Mayor Rob Ford met former heavyweight champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson at city hall on Tuesday, saying the two are “cut from the same cloth.”
Ford told reporters on Tuesday that Tyson, who is in Toronto to perform his one-man show “Undisputed Truth” at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, requested the meeting.
“I look forward to meeting him,” Ford said.
The two met behind closed doors, emerging with wide smiles.
“I’m a big fan of the mayor, and I had the opportunity to meet him,” said Tyson. “The mayor is a celebrity in his own right and he’s a very interesting guy.”
Tyson said he respects Ford for overcoming “adversity” and blamed the media for all the bad press surrounding the mayor.
“He has a troubled past because he has 24 hour surveillance by the press,” Tyson added.
Ford says he’s idolized Tyson since he was a teen. “I respect him and wish him all the best,” the mayor gushed.
When asked earlier if he had any issue meeting with a convicted rapist, Ford said, “I’m not going to comment on his personal life. I’ve never met the man before and I’m interested in what he has to say.”
— Mayor Rob Ford (@TOMayorFord) September 9, 2014
Tyson, who became the youngest heavyweight champion in history when he knocked out Trevor Berbick in 1986, was sentenced to six years in prison for the rape of beauty contestant Desiree Washington in the early ’90s. He was released after serving three years and continued his boxing career.
After retiring from the ring in 2006 following back-to-back loses, Tyson reinvented himself in the entertainment world, playing small roles in movies like The Hangover, before launching his one-man show.
Tyson, like Ford, has also struggled with addiction problems over the years and has entered rehab several times.
— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) September 9, 2014