TCA press tour: Mike Tyson, Spike Lee talk 'Undisputed Truth' for HBO

TCA press tour: Mike Tyson, Spike Lee talk 'Undisputed Truth' for HBO
Mike Tyson, left, and director Spike Lee kid around backstage at a "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" event last summer. (Donald Traill / Invision/Associated Press)

Perhaps the reporters gathered at the TCA press tour were a bit afraid of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. When he and director Spike Lee took the stage to discuss their new project, there was barely a response.

"Usually when a heavyweight champion is introduced, there is at least a clap," Lee scolded, sparking a bit of tepid applause.

But Tyson didn't seem to mind, joking with the crowd: "Don't get too close. I may bite you, as you know."

The boxer and the fiery director have teamed up to bring Tyson's acclaimed one-man show "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" to HBO. The show played on Broadway and toured nationally.

"Undisputed Truth" features Tyson opening up about his troubled youth, landmark boxing career, personal struggles, time in prison and new beginnings. The HBO show was recorded on Broadway last week and is scheduled to debut this year.

Lee heaped praise on the fighter's performance skills and his comfort in front of an audience: "This is not some willy-nilly stiff. This is a script. This is legit."

He added, "Mike Tyson is the most honest human being I know. Most people are not going to talk about their deep dark past and their demons. It's the most courageous thing. I couldn't do it. Most people couldn't do it."

Tyson compared performing his show to boxing: "I feel the energy of the crowd like a prizefight.... It's like fighting. I want to kill everyone in the room with my performance."

Asked what was the difference between boxing and performing, he quipped, "I don't have to go to the hospital after a performance."