Sunday, August 1, 2004

Mike Tyson

Friday night, Mike Tyson was KO’d in the 4th round by nobody Danny Williams [today, it is known that Tyson tore a tendon in his knee during the fight]. This could mark the end of a very tragic career. I’m not going to rehash everything good and bad that has happened in his career. You know it or can easily find out.

Everyone points to Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear as pretty much the point of his career where he completely skewed off into a sideshow. I remember that fight. That was probably the biggest fight party I ever had. The summer of 1997. I still have that fight on tape. But that fight just showed me how Tyson was view among me and my friends. At that point….he was both what he was and what he would be. One heck of a menace.

I think men like Mike Tyson like we like the movie “Scarface”. Both are stories about guys that came out of a horrible place….looking to capture the American dream. Both achieved it…but both did so with a little blood on their hands. Yet, knowing this….there is something childlike about both that in a way captivates you and draws you into them. Kinda like you feel sorry for them.

And, in retrospect of his career….Tyson won’t be regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever. He either murdered you in the first few rounds….or had to figure out a way to last the rest of the fight. The early Tyson had much more technical skill than the Tyson of the 90s. It’s obvious that Tyson’s gifts were his power and speed….but those things leave with age. And that is all Tyson relied on….and that isn’t good enough anymore. In his career….he never defeated the top heavyweights of his era. Holyfield, Bowe and Lewis. We all remember those big fights….but Tyson usually ended up on the losing side. Yet, he is easily to most bankable. His fights sell tickets and PPV buys. I mean, his Friday night fight in Louisville against a no-name draws more attention than Klitchko would outside of boxing fans. And that is why Tyson can keep fighting.

Of course, Tyson blew away $300M [how?] and needs to pay some debts. So we probably will keep watching these Tyson bouts with no-names. Aside from the money, these fights will do nothing for his career or legacy. He’ll either win and no one will be impressed or he will lose and keep his greatness a distant memory. Either way…there is no way any of the top fighters will risk getting in the ring anymore….so Tyson won’t be able to get that big payday. And that iswhy Tyson will keep fighting.

I hope Tyson keeps fighting. I mean, I don’t want to see what ends up with him without boxing. How can this guy function without (a) money, (b) the limelight and people caring about him. Yeah…people care about him because of the money that falls their way off him…..but without boxing, no one will help him. At least in boxing, he is regulated somewhat. But, I wasn’t about to spend $45 for that fight. And I doubt that I’d fork over that kind of money for another Tyson fight…unless in was against Roy Jones. What would Tyson due in retirement?? It pains to think about that. And like my earlier comparison to “Scarface”, Tyson could elect to get out of both boxing….and life….in a blaze of glory.

I’ve been a Tyson fan. So it saddens me to watch how his career and life has played out.


no1mekanik said...

i agree with your opinion i also have been a tyson fan for many years the one big ticket fight that tyson almost lost was razor ruddock .   he has always been catered to by the way of opponents.  it is truly sad to see the lack of managment within the tyson camp.  it was all down hill after his trainer died...  
i noticed civility in tyson real sportsmanship this time out i hope he can retain that and one thing i know about bankruptcy court he will definately have more after it all then he did before it.....

jay ozonepark

monponsett said...

If Tyson reads this column, I will give him $75 for his Siberian Tiger.