Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Dec 10, 2010
The Dream of Tyson Lives On

The Dream of Tyson Lives On

By Michael Amakor

On Saturday June 11, 2005, former undisputed heavyweight champion Iron Mike Tyson suffered another humiliating and shocking defeat after a well publicized comeback, in a fight no one thought he could possibly lose.

Before the fight we caught characteristic flashes of the old invincible Mike Tyson uttering vile invectives about Kevin McBride, he’s a tomato can.” I’m gonna gut him like a fish” he barked convincingly. His rants made us all reminiscent about past bombasts from a younger Tyson who once declared “There is not a man alive today that can beat me?” Everybody was pumped up and excited because this was the trash talking super confident Mike Tyson we had come to love and we all jumped on the roller coaster ride predicting all kinds of victorious scenarios against McBride.

But Mcbride had other plans, and hit Tyson with punches that had the whole of Ireland behind it, forcing the great Mike Tyson to quit on his stool at the end of the sixth round, deeply convinced that there was no way he could get past the colossal force in front of him.

It must be bewildering to Tyson as it is too me, that this comeback ended disastrously in spite of the seemingly intensive training regimen and camp he underwent to prepare for this fight. He will always be disconsolate until he is made to understand that he is coming back to the ring against fighters now way above his skill level. Period He should have followed the example of fighters like ex champ Shannon Briggs who recently returned to the ring against journey man Abraham Okine who had only 15 fights under his belt to ease his way back into contention. Briggs was able to score a couple of knockdowns, that made him look good keeping alive his dreams of a title shot.

Tyson did the opposite, and his comeback has turned into another disaster, as the exertion of fighting at this level, at this stage of his career was too much for Iron Mike Tyson to handle and he had to quit the fight on his stool. Based on his previous annihilations of his opponents we have come to expect him to knock everybody out, but those days are long gone. It is now time for him to gut it out, something he would have gotten used to he had not gotten derailed from the ring all these past years due to spats with the law that,s made him desperate enough to take these fights. So what if you lose a fight, you suck it all up, and go back to the gym to fine tune your skills for the next fight with the conviction that it will never happen again. Former champion George Foreman’s comeback in 1987 was no easy task either as he fought over twenty opponents before regaining the title against Michael Moorer almost 8 years later.

Our collective expectations about the outcome of this fight underscores the poor analysis we received from boxing analysts who led us into thinking this fight would be a walk in the park for Tyson. Scant attention was paid to the record of Mcbride, or to the fact that he was once an IBC Heavyweight champion;  a strong point disregarded because the IBC belt is one of the less coveted belts popularly known as trinkets in boxing circles. We paid for that glaring oversight and it is time for us to change our mentality about how trinket holders are perceived because most of these fighters won these trinkets in the ring against worthy opponents in mostly competitive fights. You could make an argument that these trinket champions are on the same level as any of the more recognized champions of the IBF, WBA,WBC or WBO titles who simply benefited from the politics of the game and Don King’s control of the division, if not how do you explain Andrew Golota getting three title shots in a row.

Just think about it for a minute, boxing would be a joke if anybody including a 39 year old Tyson, could come back from years of inactivity and knock out a peak 32 year old former IBC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Mcbride who outweighed him by more than 30 pounds, Tyson definitely had this ass whopping coming and we should have known better as we had just witnessed his past disaster against priming WBU Intercontinental and British Heavyweight Champion Danny Williams.

So you can imagine my despair when Tyson began to talk about how he no longer had it in him to continue boxing, repeatedly hinting at retirement and all that. It is not the first time that I have been exasperated by not only Tyson, but by boxing fans and critics alike in their theories about fighters leaving the sport with their legacies intact, supporting as he claims that he will not disgrace the sport by continuing. But Tyson’s legacy will forever remain intact, as nobody can downplay his past achievements, his story will just simply be told in two segments – Pre- Douglas and Post Douglas. We should be aware that hasty pronouncements about Tyson can break his spirit and derail the Baddest man on the planet onto the frightful path of permanent retirement, We cannot allow this to happen as he has no other apparent skills to fall back on, it is quite possible that he will self destruct and end up like the late great Sonny Liston as he once foretold, so we better start beating the war drums to stop him from doing so in spite of himself.

A grievous mistake by Tyson and his team on the comeback trail has been his long standing break up with legendary promoter Don King, who has blocked the road to the title, forcing Mike to fight overseas as he brags to everybody with some proof about how Tyson made much more money with him as his promoter. He also pointed out how Tyson’s career has spiraled downhill during his comeback due to poor management. After a selective and narrow based excavation through the mountain of files about Tyson’s recent comebacks, and the disastrous results thereafter I was forced to agree with the King to the outraged consternation of insiders aware of irrelevant details to my narrow based quest.

It is very important to note that Tyson has been terribly mismanaged in his recent comeback by a team of senseless opportunists who know nothing about the sweet science and have taken Tyson on a roller coaster ride of inglorious disasters. In light of his age and lack of real pugilistic experience recently, he should have been matched against fighters from the very lower echelons of the division. His team could have picked virtually any opponent for Tyson to fight as boxing fans simply wanted Mike to make a comeback against anybody in knockout fashion. Instead, able fighters were selected, who were in their prime. The end result was that poor boxing fans who purchased this pay per view event, ended up seeing Iron Mike Tyson getting humiliated in the ring for no reason.

