He was originally expected to be welcomed back as a hero, but it was a subdued homecoming as Mike Tyson returned to Brooklyn today (Tuesday).
Amid protests that a convicted rapist should not be given a hero's welcome, the former heavyweight champion's first trip home since his release from prison was an occasion more to reflect than celebrate.
Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson came home today to his old neighborhood in New York City- to mixed reviews.
Flanked by an entourage including bodyguards and Nation-of-Islam followers - native son Tyson returned to Harlem and a curious crowd of onlookers.
Some of them were fans of the former champ - some say the boxer's conviction for rape will colour their view of him forever.
"He shouldn't be treated like a hero because he went to jail- plain and simple- he did his time, whatever, he wants to start to fight, let him start to fight again. We shouldn't be here cheering him on because he'll probably do it again or it will probably happen again."
SUPER CAPTION: Harlem resident
Tyson handlers - chief among them promoter Don King - called a news conference to discuss plans for Tyson's scheduled bout against "Hurricane" Peter McNeeley August 19 in Las Vegas.
It was the ex-champ's first major public appearance in New York since serving a three year prison term for raping a beauty queen.
"It's great. I enjoyed it very much. I consider New York basically my home in general. I'm from Brooklyn but I just say New York in general is my home."
SUPER CAPTION: Mike Tyson
Tyson and King deflected questions about the rape case - preferring to talk boxing.
"Tyson as you know will fight anybody, anyplace, anywhere, any time. What we got is the future undisputed champion of the world and our future in boxing."
SUPER CAPTION: Don King, boxing promoter.
Tyson says he's currently training for warm up bouts before his August return to centre ring in Las Vegas.
"I'm just happy to be here, I'm a little nervous. I look forward to the fight and I look forward to putting on a GOOD show."
SUPER CAPTION: Mike Tyson
Tyson's promoters are confident he will win his fight in August.
There are some that want to demonise young black men like they can't be redeemed so they can build jails and close schools. We will not feed into this message. That's why some of us come today - I brought my two daughters. One, I wanted them to know why this was wrong but I also wanted them to know if they make a mistake in life they can always come home.
The fact is that the powers that be don't want you out here and don't want me to relate to you and I just know we'll beat them anyway 'cos God's on our side.