In 2012, former boxer Mike Tyson had a one-man show about his life in Las Vegas entitled the Undisputed Truth. By 2013, director Spike Lee had taken the show to Broadway and eventually it would air on HBO. Many critics at the time lauded the effort while also pointing out that the performance had some dark moments while glossing over other significant events in Tyson's life.
Yesterday, an updated version of Tyson's show, aptly named Undisputed Truth: Round 2, made its way to the Center Stage at MGM Northfield.
This time, Tyson's material is largely rooted in humor with sporadic bits and pieces of life lessons learned by the man who was the youngest undisputed heavyweight champion in the history of boxing (which he jokingly calls his only goal in life).
Tyson was aided by occasional visuals displaying video clips, photos and charts to accompany his punchlines and stories. In one clip, he showed a cringeworthy fall off a motorized hoverboard. In another moment, he talked about all the cocaine he did which is followed by a photo of him with powder all over his nose to which he playfully quipped, "Who the fuck took this picture?"
He proudly shares fond memories of his trainer and mentor Cus D'Amato and also his idol Muhammad Ali. In a touching story, Tyson says he spoke to Ali after he lost to Larry Holmes, vowing revenge. Eight years later, he would make good on his word, knocking him out in the fourth round with Ali in attendance.
Other moments in the show touched on his losses in the ring and oddball interaction with the media outside of the ring. He says that with the exception of Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, all of his losses were to "bums." He also admits to being heavily addicted to antidepressants towards the end of his boxing career. He would find a new audience in the world of entertainment in movies like The Hangover
and his television series Mike Tyson Mysteries
A story about his famed tigers starts off with big laughs but goes on for a few minutes too long. Tyson pivots and lands some body blows with a story about his time at Neverland Ranch with Michael Jackson, who, according to Tyson had kids running the entire operation from top to bottom including the chefs and security personnel.
The roughly 90-minute set concluded with a story about Frank Sinatra who would tell him that it's not about how good you look, but rather how long you look good.
Mike Tyson is undoubtedly a polarizing public figure even in this day and age, and he's lived a life that few could handle, let alone survive. His personality has the ability to draw people into his world and entertain, and he put that on full display last night.
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