This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 12, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: He's known worldwide as a heavyweight champion, but "Iron Mike" is definitely a nickname of the past for Mike Tyson. You're about to see a side of Mike Tyson very few have ever seen. Long gone are the days of crisscrossing the globe in private jets and fancy sports cars. Tyson's days are now spent reading Mark Twain and caring for his pigeons. Mike Tyson went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you like pigeons?
MIKE TYSON, FORMER BOXING HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: I don't know. It has been the first animal I was introduced to, the first pet as a kid. That's just been it. It is a real grand subcultural underground, but in Europe it is just out of this world. In South Africa they have the $1 million pigeon race. These guys have grandiose races where they let thousands go and the winner wins a major prize.
VAN SUSTEREN: I read the story obviously or maybe you spoke to me when were you a boy someone came in and killed one of your pigeons in front of you. I think I would have collected pigeons after that as well.
TYSON: I don't know. It is like racing horses. Once it is in your blood. It is difficult to explain to a person that's a neophyte. It something you want to do. You just -- sometime my wife will say -- we weren't married she comes to the pigeon coop and watch me hang out there for hours, saying what are you looking for? And you are what watching them in action, watching characteristics, watching everything. There's a lot going on in their world.
VAN SUSTEREN: As I listen to you talk it reminds me of times we've spoken even about boxing and how you used to watch boxing films and you would spend hours studying how people box.
TYSON: I have an extremist personality. If I get involved with something I want to know the whole origin of it. How did they come into existence? That's how I see things.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm curious to what extent your studying the boxing makes you such a great boxer?
TYSON: I don't know. I don't know why I'm that way. If I'm involved with something, it is really -- I think I'm hardcore. In my deep core of myself, I'm hardcore when I'm involved with a project or if I want to accomplish something.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think you are a student. The things that I've watched over the years, you study it, you throw yourself into it, whether you're studying the pigeons or the boxing films, when you are studying books. I know you know a lot about history. I know you read a lot.
TYSON: Yes, from reading a lot and doing studying and history I realize the own thing really worthy of studying is the mind. Nothing else stands a chance. Nothing really matters but why do we feel the way we do? What originated that feeling? Who the first person that brought that feeling to existence? Why do we feel this way? That's more interesting than studying anything on the planet.
VAN SUSTEREN: What are you reading now?
TYSON: Mark Twain, interesting book about a slave woman, I believe that has a baby, most likely probably from the master. She exchanges it with the master's baby. This woman who is born at the apex of the new world, white Christian baby, has to know what it is like to live as -- I didn't know, what you call it, a mulatto slave. I thought that was -- I was just starting it, too. I think that is going to be interesting.
VAN SUSTEREN: You are so different in person than watching new the ring.
TYSON: I don't know. I'm a different person in the ring than I am in person. It has to be. To accomplish the goals that Cus D'Amato put inside me I have to view myself as greater than I actually am.
VAN SUSTEREN: You are so disciplined. Why are you so disciplined. I might like to sit around all day?
TYSON: I don't know. With all due respect, if I'm not disciplined I won't survive. I won't have -- I will have contempt for people. I won't be respectful to anybody. Discipline is -- this is my definition of discipline is doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it. I just balance it out in case I have confrontations. I may have ill feelings about somebody. I have to love them and be very kind. That's my definition of discipline.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who is your best friend?
TYSON: No doubt about it, my wife.
VAN SUSTEREN: Besides your wife, any guys?
TYSON: I don't want to have friends closer to me than my wife. I dedicated by life to her and hopefully she will do the same. Our goal is to take care of our children. We have eight children altogether. Our job is to make sure we take care of them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Famous people are almost like prisoners.
TYSON: We are. I was talking about that with my wife, and I spoke to somebody else about that. I live a boring life, and that's just what it is. What am I going to do out there? Tell me what I'm going to do out there? Me. Whatever you know about me, what am I going to do out there besides get a job. I can never go to a club and hang out. I can never do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: You're in "The Hangover 2"?
VAN SUSTEREN: When is it out?
TYSON: Maybe June or May.
VAN SUSTEREN: How big a part do you have?
TYSON: Just the right sized part.
VAN SUSTEREN: How many lines?
TYSON: I don't know. Not many, but ones you won't forget.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you different now than you were 15 years ago?
TYSON: Yes and no.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is the yes and where is the no?
TYSON: I'm a responsible guy now. I'm not, I don't know, I'm not like emotionally driven now. I'm not sexually-driven. I know that stuff, impulses and stuff, none of that stuff move my car anymore. I work on improving myself now, my discipline.
Say I may get a jealous feeling. Why am I feeling that way? How would that feeling come about? What reason would the jealousy come from? Why is it called green? Is green the sign of what immaturity? Green is novice. Maybe I'm immature that's why I'm jealous sometime. Maybe that comes together. That's why I study it and look at the science of it.