When Mike Tyson went vegan two years ago, he made it clear that the change was part of a complete lifestyle overhaul. At the time, he said, “I had to change my life. I am going to change everything I dislike about myself. I changed everything that I was as a human being.”
Now the former boxing champ has revealed more about what those changes entailed. In short, his previous lifestyle was pretty seedy, and included an abundance of jail cells, prostitutes and STDs.
In anticipation of his new one-man Broadway show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth”, he spoke with Ann Curry about why and how he revamped his life.
“I just threw up the white flag,” he said. “Too many prison cells, too many jails, too many lawsuits, too many bankruptcies, too many women, too many venereal diseases, too many everything! I got tired…of every time my prostitute girl got back from a trip I had to sleep with her…I was a prostitute hunter.”
Now happily married (and prostitute-free), Tyson collaborated with his wife on the script for the autobiographical show, which he initially performed in Las Vegas. Eventually, word of the show made its way to Spike Lee, who volunteered to direct a Broadway version.
The performance will detail the ups and downs of Tyson’s life, and he’s not holding anything back. He told Curry that in his twenties, he was aggressive and confrontational, but as he’s aged he has mellowed out considerably. Now he actively avoids conflict, a change he credits in part to his vegan diet.
“I was in anybody and everybody’s face, and now I’m a wimp and trying to avoid arguments. I let my wife get away with the stupidest stuff, you know.”
Lee thinks Tyson’s stage performance will be comparable to his career as a boxer.
“What Mike’s gonna do…the same courage he displayed in the ring, it’s gonna be, I think, just as much courage to go on stage. When you bare your soul to the audience, it’s captivating.”
“Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” opens on July 31. Tickets are on sale now.