Published: February 21, 2005
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 21, 2005 12:00 AM
Bob Arum has a renewed interest in promoting Mike Tyson, who plans to resume training this week in Phoenix for another comeback.
“You will see me fight again,” Tyson said Friday night while sitting at ringside with Arum at Fort McDowell Casino.
Arum has had ongoing talks with Tyson, who repeated his plans Saturday night during the HBO telecast of Bernard Hopkins’ 20th defense of his middleweight title.
“We spoke while he was in Florida,” Arum said of the ex-heavyweight champ, who was at trainer Buddy McGirt’s gym in Vero Beach, Fla.
It’s not clear who will work with him at Central Boxing on west Van Buren Street. Freddie Roach is getting Manny Pacquiao ready for Erik Morales on March 19.
Arum had an $80 million deal for three fights before Danny Williams’ upset of Tyson last summer knocked it off the table.
Since Tyson’s knee surgery, there have been the usual mixed messages and controversy. It wouldn’t be Tyson without them.
He said in New York he wasn’t sure he wanted to fight again. He was alleged to have jumped onto the hood of a car outside of a Scottsdale nightclub. Friday night, he was relaxed, friendly and looked to be close to his fighting weight.
Arum is approaching Tyson the only way anybody ever can:
Yet, he remains intrigued by a 38-year-old who never seems to run out of chances.
“We’ll see,” Arum said. “First of all, it’s important for him to get his confidence back. Put him in two or three fights to restore confidence that he can beat anybody. Take him abroad. Put him on free TV. Don’t ask people to pay big money the first few times out. That just would make everybody mad.”
After Williams, Arum offered to promote Tyson back up through ranks in the humble style that regained a heavyweight title for a 45-year-old George Foreman.
Tyson wasn’t interested. Yet, he still needs to fight his way out of bankruptcy, which he declared a year ago. Therein rests a dangerous dilemma.
After Tyson absorbed a succession of brain-rocking punches from Williams, Roach said all the money in the world isn’t worth much if you can’t count it.
In a ringside seat and in the gym, Tyson always looks as if he can still fight. Only in his mind, however, will anybody ever know whether he really wants to. It’s a huge gamble, but maybe Arum has calculated it’s still one worth taking.”