Boxing


Tyson Becomes Vegas Act

mike tyson31.08.06 - By Craig Parrish: It has been reported by the Associated Press that Former Heavyweight Champ “Iron” Mike Tyson has set up “training camp” at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The opponent he is training for? None. In fact Tyson has said that he has no plans to return to the ring and that he “truly hates fighting”.

The reason that Tyson is willing to get in the makeshift ring by the hotel’s buffet is simple: he needs the money. Tyson is still millions of dollars in debt and with no plans to return to the ring in earnest, it is highly unlikely that he will ever pay back the money he owes to his creditors. But in the meantime, he is willing to get in the ring and work the mitts with Trainer Jeff Fenech as onlookers gawk.

Just as his “Simpsons” alter ego Drederick Tatum was reduced to working the door at a casino, Tyson has now landed in Vegas at the end of his career. After years of spectacular ring victories laced with sad episodes from his bizarre personal life, here he is. He claims to be trying to be a “simple man”, and put thoughts of the millions of dollars he wasted behind him. In the meantime, he needs to make a living so when the Hotel called with the training camp proposal, Tyson agreed.

The similarity to the current state of Tyson and that of the great Joe Louis is disturbing. After retirement, Louis was informed by the Government that he owed thousands of dollars in back taxes on money he had donated to charity. Unable to pay, Louis went back in the ring for a few fights, appeared on game shows, refereed fights, and finally landed in Vegas as little more than a sideshow attraction. At the end of his life he was nearly destitute, and was unable to pay for his own funeral.

It is well known that Tyson is a historian of the sport of boxing. I’m sure that the fate of Louis is not far from his mind in his current situation. Hopefully Tyson can create some opportunities for himself to try to avoid a similar fate. But he’s not asking for pity. Tyson was quoted as saying “I had a great life. I had twenty lives. No way should they be sympathetic to me”.

After all he has done, or been accused of doing, it is hard to feel sympathy for Tyson today. But if you look at that 19 year old kid who would get in the ring and destroy people, then rush to their corner to see if they were okay, you can’t help but feel a twinge of incredible waste. If Cus D’Amato were alive today, it would break his heart.

Article posted on 01.09.2006



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