Mike Tyson was enjoying another day in paradise, which could be found outside the door of his $1,500-a-night villa only a few steps from the gentle surf off Mauiâ€™s southern coast.
An afternoon storm was threatening on Tuesday, but Tyson hardly noticed as he sat on the edge of a couch talking about life, love, philosophy and, oh yes, Lennox Lewis.
Amid the tranquillity of island life, Tyson has secluded himself in preparation for the fight of his life, June 8 against Lewis for the heavyweight championship.
He says heâ€™s here to train and not to have fun. You believe it when research shows thereâ€™s not one strip club on the island that could lead to possible trouble.
â€œI found that out once I got here,â€ Tyson said. â€œIâ€™m here to do a job. I work as hard as I play and I havenâ€™t been out since Iâ€™ve been here.â€
To Tysonâ€™s handlers, that kind of talk is more welcome than anything he has to say about Lewis. Theyâ€™re the ones holding their breath that the former champion wonâ€™t do anything silly to jeopardize a lucrative payday next month.
On the mainland, he might be out partying and getting in trouble, as happened just before he left for Maui when he got into an altercation with a dancer and her boyfriend at a Phoenix strip club.
Here, he can watch the ocean from his living room at the whitewashed Fairmont Kea Lani, run on the beach in the morning and train in relative solitude at a tiny gym nearby.
â€œIt was a good idea coming here,â€ Tyson said. â€œI came here one time when I was married and I didnâ€™t have a good time. Now Iâ€™m having a good time.â€
Why he didnâ€™t have a good time when he and his wife, Monica, whom heâ€™s divorcing, came here before, Tyson was asked. â€œI didnâ€™t want to be married,â€ he said.
Just a week or so into serious training for Lewis, Tyson appeared trim and fit already as he entertained a small group of writers who travelled to Maui to see him.
My main objective is to be professional but to kill him,â€ Tyson said of Lewis. â€œThatâ€™s what it comes to. He should want to kill me because I want to kill him. But I still love him.â€