Tyson Q&A: Brooklyn Nets letting the champ down

Tyson Q&A: Brooklyn Nets letting the champ down
January 14, 2014, 9:30 am
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On Sunday afternoon, the Patriots will be in Denver, looking to carve out another piece of NFL history against the Broncos. And chances are that you’ll be watching. But in the event that you don’t have plans the night before, there’s an opportunity to witness a different kind of history, as one of the great thespians this world has ever known will be performing his one-man show over at Foxwoods.
That thespian is former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson.  His show is called “Undisputed Truth.” And in honor of his trip to Foxwoods (part of an international tour, following a recent stint on Broadway), I got an email asking if I’d be interested in doing a quick Tyson interview. I said yes, and since you’re probably looking for anything to make this Tuesday go by faster, here’s a transcript of our brief conversation.
CSNNE: Mike, so you’ve been doing this show for a while now. What’s your best memory or craziest story from life on the road?
Tyson: Honestly, I’m just grateful that’s it’s been taken so well by everyone. All over the world, too. I just came back from doing a show in Dubai.
Dubai? I didn’t realize you’d gone international. Have you thought about performing the show in different languages, or do they have someone translate for you while you’re out there?
Nah, in Dubai it was a bunch of foreigners at the show, so they understood what I was saying.
OK, so I guess the next question is: When you started this show, did you ever imagine that you’d one day be performing in Dubai?
No way. I just thought we’d go from hotel-to-hotel in Vegas, and then in a year or two, maybe take it to Broadway. Chazz Palminteri was a performer I looked up to in this process and it took him a long time to get his show to Broadway. So that’s what I was expecting.  But we got the call in two weeks. It’s been unbelievable.
And what should people expect from you and this show?
It’s a dynamic collection of stories. Some people think they know about me but they don’t know the truth. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. People don’t realize that coming in. They sit down for the show and they’re bombarded. I’m just hitting them with everything.
You talk about very dark and disturbing periods of your life onstage. Is that a form of therapy?
No, I just look at it as entertainment. If I start thinking about it too much, I’d start crying. So I just think of it as me, Mike Tyson, playing Mike Tyson. A lot of people try to impersonate me, but I can perform me better than anyone else.
Besides you, who does the best Mike Tyson impression?
Jamie Foxx.
How about sports? Do you follow while you’re out on the road? Which teams do you root for?
Well, I really want the Brooklyn guys to be good in the NBA but they’re not.
Oh, right. Do you know KG at all?
Yeah, I’ve met him a couple times. It’s tough, though. They’re really not doing well.
No, no they’re not. And what about football? You ever think you could have made it in the NFL if your boxing career didn’t pan out? I could see you as one of the slightly undersized, maniac middle linebackers.
No way. I would’ve gotten hurt. I don’t care how good you are at football. People always get hurt.
OK, Mike. Can you leave us with one more piece of Tyson wisdom? With all that’s going on right now with your show and new career, what’s the No. 1 message you’re trying to get across. What should people learn from all you’ve been through and all your doing now?
Just that they should never give up. Never be too depressed. They should know that life’s not always going to turn out the way you want, but in the end you can still have a good story.
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