Mike Tyson to fight again

“You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”

Jack Nicholson as Col Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men

“Did you hear that Mike Tyson was fighting again?” asked a friend, trying to make conversation.

“Bro, you are aware I run a sports website, right?”

He nodded, almost embarrassed that he’d asked in the first place.

If you are on this planet and hadn’t heard that Mike Tyson, now 57 years old, is re-entering the ring, then you should congratulate yourself for being officially and completely off the grid.

(Which reminds me of a contest someone once told me about involving becoming the last person to find out who won the Super Bowl, but I digress.)

Yes, as far as we know, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world turned Broadway soliloquist is scheduled to fight on July 20.  This will not be a pay-per-view event as so many of his previous bouts, but rather aired on Netflix, a streaming service not known for its live sports.  Not yet anyway.  That’s all about to change, Netflix making it clear that Amazon, Hulu and Peacock are not the only ones throwing their hat into the, ahem, ring.

If you’re like me and grew up watching Mike Tyson decimate opponent after outmatched opponent, only to eventually find that life had a few haymakers in store for Iron Mike, hearing he would fight again uncovered an uneasy feeling of familiarity, of comfort, of an old camaraderie that hadn’t existed since heavyweight title fights were more important than Super Bowls, which pretty much coincided with the last time Mike Tyson was relevant.

I immediately texted BCole and suggested we throw a house party (yes, you’re invited) because that’s what was done for Tyson fights back in the day.  Just get there early.  Do you know how many people got to Tyson fights one minute too late only to find out the fight was over?  Marvis Frazier.  30 seconds.  Robert Colay.  37 seconds.  Ricardo Spain.  39 seconds.  That was a mistake you didn’t make twice.  Them either.

Those watching recent videos of Tyson training suspect he’ll destroy his opponent, Jake Paul, who I know little about because, like most of America, I stopped following boxing ages ago, opting to get my boxing fix almost solely from Rocky franchise reruns.

Despite most of America thinking Tyson will win, Las Vegas disagrees as Paul is the substantial favorite.  And while most of our emotions have probably gotten the better of us, longing for the Iron Mike of old, any of us who remember Tyson’s last few fights found them rather upsetting.  He wasn’t the Tyson we once knew.  How could he be, then or now?  He’s 57!  That’s grossly unfair to ask of anyone.

When Mike turned pro, he was as dominant an athlete as I’d ever seen, and that includes Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and anyone else you’d like to throw into that category.  It took Jordan seven years to win a title and only after he was manhandled by Boston and Detroit.  Tiger Woods, while taking the Tour by storm, would still lose his share of tournaments.  For years, not only did we not see Mike Tyson lose but he was doing things to his opponents that we’d never seen, their bodies routinely and randomly flailing at the damage he’d inflicted. 

Man, it was fun to watch.  To this day, whenever I rabbit hole the internet, or see some old Tyson compilations on TV, I will immediately stop what I’m doing and watch.  Best not to blink.

When it’s all said and done, and Tyson doesn’t look as good as the projection of his former self I hoped I’d see, I might be disappointed.  Or maybe I won’t knowing this is likely the last time I’ll see one of the greatest heavyweights in boxing history, although with him, you never know.

Forty years later, Tyson is still the sport’s biggest draw.  Professional boxing clearly needs him more than he needs it, and apparently, he still needs it badly if he’s stepping back into the ring after not having fought in as long as any of us can remember.  Hint: it was 2005, a 6th round TKO to Kevin McBride.

The anticipation before the fight, like in so many years past, should be better than the fight itself.  There’s no way the match can match the hype and there’s little way we won’t leave this event feeling guilty about wanting to watch it in the first place.  Or maybe Tyson will entertain as he always did, as he was born to do, and we’ll get one last glimpse at one man’s downright refusal to age.

Either way, like most of America, whatever the outcome, I’ll be watching.  And whether we want to admit it or not, maybe we do need Tyson on that wall.  Boxing sure does.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

6 Replies to “Mike Tyson to fight again”

  1. For some reason my ear just started to hurt.
    Paul should bring plenty of band aids.
    This could get ugly.

  2. All those people, Deac, back when Tyson was a thing (he still is), who would say they’d step into the ring with him for a million bucks.

    I’d be like, why would you want to eat out of a tube for the rest of your life?

  3. From one gambler to another, do not bet on this “fight.” Am I the only one who smells another Mayweather /McGregor sideshow, except this time it comes with a distinct WWE feel to it…

    P.S. Mike Tyson and I have the exact same number of Olympic gold medals…

  4. Everyone Puerto Rican resident feels it. Boxing and basketball are the two most important sports in Puerto Rico, and it’s blasphemy that Mike Tyson is having a match against this 27-year-old who works in the entertainment business, not in the serious world of boxing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *