"I'm not too estatic to be be here." Iron Mike disappointed many...including me...by not answering the bell for the start of the 7th round. Mike, who just looked like he didn't want to fight at all, ended this fight as he ended his career.....shamed. He just realized what so many of us have known for quite a few years now: he just doesn't have it anymore.
Back in the day....the picture of Tyson entering the ring usually featured a scared opponent standing across from him. Nothing looked more fierce than Tyson entering the ring.
"I need to knock this white boy out in the first round or I'm done." As Tyson has done over the second half of his career....he can come out with some power, but that fades quickly. If you can get past the first few rounds unscathed...then the fight becomes infinitely easier. After, say, Round 2....Tyson can only muster up about 20-30 seconds of fight in each remaining round.
"Just hold on. Just hold on." He's been holding on for years. Still bankable, Tyson has been involved is some no-name bouts in the past 5 years. Lennox Lewis was his last big fight....and he actually did decent early in that fight. Since then, Tyson is holding on to a thought that he may get it back...just as Foreman and Holyfield did at advanced ages. And Tyson can squeeze more money than those guys can.
"Who hit me?? Buster McDouglas??" If there is any name that may define Tyson's career [Spinks and Holyfield's ear might come close]...it is Buster Douglas. That fight in Tokyo...which was held 15 years ago...was the one that really sent Tyson reeling. It was building to this...but Tyson was just so "unbeatable"that we couldn't fathom him losing to anyone....let alone a guy named Buster Douglas. We saw Iron Mike slap around fighters that would run rings around Douglas. Yet, it was that fight against Douglas that will forever split his career in two parts. Mike the Champion turned into Mike the Sideshow.
"I just got whipped my HIM???!?!" And that is the saddest part of all. I am a Mike Tyson fan. Always have been. Despite all the crap that has gone on...I root for him. I root for him in every fight. For a while there....the only fights I would buy would have Tyson on the card....just so I can see if he can get back to the top. I've wanted to believe that Tyson could turn the corner. I wanted to believe that when he came out of prison. I wanted to believe that when he had to beg to get back into boxing after the Holyfield fight. I really wanted to believe that when he fought Lewis in Memphis. Many of us did. Even if we joke about him or whatever....we wanted to see him turn it around. The people who supported Mike are most disappointed in this.
Irish eyes are smiling. Fifteen years ago...would you have imagined that this picture would follow a Tyson fight? As Mike said...this may be his last fight. I really want to believe that to be true. I don't think he has the will, nor the skills, to fight competitvely any longer. And that is fine. I'm glad he got to that point before he got in a ring unprepared and something happened to him physically.
And my hope is that in Tyson's post-boxing career...there will be people that still surround him. People with Tyson's best interests at heart. If what was said is true...it was Tyson's decision to stop fighting, but he was willing to go one if his corner told him to. They wanted him to stop. If anything good comes from this...I hope that those peoplethat were willing to save Tyson from further harm in the ring may stick around to help him outside of it. As we all know and have seen...the people that surrounded Mike at his peak weren't there in DC last night. Because many of the people that usually buy his fights.....people like me.....didn't.
So, God bless ya Mike in whatever you do and wherever you go. Thanks for the ride!!