July 31, 2004

End of a career; end of an era

Iron Mike Tyson sat dazed, battered and bloodied on the canvas in Louisville last night after Brit Danny Williams laid him flat with a barrage of head shots that dropped the one-time "baddest man on the planet."

Tyson hit the ring for the first time in 17 months last night in an anticipated return to the sport. Tyson's out-of-ring troubles of late have been primarily financial, with his fortune gone in a spate of virtually throwing money away on his bad-boy activities. Recent stories claimed that Mike was living on the handouts of others, and that he needed this match to alleviate virtually millions in debt that he had accumulated.

Tyson came out for this fight at 233 pounds, the heaviest that he's been for a fight.

Tyson unloaded a battery of savage punches in the first round that rocked Williams and nearly took the British champion off his feet. But with each round following, Tyson's luster got duller and duller as Williams began to brawl toe-to-toe with Tyson.

Finally, at 2:51 in the fourth round, and after the unanswered barrage to Tyson's head, the former heavyweight champion staggered backward and went down hard. He sat in a daze as referee Dennis Alfred began to count. When Alfred got to five, he stopped a moment to get Williams to go to a neutral corner, but the extra time didn't help Tyson. Tyson began to try to stagger to his feet by the count of seven, but it was too late.

The fight, and arguably Tyson's career, was over.

The man only knows how to brawl. He cannot speak well. He has no other training, and thanks to both his own bad-boy activities and others who took advantage of him, Mike Tyson is broke.

Where does he go from here?

Posted by mhking at July 31, 2004 08:00 AM

Actually he wasn't at his heaviest. He fought Brian Neilsen at 239 1/2 and Lennox Lewis at 234.

Tyson's career was pretty much over before then. He hadn't fought in 17 months. As Felix Trinidad is about to find out, that layoff isn't something you can simply get over and be the same fighter you were before.

Posted by: Expertise at July 31, 2004 08:22 AM

Expect a form of the word "murder" and Tyson in a headline one day.


Posted by: DarkStar at July 31, 2004 08:46 AM

Tyson is essentially a 19 year old who've never mature beyond that age. At 19, he becomes the yongest champ ever. At 19 is also 'round the time his former guardian and mentor died, and he's essentially passed onto Don King. Yep, the worse thing that could've happened to him is Don King (I'm not absolving his inability to grow up, but King is truely a force of nature when it comes to sucking money).

So he went from a very regimented and focused boxing training to a bunch of yes-men. No wonder he had no need to grow up when you have so many leaches who sucked the last dime out of his bank account while saying everything he wants to hear. Training? What training?

It's sad to see someone so gifted in talent being waylaid by his own brain.

Posted by: BigFire at July 31, 2004 12:19 PM

I miss the old Mike.

Posted by: avery at July 31, 2004 12:40 PM

Tyson is a thug, was a thug, will be a thug. Why is it that someone with talent in a single area can act absolutely terrible in all other areas of their lives and not be held accountable, in fact be idolized? Strawberry comes to mind, Rose, a slew of hip hoppers.... ye gads.

Posted by: GMRoper at July 31, 2004 01:58 PM

Tyson should join the French Foreign Legion.

Posted by: Cobb at July 31, 2004 05:01 PM

Williams was fighting for his life - no one *wants* to be dinner.

"Welcome to BurgerKing, may I take your order?"

Posted by: Deb at July 31, 2004 10:42 PM

Tyson's life essentially ended when D'Amato died. He's not smart, he's not even bright and he may have some mental problems. Without someone to look out for him he's hopeless.

Posted by: kimberley at August 1, 2004 09:53 PM

Well, he can go to K-1/Pride competition in Japan. He can start an acting career, etc..

Posted by: Stan LS at August 2, 2004 05:20 PM

Your last paragraph stung. I disagree that he was only a brawler. Not at all true when he was in his prime. He was a studious pupil of the sweet science when he was being managed by his original group and father figure. He knew how to defend, had patient, methodical ring saavy a-plenty and launched lightning-fast, precision bombs at his opponents. Really, look at the old tapes.

I also think it's an old boxer=stupid myth re Tyson's intelligence. Sure, he lacked a proper education, and I'm not saying he was any Einstein (tho who knows what kind of potential he had, really), but he was certainly no dumber than yer average blue-collar sanitation engineer. I've seen and read some rather thoughtful, insightful comments from him. Here're a few...

"I feel like sometimes that I was born, that I'm not meant for this society because everyone here is a f**king hypocrite. Everybody says they believe in God but they don't do God's work. Everybody counteracts what God is really about. If Jesus was here, do you think Jesus would show me any love? Do you think Jesus would love me? I'm a Muslim, but do you think Jesus would love me ... I think Jesus would have a drink with me and discuss ... why you acting like that? Now, he would be cool. He would talk to me. No Christian ever did that and said in the name of Jesus even ... They'd throw me in jail and write bad articles about me and then go to church on Sunday and say Jesus is a wonderful man and he's coming back to save us. But they don't understand that when he comes back, that these crazy greedy capitalistic men are gonna kill him again."

Mike, on his mother who died in 1982: "I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn't pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally."

"Everyone in boxing probably makes out well except for the fighter. He's the only one that's on Skid Row most of the time; he's the only one that everybody just leaves when he loses his mind. He sometimes goes insane, he sometimes goes on the bottle, because it's a highly intensive pressure sport that allows people to just lose it [their self-control]."

"I'm the most irresponsible person in the world. The reason I'm like that is because, at 21, you all gave me $50 or $100 million, and I didn't know what to do. I'm from the ghetto. I don't know how to act. One day I'm in a dope house robbing somebody. The next thing I know, 'You're the heavyweight champion of the world.' ... Who am I? What am I? I don't even know who I am. I'm just a dumb child. I'm being abused. I'm being robbed by lawyers. I think I have more money than I do. I'm just a dumb pugnacious fool. I'm just a fool who thinks I'm someone. And you tell me I should be responsible?"

"I'm just a dark guy from a den of iniquity. A dark shadowy figure from the bowels of iniquity. I wish I could be Mike who gets an endorsement deal. But you can't make a lie and a truth go together. This country wasn't built on moral fiber. This country was built on rape, slavery, murder, degradation and affiliation with crime."

He was, as others have said, also painfully immature though. Your comment about other training, however, rings true. Mebbe he can do the Ben Johnson (ex-track and field god) thing and be a personal trainer for some rich Arab's son. He did alright in a movie I saw him in once (i forget the name, Brooke Sheilds was in it, playin ghetto filmographer or something). He's gotta have some transferrable skillz (I hope, for his sake).

Posted by: memer at August 3, 2004 10:28 AM
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