Mike Tyson On His One-Man Vegas Act: Raw, Revealing

The ex-fighter with the famously tattooed face, battered reputation and tortured self-esteem approaches the proscenium of the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater. In the darkened showroom, Mike Tyson shifts uncomfortably on a stage, a lonely figure in blinding light.

Cus D’Amato, Tyson’s quirky boxing sage, prepared his rage-filled enfant terrible in the 1980s for potentially wilting public moments like this. Now 45, the mercurial former heavyweight champion realizes that a newly domesticated life and debut of his one-man act next month —Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, Live on Stage— might be his last chance to get it right.

Looking decidedly un-Tysonesque with left hand elegantly tucked in coat pocket, the vanquished “Baddest Man on the Planet” has stashed his perceived aura of menace for an air of dashing sophistication. Tyson is undeniably dapper in an ivory jacket, white polka-dot shirt and polished loafers. His shaved skull is powdered. A gold wedding band glints in the spotlight.

On cue, Tyson unnaturally projects his voice, instantly distinguishable by that soft, incongruous lisp.

“I know what you are probably thinking,” he says during rehearsal for the April 13-18 show. “What the hell is he going to do? To be honest, I wonder, too.