“As a professional fighter who relied on others to manage his affairs, he discovered that his debts far exceeded his assets," Tyson's attorney Debra Grassgreen told the BBC.
The 37-year-old bought a pair of pet Bengal tigers, lavish gifts for his entourage and received poor financial advice . He has also been sued, divorced and had to pay fines for his conduct in the boxing ring.
Though Tyson is suing ex-promoter and convicted felon Don King for $100 million he sought protection from creditors whilst he brings “order to his financial affairs,” Grassgreen added.
Sued by psychiatrist
In a separate incident, Tyson was informed in July that he being sued by his psychiatrist for allegedly failing to pay $29,000 in therapy bills.
Analyst Mitchell Gibson alleges that Tyson failed to cough up for expensive forays into the fighter's mind.
Tyson's once-glorious career in the ring has been tarnished by his personal behaviour which ensured he was never far from the headlines.
He served three years in prison for the 1992 rape of beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington in an Indianapolis hotel room, a charge he denied.
An assault on two motorists who collided with his car briefly sent Tyson back to prison in 1999.
In January 2002, during a pre-fight press conference, Tyson and world champion Lennox Lewis got into a brawl with the would-be challenger sinking his teeth into his opponent’s leg.