Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson talks about his upcoming show, “The Undisputed Truth,” and what fans can expect from this Broadway hit.
By: Kristen Bily
Mike Tyson has long been the most feared man to hold the coveted heavyweight title. His larger-than-life reputation made him a legend both inside and outside of the ring, and his triumphs and sorrows have been front-page news throughout his career.
The truth is, Tyson has seen his fair share of ups and downs, and we continue to be entertained by him. He has truly left a lasting mark on our culture. At one point, his fans knew him as the aggressive boxer, ready to stand up against anyone. That personality has really changed with him making us laugh in “The Hangover,” and in his most recent show, “The Undisputed Truth,” he takes a real and raw look at his life told by him and only him.
“The Undisputed Truth” has been a huge success, from its start at the MGM in Las Vegas to its move to Broadway at the Longacre in New York, N.Y. “The Undisputed Truth” is now on a nationwide tour, going to 36 cities including Chicago, San Francisco and Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center Selena Auditorium on Nov. 22.
I recently was able to speak with Tyson about the upcoming show and what fans can expect when the champion of the ring gets onstage to tell his story.
After much success in Vegas and on Broadway, what made you decide to take this show on a national tour?
This was crazy; we were not expecting this! The fans were asking for this show to come to their cities. It was not planned at first, but I wanted to do this for the fans.
How has the transition been from working an opponent in the ring to working a crowd onstage?
I have become emotionally vulnerable, which is really interesting to me. It’s like being naked onstage, but I don’t participate in anything unless I know I can reach my full potential in it.
With that being said, how do you prepare to get onstage? Do you get nervous?
I prepare just like I would for a fight. I head backstage, warm up and get myself mentally ready. I love that adrenaline. I am so ready to give the fans a performance of a lifetime.
What was your preparation process like getting ready for a live show, and how did you prepare?
Wow, it was a lot of dialogue and script, but you know, eventually, I began ad-libbing as the show progressed and I got more comfortable. I really enjoy playing off the crowd. This show is definitely not without seriousness and comedy!
This show explores so many moments in your life, from the triumphs to the setbacks. How open are you about all of them in your show?
I am very open about everything. I am ready to be honest with the crowd and stay objective. I don’t see this as the “Mike Tyson” story; I look at it as telling my story.
I saw a clip where you addressed the Holyfield fight. As someone who saw the fight, I thought it was great that you addressed it so personally. How does it feel to have the audience to see that side of you?
Great! I stay objective to this because I don’t want my emotions to take over. I want to give all the facts.
What is your favorite part of this show for you?
(Laughs) My favorite part is when I play Mitch Green because I get to be funny and get out of character. I put on that wig and become someone else.
What do you want the fans to take away from this show?
I want the fans to feel their own individual emotions … all of it, and I want to hear from them. When they say hi to me at a meet-and-greet, I want to hear from them and what they took from this story as individuals. This show is definitely a roller coaster of emotions.
Tickets are now on sale for Mike Tyson’s “The Undisputed Truth.” Tickets are available at the American Bank Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select H-E-B and Walmart locations, www.ticketmaster.com and via phone at 1-800-745-3000. Additional fees may apply.
SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center providing unprecedented guest experiences. For more information, visit www.americanbankcenter.com, www.facebook.com/americanbankcenter, www.twitter.com (@AmericanBankCtr) or www.instagram.com (@AmericanBankCenter).
Photo provided by American Bank Center