Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson Rolls with the Punches in Undisputed Truth

Undisputed Truth Mike Tyson New York Spike Lee

I’ve always tried to keep an open mind when it came to Mike Tyson. My womanly instincts have thrown up red flags for the obvious reasons: his seemingly animalistic machismo, penchant for outrageous self-destruction, rape charges and the whole ear-biting thing probably stand at the forefront. But there’s always been a sort of soft spot for the guy. He’s larger than life. His unparalleled athleticism and talents in the ring are one thing, but he’s a lover of pigeons, of children, and the borough of Brooklyn. Just how bad can the bad boy be?

From the start of Undisputed Truth, Tyson’s new one-man Broadway show, we were introduced to the man as Brooklyn’s son. Not formally of course, but in a room with about 800 other people, with Spike Lee behind the wheel as director. I didn’t get to shake the Champ’s hand, crack a joke with him, or pass a blunt—but after the show, I kind of felt like I did.

Tyson Pigeons Broadway Undisputed

Spike’s signature hand was felt throughout the nearly 2-hour performance. Simple set changes used lighting and easily recognizable tracks from the ’80s and ’90s to place you in a moment of Mike’s checkered past. Never-before-seen photos that seemed to have been mocked up by Spike himself painted poignant moments from Mike’s life: his mother who yearned to be a schoolteacher but got caught up in that street life and ended up dying from what he believed was a broken heart (cancer); his father the pimp whose seed impregnated his mother, but was not the stand-up Jamaican cab driver to claim Mike on his birth certificate; the sister and daughter who both passed well before their times, all helped to paint the dark side of Mike’s life. The personal scars that live alongside the external scars from the ring.

Tyson Spike Lee Broadway Undisputed Truth

But ultimately, self-deprecation reigned supreme. Even in the retelling of his time in prison, or his marriage to the gold-digging Robin Givens were hilarious and completely outrageous accounts of a life you’d never imagine. At one point, he begrudgingly admitted that not knowing the difference between period blood, abortion blood, and “bang-bang-the-pussy-blood,” led to his downfall with Robin. (Apparently Robin tricked the guy into thinking she was pregnant and miscarried, when “all she needed was a Midol.”) But he knew it was completely outrageous—he called himself an idiot, a dumbass knuckle-headed n****, and an ego maniac several times throughout the play. And while he made it clear that he’d learned his lesson, he still knew how to find the humor in it all. Let’s remember, this was still Broadway after all.

The vignettes Mike painted with pretty damn spot on impersonations, very personal and impassioned tangents (cocaine & angel dust stories), diatribes (“Fuck you, Don King”), and revelations (when he realized women can also ejaculate, much like a sleeping Volcano) felt like stories from the cutting room floor of his life. As if we were getting the B-Sides from the classic album that is the Mike Tyson Legend, and these “deep tracks” helped to paint a larger tale here. He wanted to get to the root of the issue of Mike Tyson, be completely unabashedly honest, and maybe change your mind about him a little bit. Afterall, he’s broke—and when you’re a retired boxer, your reputation is all you have.

Tyson Spike Lee Broadway Undisputed Truth

So ultimately, I may not have completely changed my mind about Mike Tyson, but I wish him well. He’s got mouths to feed and a new lease on life. If he passed the blunt my way, I just might take it.

I just wish I’d been seated next to Robin Givens in the audience that night. Just. To. See. Her. Face.

Robin Givens Tyson  Broadway Undisputed

Related Articles

Beastin'
Beastin'

PETA Cries Fowl On Pigeon Racing

Sports
Sports

Dallas Penn Debates Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks

Sports
Sports

Floyd Mayweather Weathers Maidana’s Storm

Sports
Sports

Jay Z, Action Bronson, and More Tip Their Caps to Derek Jeter

Sports
Sports

No Offense: Phil Jackson on Spike Lee’s Lack of Basketball Knowledge

Sports
Sports

Carmelo Anthony Talks to Boxer Danny Jacobs About His Fight With Cancer

Ad

Latest News

kevin-durant-scandal Sports

Meet the Woman Who Told the World About Kevin Durant’s Alleged Face-Farting Fetish

More details on the other drafts NBA fans want to know about
busy-signal-portrait Features

Busy Signal Will Make History This Weekend

Years after cutting off his ankle bracelet he returns to the U.S. a star
knxledge-listening-room Music

New Music from Knxwledge, Conway and GR⚔GAR

The Listening Room (June 22, 2017)
blue, declaime, georgia anne-Muldrow, eternally yours, young spirit, orange, illustration Music

PREMIERE: “Internally Yours” by Declaime and Blu

"Don't ever think it's too late/ We must start now to set things straight."
donaeo, london, streets, black and white, hood, whole life Music Video

Donae’O and Fredo Wanted This Video Their “Whole Life”

Money, girls, and music. What else?
healthcare protests News

Demonstrators Dragged Out of Senate Office Building After Protesting Healthcare ...

Forcefully arresting disabled protestors seems like a pretty spot-on metaphor
wu-tang-silicon-valley Music

The Wu-Tang Clan Strikes Again With “Don’t Stop”

The crew's new banger is the latest from the 'Silicon Valley' soundtrack
what-happened-to-the-remix Features

What Ever Happened To The Mega Remix?

19 joints from the days when you HAD to do a remix
XXXTentacion News

XXXTentacion Takes Pink Rubber Dick Like A Champ

A true performance artist
mir fontane, camden, portrait, woods Music

PREMIERE: Mir Fontane Reveals ‘Camden’ to the World

"It's a mixture of personal stories and some untold stories of my peers, dead and alive."
Philando Castile News

This Little Girl In The Cop Car After Philando Castile Murder Is Heart Breaking

"I don't want you to get shooted"
missy elliot dropped da real world 18 years ago today Music

Missy Elliott Embraced a Darker Vision on ‘Da Real World’

An underappreciated, but very necessary, album from Virginia's own
juiceboxxx-go-to-the-club-alone Music

PREMIERE: Juiceboxxx “Go To The Club Alone”

Pathetic loser anthem
cop-kicks-face News

Should We, Too, Get A 24-Hour Suspension For Kicking Cops In The Face?

Please do not curb-stomp police officers
drake dropping new song, "signs," tomorrow Style

Drake Reveals “Signs,” A New Song “Inspired” by Louis Vuitton

Is there a new Louis Vuitton Don?
wes jackson, brooklyn hip hop festival, brooklyn bodega Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Wes Jackson of Brooklyn Bodega

The XXL Freshmen look like weirdos, but Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip were weirdos too