Boxing legend Mike Tyson has opened up about his troubled past, revealing he regrets the way he treated opponents during his professional career.

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain to promote his new cannabis business, the former world heavyweight champion reflected on his difficult upbringing.

Made famous for biting Evander Holyfield's ear in their 1997 world title rematch and making a series of inflammatory remarks towards Lennox Lewis ahead of their showdown five years later, Tyson said he regretted the way he treated his opponents inside and outside the ring.

"My whole life was a regret. My whole life, my actions, my conduct, a lot of stuff I've done in my life, especially as a fighter," he said.

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"Putting down a lot of fighters just to become more of this renowned figure and stuff. I wish I didn't do that, I wish I hadn't said a lot of the things that I've said to other human beings."

Lennox Lewis throws a punch to Mike Tyson during the 2002 fight. Photo/ Getty
Lennox Lewis throws a punch to Mike Tyson during the 2002 fight. Photo/ Getty

Tyson was hailed as seemingly invincible during the mid to late 1980s but, after serving three years in prison for a rape conviction, he made a number of headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The 52-year-old, known for his knock out ability, said he wasn't proud of his past actions and blamed his upbringing for his aggressive behaviour.

"My whole life as a kid from 12 years old, I was just taught to beat people, break them down, humiliate them, break their will," he said.

"But in actuality, I was just a scared and insecure kid. I had no idea what I was doing but it felt good and everybody told me I was great at doing it.

"And so it led me on to be this guy, this tyrant, who had no self-respect and said often some really bizarre and disrespectful things to opponents."

Tyson, who competed from 1985 to 2005, still holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title.

He won 50 of his 58 career fights.