(Reuters) - Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has claimed he is on the verge of dying from ongoing drug and alcohol problems.

"I wanna live my sober life. I don't wanna die. I'm on the verge of dying, because I'm a vicious alcoholic." Tyson said on ESPN's 'Friday Night Fights'.

Tyson, now a promoter, told a news conference, "I'm a bad guy sometimes. I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven.

"So in order for me to be forgiven, I hope they can forgive me. I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now," the former champion said.

Tyson admitted to being a continual substance abuser but was hopeful he was finally becoming clean.

"I haven't drank or took drugs in six days, and for me that's a miracle," he revealed.

"I've been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I'm not. This is my sixth day. I'm never gonna use again."

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)