The boxing champion’s Southington Township home and 60-acre estate mansion is to be converted into a church.
Tyson bought the estate, which was near the home of boxing promoter Don King, and lived there after he was released from prison for rape. He sold it to Paul Monea. Monea was imprisoned in 2007 – eight years after he bought the property from Tyson for $1.3m. The property then fell into disrepair.
Living Word Sanctuary got the property when it reached a deal with a real estate investor to pay $50,000 in back taxes.
The swimming pool room had been turned into the main auditorium while the basketball court turned into a youth centre.
Speaking to the Warren Tribune-Chronicle, church pastor Nicholas DeJacimo said:
“Us getting this is a miracle.
“It was basically donated to us because the former owner needed to write it off. I tell the congregation God literally gave us this.”
“He literally gave us a free campus to do whatever we want. We will use it to glorify him.”
“Work is continuing on the renovation. Once completed church members will move from the local YMCA where they’ve recently been meeting.”
DeJacimo said Tyson’s great room will be a venue for weddings and other ceremonies. The living quarters on the second floor will become offices.
The details around the fireplace, where Tyson reportedly kept his championship belts, will remain.
But what about his infamous tiger cages?
“We figured we’re going to get four more tigers. No, just kidding,” the pastor said with a laugh. That space on the property will be used for an outdoor pavilion.