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Mike Tyson: 'Prostitute hunter'? Former champ talks checkered past

June 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM ET

There's a new show hitting Broadway this summer and it's not the usual song-and-dance routine. Instead, visitors to the Great White Way will have a no-holds-barred look at the life of the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson, in his upcoming one-man show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth."

Tyson first brought his biographical act to Las Vegas and shocked crowds with his willingness to talk openly about a past filled with career and personal highs and all-time lows. During a Tuesday visit to TODAY, Tyson, along with show director Spike Lee, promised Broadway-goers would get that same candid experience.

"I'm pretty naked there -- bare," Tyson told TODAY's Ann Curry.

But lest anyone get the wrong idea, Lee insisted "not literally!"

So, he won't be that kind of naked, but that's not to say viewers won't find the on-stage reveals jaw-dropping all the same. In addition to talking about his heyday as the youngest-ever heavyweight champ, Tyson will also address his rape conviction, drug abuse and how he's turned his life around.

Now a much calmer Tyson describes himself as a "wimp" and a clean-living vegan. So what brought on all the changes?

"I just threw up the white flag," he said. "There was 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. I really got tired of, you know, like every time a prostitute –- I would head back from a trip -- I had to sleep with her. So I just said, 'I'm going to live a different life.'"

Yes, he really said that -- the part before living a different life.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" he laughed. "I was a prostitute hunter!"

Expect more of that filter-free talk and what Lee called "the same courage (Tyson) shared in the ring" when "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" makes its Broadway debut July 31.

 

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