Boxing


Why do we still crave Mike Tyson?

26.12.04 - By Matt Phillips: Love him or loath him, Mike Tyson is a legend. Not everybody is qualified enough to have an opinion on him but yet they do. Even in certain countries in Eastern Europe and Asia where God, Jesus and the rest of the Bible have never been heard of Mike Tyson could cause an argument on who is the greatest heavyweight on the planet this.. That's even more amazing when you think that Tyson hasnít even held a world title for almost a decade. So why do we all still believe that he is arguable the best. To say that he is bigger than God would not be an exaggeration. So is it any surprise to find out that he has a army of loyal fans waiting to see him lift the Heavyweight World title again?

Being a member of this army, I find myself being bombarded with questions: Will he ever get to the top again? Has he lost the plot? Why is he so self-destructive? And basically, what is his problem? The list of questions we, the loyal troops have is endless and our mission is to find the answer. Our only worry is that one-day weíll wake up one morning and hear of his premature death, which would be, without a doubt, self infected and we would never know the truth.

Mikeís life reads like a book with every chapter being numbered and titled and keeping you on the edge of your seat. From his days as a street punk growing up or being dragged up in Brownsville, Brooklyn all the way through to a defeat by an embarrassingly bad boxer called Danny Williams from London, England.

I think we all fell in love with Tyson in the first place when we heard of his hard past and his rough upbringing. His claims of being the baddest man on the planet made us tune into him, and for a while, we believed that he might be. However, does the baddest man on the planet have a conscious because quite clearly Tyson appears to. He openly admits to suffering depression and this is sparked by the way he lives his life. Heís let people down in the past, from family to friends to the ever-adoring public that he knows he means so much to.

A common trend with depression is to have a need to punish yourself and Tyson is very much a stereotypical case. He punishes himself in public and to be honest loves being hated. The feeling of real love, something that he hasnít experienced for a while would probably be too much for him and make him lash out. The fact is, Mike has plenty of complete strangers out there loving him but he doesnít seem to acknowledge them. He has respect for people like the late Reggie Kray, who sent him a letter from prison while Mike was in Manchester fighting Julius Francis. Reggie was a one the worldís most notorious gangsters who controlled the East End of London in the 1950ís. Surely we donít all have to be villains to get respect from our hero.

The fact of the matter is that Tyson has kept us entertained in the ring over the years. Destroying people within seconds and being unpredictable at every turn. No one puts bums on seats like Mike, and we all know that it will be sad to see him go and that is why we hold on to him so tightly. Heís given us joys and tears over the years with his drama in and out of the ring and the ever-growing headache that you get wishing that he would just get his act together.

One thing is for certain, had Cus DíMato still been around Mike Tyson would be a very different story. We honestly believe that he would never have gone to prison and would never have lost, and would be undoubtedly be the greatest. However, life has something different up its sleeve for all of us. We crave the old Mike Tyson and if/when he returns, long live the king.

Article posted on 26.12.2004



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