Dubai - American heavyweight legend Mike Tyson on Thursday
unveiled plans to launch a boxing fitness franchise named after him.
The Mike Tyson Academy will open branches in the Middle
East, Africa, Europe and South America.
Plans for boxing and fitness centres are currently underway
in Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, India and Switzerland, among
others. Academy headquarters will be located in Las Vegas.
"I'm scared when I'm doing nothing," Tyson said at
a news conference in Dubai.
"If I'm not working then I'm scared. That's very
frightening. I'm working and excited and I look forward to it."
Tyson, 50, is one of the most renowned - and controversial -
athletes in the world.
In 1986, at the age of 20, he became the youngest
international boxing heavyweight champion in history.
He held that title from 1987 to 1990 and achieved 58
victories, including 44 by knockout.
But his career was plagued with trouble, including stints in
prison for rape and drug addiction.
In 1992, at the age of 25, Tyson was sentenced to six years
in prison for rape, serving three years behind bars.
Tyson also notoriously bit off a chunk of boxer Evander
Holyfield's ear in a 1997 match that became known as "The Bite
Tyson's license was temporarily revoked over the incident,
but the boxer was allowed back into the ring one year later.
The heavyweight champion has in recent years worked to clean
up his image, appearing in comedy films like The Hangover.