LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP)
It was then that his boxing mentor, Cus d'Amato, helped him turn
his back on crime and detention centers and refocus his life
around his awesome fighting talent.
"I had a lot of emotional problems," he said, evoking a theme of
show, in which Tyson uses an array of expletives -- including the
"N' word, repeatedly -- to describe stupid things he has done
over the years.
His bad behavior didn't prevent him from becoming the youngest
ever heavyweight champion of the world at the age of 20, after
winning his first 19 professional bouts by knockouts.
But his first marriage to actress Robin Givens unraveled in 1989
-- Tyson tells a funny anecdote about Brad Pitt turning up with
his estranged wife -- and his self-confessed "demons" gradually
got the better of him.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty queen at a
pageant in Indianapolis, Indiana. He served three years of a
six-year sentence before his release in 1995, steadfastly denying
he raped the woman.
"I went to jail for something I didn't do," he said Friday.
Tyson reclaimed the heavyweight throne but lost to Evander
Holyfield in 1996 and in a 1997 rematch infamously bit
Holyfield's ears twice, serving a year's banishment in exile for
The boxer filed for bankruptcy in 2003, the same year his second
marriage ended. He later married his current wife in 2009, but
only shortly after his 4-year-old daughter Exodus died in a
tragic accident at home.
But he has revived his career in recent years, appearing in cameo
in the "Hangover" films (the second set in Vegas) and in reality
television shows exploring his love of training pigeons.
The Vegas show -- which seems to be another part of Tyson's
showbiz-themed career resurrection -- is co-written by Tyson's
third wife Kiki and Hollywood playwright/director Randy Johnson
-- who claims he could take it worldwide.
"I am hoping to have a run on Broadway and the West End of
London. I think we can play every legitimate theater in the
world," said Johnson, calling Tyson a natural entertainer.
The crowd Friday -- predominantly white, many of them boxing fans
in a town which has a long tradition of hosting major fights --
were mostly impressed about Tyson's stand-up talents.
"This guy is a mad man genius. This is what you get when you have
someone with no formal education, but an extremely powerful,
overactive mind," said 36-year-old Joey Jurtzman, from Los
"Everyone in this casino could learn a lot if they shut their
mouths, and shut their minds and .. just listen to what Mike
Tyson says, let it hit you, let it wash over you, and walk out a