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What exactly is a “Prostitute Hunter?”

That’s how retired boxing legend turned Broadway actor, Mike Tyson, described himself in a bizarre interview on NBC’s Today Show this morning.

Talking to Ann Curry about his transformation from a controversial ex-athlete to a clean-living vegan and self-proclaimed “wimp”, he said:

“I just threw up the white flag. 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.'”

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he laughed. “I was a prostitute hunter!”

The former heavyweight champ visited Today this morning with Spike Lee to talk about his one-man broadway play: “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth” which Spike is directing. MSNBC reports that Tyson’s openness shocked Las Vegas crowds during his biographical show there and he promises the play will be just as candid. Tyson says he’ll be talking about his boxing career, rape conviction, drug abuse, coming up in a “sex worker world” (his mom was a prostitute and his dad was a pimp) and how he’s turned his life around.

The storied former boxer told ABC News that the show is part of his effort to move his life in a positive direction.

“This is what me and my wife wanted to do — this is what we decided to do after I gave up using drugs and being a pig and stuff, right, so this is what we decided we were going to [live] on this kind of level. Just keep it moving and doing positive things.”

I’m a little too young to remember “The Iron Man” during his glory days, but I do remember him as the boxer who bit that other boxer’s ear, beat up his ex-wife Robin Givens and went to prison for raping someone. He’s pretty much the last guy I would expect to have a show on Broadway and thus potentially walk the red carpet at the Tony Awards. But, hey, there are definitely worse things he could be doing with his life besides trying to move it in a positive direction.

Here’s hoping he’s done hunting prostitutes for good.

In case you want to watch, here’s the clip from the interview. Thank God Spike was there.

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Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink 

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