Sportsman's Daily

 

Mike Tyson: "The Whole Thing’s a Sham. I’m Actually a Shakespearian Actor"

Ex-Champ Talks with Sportsman’s Daily

Mike Tyson

I coulda been a contenduh. Instead of what I am, a revered thespian of the highest order. Ex-champ Mike Tyson runs some lines with fellow actors at the currently unnamed theatre he's trying to restore.

The Sportsman’s Daily’s Carl Davies recently caught up with Mike Tyson who was visiting the neighborhood where he was born, the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Tyson was the world’s youngest heavyweight champion and is no stranger to controversy and legal troubles. But now, surprisingly, Iron Mike comes clean. Tyson speaks in his usual high pitched voice, but to our total surprise it is delivered in a tongue that is part British Received Pronunciation and Standard American Stage.

The Sportsman’s Daily: Mike, you’ve been flying under the radar of late. What are you doing here in Brooklyn?

Mike Tyson: Carl, I’m in the process of restoring this wonderful theatre. The building’s over one hundred years old, and I’d hate to see it fall victim to the wrecking ball. We’re currently rehearsing “Waiting for Buster Douglas” by Michael Vogel, a dazzling young talent I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more about.

TSD: I see. Sounds interesting.

MT: It is I assure you. The entire thing is set in a moody Scottish castle with ring girls announcing scene changes with round cards. Naturally they’re dressed in Elizabethan halter tops. Then, once the place is fully operational I’m considering trying my hand at directing a few things by Jerzy Grotowski and perhaps delve headlong into the avant-garde for some invited audiences.

TSD: Hmm…Mike?

MT: Yes.

TSD: You are Mike Tyson…right?

MT: Oh yes indeed.

TSD: Really? Because generally you’re rap is much more monosyllabic and quite frankly, a bit confrontational.

MT: Oh, you mean when I drop the F bomb and talk about eating your daughter’s liver as a between workout snack?

TSD: Ok. Sure, that’ll work for starters.

MT: Well, you see that was me channeling my inner psychopathic serial killer. Pretty standard stuff. It was an act I got a lot of mileage out of which in turn allowed me to finance some wonderful projects…like my first marriage.

TSD: But Mike we saw you actually box. You were the heavy weight champion of the world. You intimidated people. You bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear for crying out loud! You’re saying that was just acting?

Tyson leans back in his chair and pours a small amount of Chateau du Pavillon Canon Fronsac into a wine glass and takes a sniff. Apparently satisfied, he pours a liberal amount into a glass for me. He then tops off his own glass.

MT: I think you’ll find this a real surprise. This grape is quite the fruity little scoundrel. I stumbled upon it while on holiday in France in 1994.

TSD: Mike, you were in prison in 1994.

MT: What? We’re going to quibble over dates? Now, where were we?

TSD: Boxing. The biting of one’s ear.

MT: Look. I am in complete control of everything I do. Every move I’ve ever made in my life is calculated to achieve maximum financial effect.

TSD: Including the bankruptcy?

MT: I can see you’re skeptical. Indulge me whilst I demonstrate a mere morsel of my prodigious talent.

Tyson stares directly into my eyes and doesn’t break his glance. He then snaps his fingers and almost out of thin air, a rather sizable group of musicians appear.

MT: Give me a C gentlemen.

He clears his throat and begins singing, but something seems wrong.

MT: I learned to bob and weave and duck...But still I couldn’t dodge bad luck...That old Don King is such a…

TSD: Mike, I get it. Nicely done…but…

Suddenly before my eyes Tyson becomes unglued at the seams. The trappings of his masterful illusion begin crumbling around him – and me for that matter. Then, almost as if a Twilight Zone-like robot with a human appearance reveals its true self, his circuits, diodes and tubes are exposed. The musicians scramble for cover.

MT: (Raging) Ok, let’s cut the crap Carl. You want the real me? You got him!! You want proof? Let’s bust up this joint and pick up some hunnies. Then we’ll hit the road pal…you and me.

TSD: Well, I’ve got a few days before I have to submit this story to my editor.

Then as quickly as he exploded, Iron Mike regains his composure.

MT: Oh Carl, you must forgive me. I lost my head a moment there. Shall we continue the interview now or…(winking and chuckling) shall I fly over the table and strangle you in an expletive-filled tirade? Your choice.

TSD: I’m sure our readers would like to see me “take one for the team,” but I’d really to hear more about your planned interpretation of Jerzy Grotowski.

Sitting there listening to Tyson wax poetic about a playwright I couldn’t believe he’d heard of, I counted my blessings. Of course I was never fully convinced he was a changed man; particularly a New York impresario who makes Richard Simmons look like Lee Marvin. But, if the “Baddest Man on the Planet” is going to reinvent himself, a transformation into a flamboyant diva who enters a room two inches off the ground, just might sell tickets. Certainly more tickets than say, anything written by Jerzy Grotowski

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