VIDEO: Church buys Mike Tyson’s old mansion and plans to build a sanctuary


By The Daily Mail

It was once home to the self-declared ‘baddest man on the planet’ and the scene of many a wild party, but this derelict mansion – still dripping with gold and marble –  is now set to be transformed into a church.

The spacious home in Southington, Ohio, was owned by heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson who lived there during the late 1980s and 1990s until his dramatic fall from grace following a conviction for rape and financial problems.

Featuring gold-plated furnishings, a mirrored ceiling jacuzzi and a swimming pool twice the size of the average family home, Tyson, now 48, used the property as a base while training for fights at Don King’s facility 20 miles away in nearby Orwell.

It features five bedrooms, several living spaces, seven and a half bathrooms, a full kitchen, a mini-kitchen/washroom, two attached garages, one external garage, full size pool and Jacuzzi, tiger cages and a basketball court.

Tyson decked out the mansion with crystal chandeliers, a pool larger than most homes, tiger print carpet and everything else necessary to make it his private party pad.

But now the property lies eerily quiet with just the shell of what was once home to the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at age 20.

Photographer Mr Joo, from Cleveland, Ohio, said: ‘My journeys have taken me to some strange places but nothing quite like the abandoned home of a former professional boxer.

‘It felt cold, rather empty and eerie – not so much a creepy eerie but a more interesting one.

‘I knew Mike Tyson had once just hung out here and now I stood staring down everything that had been left behind.

‘I loved the bathroom simply because of the view and the mirrored ceiling above the Jacuzzi tub.

‘But the pool was probably my favourite just because of how incredibly large it was and thinking how vibrant it was at one point in time.

‘The room was bigger than three of my houses, it was pretty incredible to look at while standing at one end. Everything was so full of life and now simply collects dust.

‘As I wandered the halls and rooms I imagined the wild parties which must have taken place within these walls.

‘I looked across a living room once full of life but now empty of parties, tigers and celebrities.’

The boxer was taken into custody in 1991 on allegations of rape and in 1992 a jury found him guilty with the ruling committing him to a six year prison sentence with four years of parole.

In 1995 Tyson was granted parole and released from prison, returning to rural Southington in hope of escaping the media which ended up following him.

Because of his increasingly desperate financial situation he put the mansion up for sale and sold it in 1999 for $1.3m (£870k).

It has since had multiple owners – including one who was the subject of an FBI investigation when he tried to sell it – and is now set to be converted into a church.

The current owners bought the property in December 2014 and will transform it throughout the rest of 2015, allowing Johnny to explore before the work takes place.

He added: ‘I’ve seen a few restorations throughout my work but nothing so contrasting as this.

‘But it’s definitely one of the more well-preserved structures I have been in through years of exploring and photographing abandoned places.

‘It makes a perfect candidate for the church to move into and build their sanctuary. Structurally the home is wonderful and I can’t wait to see the restoration completed over time.

‘The group would like for Mike to attend the first gathering inside the churches sanctuary.

‘I hope to help by sharing this story far and wide, maybe bringing his attention to this matter. It could be quite an experience for him walking through his former home, seeing it brought to a completely different light.’

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