On the upside for me after disparaging his team is that perhaps I have it completely wrong. The manner in which Tyson lost both fights has me wondering whether these fights were fixed, we all know Tyson came into these fights as a heavy favorite to win; perhaps his team placed a million dollar wager against him. You can only imagine the enormous payday his team could have reaped from this sneaky and devious move. Right now they must be laughing themselves hoarse as the escape through the back door like a couple of bandits with all our money while we moan in grief. Tyson may not have been in on it from the beginning and may have been once again cheated by people he trusts. However, I believe Tyson is smart enough to know that he could not win that fight in his condition, but he accepted the fight for a payday. I would like to think that he is smart albeit not too late in a way we can never understand, either by doing it himself, or he was informed about the wager placed against him after the fact. That payday may have informed his calm acceptance of his defeat, this loot hidden away overseas may have mitigated the loss to him in his mind as he calmly plays out his cards so he can be left alone to enjoy his loot. A very Smart move I wished, dreamed and hoped really happened so at least Tyson would not be totally broke as he looks to his future.

However, Tyson needs to keep on fighting, so he better get his game in order, because there is still more loot on the table along with several lucrative fights to be made. Already I can hear the whispers for a trilogy against Evander Holyfield, soon after that fight the drums will start beating for a Brooklyn Heavyweight title fight against Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe. These fights could happen in the future as Holyfield is still determined to once again become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Bowe is back to prove something, and Tyson needs to pay off his numerous debtors. Tyson should realize there will be no escape from his debtors, who will still have to be paid, which means that Tyson will likely have to get back into the gym and work himself into shape, regardless of how poor of a showing he put up against Kevin McBride last Saturday night.

Tyson once understanding the reality of his situation and through some miraculous extraordinary event commissioned me to be his team manager, I immediately changed his attitude overnight from the humble and soft spoken pretending actor he was becoming to, a fearless and venomous thug, engaging in street fights, cussing during press conferences, and giving the press bombastic quotes for their readers. You need to regain your fans and add new fans, I yell at him.

Secondly, I succeeded in radicalizing his mentality so much so that he regained his satanic rage against an establishment that punished him at the slightest provocation, I made him believe every opponent represented the system out to get him. To help with his siege mentality, I arranged for him to hang out and train with his age mate and former undisputed  Middleweight champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, a mentally tough and hard working fighter, whose rage against the system still burns strong through numerous defenses. I also hired James Toney to act as one of his spokesmen.

My next act was to strengthen his training camp by adding Big George Foreman to the team as a sparing partner and mentor. George relished the opportunity and showed Mike how not to quit under fire, occasionally landing an uppercut during sparring to prove to himself he could have beaten Tyson at anytime. I also delicately maneuvered Tyson into a position where he made an offer that could not be refused in the manner meant when employed in the Godfather mafia movie, that forced his former trainer Teddy Atlas to train him. Teddy’s soul consolation during the whole evolving saga was that he had the right to pull the trigger on a loaded gun whenever Tyson deviated from their agreed upon strict training program, or if Tyson even uttered one angry response to Teddy’s characteristic abusive reprimands.

Tyson also went ahead to re-hire the services of Steve” Crocodile” Fitch, his former sun-glassedFormer champ Mike Tyson and promoter Don King loud mouthed, trash talking oratorical speaker to intimidate everybody, this feat added great excitement as everybody began rooting for Tyson to get back into the ring, if only to get his a$$ spanked once again. To say the least the pay per view predictions were unbelievable. My joy knew no bounds when in an unprecedented move he had a real reunion with Don King publicly forgiving each other for all sins both real and imagined committed against each other. The King, of course was gracious and became so excited that he immediately began a campaign of monumental proportions to clear the way for a title shot, and like Don King will tell you anything is entirely possible in America.

Suddenly Tyson regained his form, and everybody knew it as he began to knock out every mediocre opponent in front of him in devastating fashion and the world of boxing, the public, and the media were abuzz again with tales of Tyson on the history channel network  The complacent current undisputed champion envious about Tyson popularity lulled into a false sense of security due to his press clippings and the urging of his stooges agreed to a 50/50 cut to step into the ring against the BADDEST man on the planet for a record purse and boxing immortality. The buildup to that fight was monumental and the gate surpassed every record in the books.

Everything went wrong for Tyson in that fight as he took a beating, until some time in the third round when, an angry and victimized Mike Tyson suddenly unleashed a vicious double uppercut deep down from the depths of hell packing with it all the bottled up rage against the system, his frustration about the downturn in his career, and the pain of his dire financial situation from pending alimony payments to his ex-wives all fused into his fist that connected flush to the jaw of the champion… and then in slow motion the world watched as the referee slowly waved off the fight, starring in horrified excitement as the champion slowly crashed down to the canvas, and the fans at Madison Garden rose in slow motion and went completely berserk because Mike Tyson is now the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world once again.

In the midst of the rain of graffiti and exploding fireworks, a contorted looking Mike Tyson suddenly snatched the microphone from Larry Merchant and the arena become dead silent as Tyson delivered one of the most bombastic and abusive speeches in living memory about how he hated everybody and had now decided to eat all our children.

My children, all of a sudden I was rudely awaken from my slumber and I realized that I had just had a nightmare or was it a dream, I was still pondering this question by press time.

Punch On


Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.

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2 Responses to “The Dream of Tyson Lives On”

  1. Michael says:

    It has now been 20 years today since Mike Tyson shockingly lost the heavyweight title to Buster Douglas in Tokyo and as we revisit its significance in boxing history, some people still lament about what could have been if the youngest undisputed champion had not lost that day 20 years ago, a tragedy still vivid in the minds of boxing fans as if it happened yesterday. In his first steps in fulfillment of this article hopes Tyson and Don King re-united even if for a brief moment, Tyson made a movie and Buster Douglas has been doing the radio talk show circuit, who knows there may be a possibility that Tyson may step back in the ring to settle the score just like Hopkins is trying to do versus Roy Jones.

  2. Michael says:

    It has been reported that Tyson will be inducted into the Hall of’s about time