NEW YORK – Mike Tyson is no longer in the boxing ring, but he's still getting knocked out ... financially.
Once the most feared man in boxing, Tyson has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court (search), claiming that his finances are in disarray and he is unable to pay his bills.
• Raw Data: Tyson Bankruptcy Filing (pdf)
His debt amounts to around $27 million, according to federal court records posted on TheSmokingGun.com.
The former heavyweight champion amassed a $300 million fortune from his ring earnings, but his high-roller lifestyle has come back to haunt the ear-chomping boxer. In the U.S. Bankruptcy Court document on the Web site, creditors holding the 20 largest unsecured claims are listed.
Diamond Resort in Hawaii claims he owes them $30,000. CLS-Limo Services in Sherman Oaks, Calif., wants $308,749.60. And amassing a champion boxer’s fortune apparently requires a lot of assistance: The document lists numerous consultants, accountants and financial and medical groups seeking millions combined for their services to Tyson over the years.
However, the Internal Revenue Service (search) claim makes the others look like chump change -- they want more than $13 million from Iron Mike.
"I have been in financial distress since 1998, when I was burdened with substantial debt to Showtime, taxing authorities and parties to litigation,” Tyson, 37, said in the affidavit. “Since that time, although my fight income, various asset sales and litigation recoveries have enabled me to pay a lot of my debt, I am still unable to pay my bills."
Tyson does list several "tangible assets," including “two former residences in Las Vegas, cars and other property.”
“I believe however, that I have substantial intangible assets, including claims against Showtime, [Don] King, and others who are located in New York,” Tyson said in the affidavit.
But while he’s filing suits, others are doing to same: Tyson is being sued for $20 million by heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis for a breached agreement to fight him a second time.
Bad advice over the years is to blame, Tyson's handlers said in a news release on Friday, and now Tyson has taken control of himself and wants to resolve his financial problems.
"As a professional fighter, who relied on others to manage his affairs, he discovered that his debts far exceeded his assets," Tyson's attorney Debra Grassgreen said. "Now, he has taken the lead in bringing order to his financial affairs."
The fighter frittered away millions on bling bling, Bentleys and even Bengal tigers (search) while buying extravagant gifts for his entourage. Don King (search), Tyson's boxing promoter, also took a huge chunk.
Tyson was so in love with extravagance he became a known face at Jewelers Inc., in Las Vegas, the New York Times reported
Tyson once walked into the store and walked out with a $173,706 gold chain lined with 80 carats in diamonds, according to the Times, but unlike the average consumer, he didn’t bother to pay.
"Knowing him for so long, I gave him the merchandise and knew he'd pay later," Mordechai Yerushalmi, the store's owner, told the Times. "He had open credit with me."
Now the jeweler may be biting his tongue, as his debt is included on Tyson’s bankruptcy list.
Family paybacks have also cost Tyson a pretty penny. According to the bankruptcy file, he owes Kimberly Scarborough, who gave birth to their daughter, $51,949.42 in child support. Earlier this year, as part of a divorce settlement, Tyson agreed to pay his ex-wife, Monica, $6.5 million from future earnings.
The biggest fight for Tyson may still lie ahead. He has a $100 million lawsuit pending against King that goes to trial in September, which claims King cheated Tyson out of millions after he got out of prison in 1995 and went back to fighting for the promoter.
Bank account problems could be followed with time behind bars again for Tyson, who served three years in prison for rape in the 1990s. He is facing possible jail time for misdemeanor assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges for pummeling two men during a brawl at a Brooklyn hotel on June 21.
He plead innocent to the charges, and Tyson's lawyers claimed his actions were justified, because the two men allegedly menaced the boxer first by telling him they were armed.
Prosecutors say the assault went too far -- creditors might now be saying the same about his spending habits.
Tyson doesn’t see this as the end. In his affidavit he outlines his boxing history ending with: “I defeated Clifford Etienne in a first round knockout on February 22, 2003. I have not boxed since, but intend to do so.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.