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Broadway-bound Mike Tyson talks 'prostitute hunter' past (+video)

Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson and director Spike Lee announce Tyson's Broadway show in New York. Photo / AP
Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson and director Spike Lee announce Tyson's Broadway show in New York. Photo / AP

Boxing legend Mike Tyson's reason for adopting a vegan lifestyle? Well, it's not entirely connected to his love of veggies.

The former heavyweight world champion dropped by the Today Show on Tuesday to talk about his Broadway-bound one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, which will be directed by Spike Lee.

Tyson will take to the stage at New York's Longacre Theatre in July for a no-holds-barred show which promises to be a raw confessional on the well-publicised highs and lows of his career.

According to a website promoting the show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is "a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown."

Announcing the Broadway stint on Monday, Tyson said: "I'm very vulnerable and I'm just telling you who I am and where I'm from and how this happened."

He continued: "It is an honour to work with Spike Lee. I have always admired his work. Sharing the highlights and lowlights of my life with New York is especially important to me as I was born and raised in Brooklyn."

The 45-year-old recently performed a version of the show in a limited Las Vegas run at the MGM Grand.

'I just threw up the white flag ...'

Asked by Today anchor Ann Curry about the show and his new vegan lifestyle, Tyson got candid about why he made the switch.

"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.'"

He conceded before being cut off by Curry: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was a prostitute hunter."

Lee also told Curry that Tyson will be just as filter-free when his show debuts.

"[He will show] the same courage he displayed in the ring. I think it will take just as much courage to go on stage, when you bare your soul to the audience. It's captivating," he said.

Undisputed Truth opens on July 31 for a limited run at New York's Longacre Theatre.

Watch his Today show interview below:

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