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Tyson talks about death on 'Today'


Mike Tyson sounds as if he’s in the fight of his life.

For the second time in a week, the former world heavyweight boxing champion said he’s “on the verge of dying” because of his struggles with substance abuse.

In a cry-for-help interview with NBC’s “Today” show host Matt Lauer, Tyson said, “When I start drinking and I relapse, I think of dying. When I’m in a real dark mood, I think of dying. And I don’t want to be around no more. I won’t survive unless I get help.”

The interview aired Thursday on “Today,” a day after Tyson and Lauer met in Las Vegas for the taping.

Tyson revealed his crisis last week during a post-fight news conference at the Turning Stone Resort in upstate New York.

He informed the media he had relapsed and said, “I’m on the verge of dying because I’m a vicious alcoholic. I haven’t drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that’s a miracle. I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I was not.”

Tyson has been preparing to take his one-man show internationally and a few U.S. markets, his wife, Kiki, told me via email.

TURNING THE TABLES

Local food critics Al Mancini, John Curtas and Max Jacobson face a grilling Tuesday.

They have agreed to be the roastees at a benefit roast at Three Square Food Bank, the beneficiary.

Signed up so far for carving duties: Vic “Vegas” Moea (Vic’s), Stephen Hopcraft (STK), Carla Pellegrino (Bratalian), Beni Velazquez (Bar + Bistro), Gary LaMorte (Mina Group), Todd Harrington (Central by Michel Richard) and Theresa Woo, a manager at FU).

The event runs from 7-9 p.m. at Three Square, 4220 N. Pecos St. The $25 tickets include wine and snacks. Tickets can be purchased through ThreeSquare.org

“Vic should be a lot of fun after my review of his restaurant and Stephen has never been featured in the book, so I’m sure he has some gripes,” said Mancini, who added more chefs are on the brink of signing on, including one “who I know has a serious ax to grind with me.”

Roast master duties will be handled by Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney of “The Dave, Mahoney & DK Morning Show” on KXTE-FM, 107.5.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Mrs. Nevada Ruth Gray finished as second runner-up in the Mrs. U.S. pageant at Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday. …

The Labor Day weekend lineup includes Kourtney Kardashian, hosting at Hyde Bellagio on Saturday; rapper Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Rehab party on Sunday; and retired NFL star Warren Sapp hosting 10 p.m., events Saturday through Monday at the Rockhouse (Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian). …

The legendary magicians Siegfried & Roy will kick off Oktoberfest Sept. 14 at the Hofbrauhaus as honorary mayors. They will tap the ceremonial first keg.

SIGHTINGS

Lauer and the “Today” show’s head booking producer Matt Zimmerman, in town for an exclusive interview with Tyson, dined at Andrea’s (Wynn) on Wednesday. … ESPN TV personality Hank Goldberg, Hall of Fame boxing broadcaster Col. Bob Sheridan, and Art Manteris, Station Casinos’ vice president of sports book operations, dining at Tbones Chophouse at Red Rock Resort on Wednesday. Goldberg filmed his annual ESPN football kickoff segment inside Red Rock sports book. … Austin “Chumlee” Russell from “Pawn Stars,” ordering the Cali grill in a Spinach wrap on Wednesday at Greens and Proteins on South Eastern Avenue.

THE PUNCH LINE

“You see Miley (Cyrus) Sunday night on the VMA thing, the MTV show? The White House is considering military intervention.” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.