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Mike Tyson — From the ring to the mic - Odessa American: Ticket

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Mike Tyson — From the ring to the mic

Former heavyweight boxer brings ‘Undisputed Truth’ comedy tour to Far West Event Center in West Odessa

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 10:00 am

Mike Tyson says people should be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions when he performs “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” on Feb. 13 in Odessa.

Tyson, 47, the retired heavyweight boxing champion, describes his life in the show, which is directed by Spike Lee and has been performed on HBO and around the nation and world.

Discussing difficult emotions and experiences can be a challenge for anyone, but Tyson developed a strategy.

“I was more objective, and I looked at me as being an entertainer, not me being Mike Tyson, so I wouldn’t have to feel sorry for myself or start crying,” said Tyson in a telephone interview Tuesday from Henderson, Nev., where he lives.

He describes himself as “emotionally naked” on stage, taking the audience on a journey through his life. People will be able to look at the show from different perspectives. The show is sad and funny and ambiguous, Tyson said.

“I think people will be entertained, more than anything,” he said, responding to whether people will learn anything new about Tyson.

He said the tour is “going wonderful — it took on a life of its own,” and that he had no idea that people would still want to watch the show after it started airing on HBO.

“But I’m still playing sold-out crowds in Connecticut, Atlantic City, Dubai,” he said. “I’m just very grateful. … This is just really good. I’m just very grateful to be alive. It’s just really good stuff, you know?”

He’s overjoyed by the recognition by the “Undisputed Truth,” explaining that he hears excellent feedback about the show and that people have told him they can relate to some of the experiences Tyson had in his life.

Tyson was grateful to get a chance to work with Lee and learned a lot from the director.

“He wanted to work with us,” he said. “He called us and wanted to go Broadway with it. I think that was a great move on his part. He wasn’t doing much until he did this, and this just catapulted him back in the public’s eye. Because some of his last movies didn’t really make out that well, and so he did this and this puts him right back in the (scene).”

He said he’s never been to Odessa, and when he thinks of the name of the city, he is reminded of the city in Ukraine.

“And then in Brooklyn, they have a restaurant called Little Odessa, a Russian restaurant,” Tyson said.

Tyson also has other interests, as he is promoting young fighters through Iron Mike Productions.

“It’s very difficult, it’s very hard, and I’m very grateful that we’ve come a long way in a short period of time,” he said. “I think a lot of that has to do with the exciting fighters that I have and the fact that I’m very lucky enough to have a name that the press knows.”

Tyson said he’s grateful for the success and hopes the organization continues to excel. Starting Feb. 22, a new monthly boxing series from IMP, “KO Kings of Tomorrow,” begins at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., according to the theboxingvoice.com. This boxing series will be broadcast worldwide as low-cost pay-per-view events over Universal Streaming Network, live from Sands Bethlehem Event Center, for $4.99 via http://www.ustream.tv/universalstreamingnetwork, according to the website.  

 Tyson also is involved with the Mike Tyson Cares Foundation, which according to its website, seeks to “give kids a fighting chance” by providing innovative centers that provide for the comprehensive needs of kids from broken homes. The website states these needs may include healthcare assistance, shelter, school assistance, mentoring, job placement assistance and other needs as determined by the center for the overall well-being of the child.

 Tyson hopes to continue to act and get behind the camera. He said he will continue this tour “until they stop asking for it.”

“I love doing the tour. I love, really, entertaining,” he said. “This is just what I do. I was born to do this.”

The tour will continue and will be going overseas with shows in March and April.

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