showing the former world heavyweight champion in a wheelchair.
Concerns for Tyson’s health were heightened last month when photos from an airport showed him in a wheelchair while clutching a cane.
However, Tyson tried to clear up speculation about his health in an interview with Newsmax TV this month.
“I have sciatica every now and then, it flares up. When it flares up I can’t even speak! Thank god it’s the only health issue I have. I’m great now,” he said.
“Everyone in my house is truly blessed and we are all very grateful for everything we have.”
The condition affects nerve endings in the body, with Tyson apparently suffering from complications related to his back.
Iron Mike, as he was known, had to retire from the ring in 2005 due to back problems.
There have long been concerns about Tyson’s health as the American is known to have lived his life to the fullest at 56.
Drug problems, combined with his never-dying attitude in the ring that has seen him face-to-face with some of the most notable heavyweights of his day, have led many to fear for the boxing great’s long-term health.
Tyson himself concluded on his own Hotboxin’ podcast that he didn’t think he had long to live.
“Of course we will all die one day. Then when I look in the mirror, I see these little spots on my face,” he said.
“I say, ‘Wow. That means my expiration date is very close.”
In sciatica, the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the feet, is irritated or compressed. It usually gets better in 4 to 6 weeks but can last longer.