Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Jan 22, 2011


By Michael Amakor

On June 11, “Iron” Mike Tyson fights Kevin “The Clones Collossus” Mcbride at the MCI Center in Washington DC in a non title fight.

Iron Mike Tyson is no stranger to even the most casual boxing fan, under the tutelage of the legendary boxing trainer Cus D’amato he rampaged through the Heavyweight Division fighting as many as fifteen times in 1985 alone. He rose through the rankings like a meteor and after only twenty months as a professional he challenged WBC champion Trevor Berbick for the title on November 22nd 1986, he promptly knocked out Berbick in dramatic fashion in the second round to become the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the world at the tender age of 20.

He went on to annex the WBA and IBF titles from James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony Tucker respectively to become the first and youngest man in history to unify all the Heavyweight belts. He went on to defend his unified belt six times by crushing the challenges of seasoned veterans like Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks and Frank Bruno.

His dominance and title reign suddenly came to an end when he faced Buster Douglas in far away Japan, his poor preparation and conditioning got exposed and he entered the ring unfocused and lethargic. Buster sealed his fate by fighting valiantly enough to tire out Tyson before knocking him out with punches heard around the world and for the first time knocking out the once invincible Iron Mike Tyson.

After that the fairy tale story took a dive into darkness as personal problems outside the ring along with deaths in his management team, disputes with his new trainer and marital problems distracted him from the strict training regimen and focus that had carried him all the way to the pinnacle of boxing. His training skills deteriorated considerable thereafter and his opponents became more determined not to go out like a flame.

He managed to overcome challenges to his supremacy and was seemingly working his way back into title contention before he got sidetracked by rape charges. He was convicted of the charges and spent fifty months in jail while the world of boxing continued in a sleepy state awaiting the return of the king, he was eventually released in 1995 and the world of boxing was waiting to receive him with pomp and pageantry.

There was no doubt that he would be champion again as his manager and promoter Don King controlled the champions – and with a cash machine like Tyson the coast was already clear for his comeback to reclaim his titles. This situation with King allowed Mike to feast on mediocre opponents before stepping up against flat footed defenseless Frank Bruno in a rematch for the WBC Heavyweight title, Tyson showed he was even much better by battering Bruno out in three rounds as opposed to seven rounds the last time the fought. He went on to seize the WBA version of the title from an awe struck and terrified Bruce Seldon who caved from the very first shot in the first round no doubt from the feared Tyson punch but also from a nod by Don King present at ringside.

With just eight easy rounds and a long rest in jail behind him, he accepted the challenge from Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield in a long awaited fight that had to be postponed due to his stint in jail. But this time he had bitten off more than he could chew as Evander to date has never laid down for anybody and still is a durable ex champion even after all the numerous wars he has been involved – he is perhaps the very last of the fifteen rounders. Most fighters on the comeback trail are usually advised to fight a couple of journey men before taking on the lions of the division, Tyson did so in non competitive bouts against opponents already primed to go down at the slightest provocation and some might say due to the threats from Don King who controlled all the belts at the time. He was ill-prepared for the Holyfield assignment and was lulled into a false sense of security by his press clippings.

And in a another ring magazine acknowledged fight of the year and upset of the year The Real Deal ate all of Tyson’s shots and out boxed him thoroughly before stopping him in the 11th round shocking the boxing world. A rematch was ordained by a world hoping for his redemption, but that fight turned into an absolute disaster as a thoroughly frustrated Mike Tyson Bit off Holyfield’s left ear earning himself a disqualification, a fine and a sparking a row of bans by state boxing authorities that effectively banned him from the sport for almost two years.

Since then his ring experience have been marked by stints in prison and contratual disputes dessipating his enthusiasm for the game. Due to his ban in the US he could only fight overseas against mediocre opposition and a series of money problems and bankruptcy threats forced him into accepting a fight against Lennox Lewis knowing he could not beat him. He put up a brave effort but nevertheless got mauled by Lennox Lewis who knocked him flat down on his back forever crushing whatever invincibility he had left.

He took another hiatus away from the ring as he fought through bankruptcy and divorce proceedings before stepping into the ring against journey man Danny Williams who shocked him by knocking him out in the 5th round. During the fight Tyson tore his knee ligament which somehow mitigated the disaster of this loss, now he is pumped to take on the suitably nicknamed Cloned Collossus.

Now not much is universally known about the six foot six, two hundred and fifty plus pound Mcbride, the fragments of what we do know has been recently scalped together by boxing historians digging for anything to present the picture of a credible opponent. You may be interested to know that he is the Irish Heavyweight champion who also represented his dear Ireland unsuccessfully in the Olympics. Your eyes will widen when you discover that he won the unknown IBC Americas Heavyweight Title in 2002, but you will shake your head in despair when you realize that he lost to both Axel Shultz and Davaryl Williamson inside the distance by technical knockout.

In this fight he has a few advantages, one that Tyson is now a family man and not the same raving angry puncher he once was in the ring.Secondly he is Irish probably cut from the same ilk as his kinsman Irish Micky Ward and he is boasting about how his punch will pack all the fury of Ireland behind it, thirdly his weight might be an overbearing factor in his favor if he can lean on and tie up Iron Mike in clinches long enough to possibly exascebate the injury to Tyson’s recently repaired torn knee ligament which may force a capitulation by a burnt out Mike Tyson before the beginning of the fourth round.

Now back in the day there would have been no question about the outcome of this fight because Mcbride is tailor made to fall victim to Tyson devastating double uppercut. But Tyson’s vaunted uppercut no longer packs the power it once did and Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Danny Williams took those same shots before rebounding to plaster him to the canvas.

However nothing is guaranteed with Iron Mike and in this bout suitably dubbed, “Anything Can Happen”. At 39 we may catch a glimpse of his old form and some of the anger is coming to precede the fight as he was quoted as saying “I’m an icon. I’m an international star” further vowing that “”I’m interested in winning. Whether its the first round, second round, or the tenth.”

He may now be hungrier than ever as he tries to come up with the other half of the payment to a house he is trying to buy. He may get that half by just stepping into the ring but then he would need some extra cash to go on the wild shopping sprees for the pet tigers and exotic pigeons he is accustomed too – it can all be had if he can get through the colossus in front of him and you have to reckon that he knows that.

May the best man win.


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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