Can Mike Tyson Rekindle the Old Flames?


Published: February 21, 2005

By Jason Petock:
Word has it that a legendary fighter who
struck terror in the fragile hearts of his opponents and was once a
Showtime network regular, may resurface on the boxing scene sometime in
the coming months. This man’s reign was the tale that was told across
the nations and beyond. During his take over and dominance of the sport
of boxing, no foe stood in his way and his path was one destined for
fame and glory. He achieved recognition and notoriety in his career,
and his name will echo in the halls of boxing’s elite for centuries to
come. This once luminous talent who had the world in his grasp at one
point is apparently on the comeback trail once more for one final
chance at bat. The mere mention of the name “Iron” Mike Tyson conjures
up a variety of emotions in us all from fear, to respect, to hope, to
despair and even to loathing in some.

Time is a master of cruel jokes and is well known for waiting
for no one. In Tyson’s case, time was definitely on his side as a
youth, but has been slipping away from him since his legal battles and
untimely incarceration years ago. The man is the most discussed, most
criticized and most publicized sports figure and boxer of modern times.
The media hangs on his every breath and lies in wait, hoping for the
next big catastrophe of news story involving Mike Tyson with an almost
undeniable bloodlust at times. There are even detractors of the boxer
whose sole intention is to block any shred of decency or positive
characteristic that may surface of shine through Tyson’s demeanor or
attitude. He is an icon to some of us and a train wreck to others.
However you feel about Mike Tyson, you can’t help, but acknowledge his
sheer impact on boxing, even in defeat and hardship.

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).

I can recall quite vividly as if it were yesterday where I was when
Lennox Lewis stood in the ring, beating his chest over the man I had
always admired and respected regardless of his shortcomings or faults
in life. An acquaintance of mine had invited me, my girlfriend and a
few of our friends to view the bout at his house and I graciously
accepted. In the past I usually declined to watch fights with others
because once the alcohol started flowing freely the voices started to
elevate and I couldn’t hear the fight or the commentary. It would be
virtually impossible to relate this to a non-boxing pundit, seeing as
most of the fair weather fans that I have known have very little
knowledge, appreciation or general interest in the sport in actuality.
Their interest usually extends to the flash of a fighters nickname or
the sequins on his trunks in most cases I’ve found.

The thing I remember most as I saw Mike Tyson sprawled out on
the canvas was the jubilation and ranting among many in the house.
Through the fight there were two women who were far from three sheets
to the wind, but who felt the need and desire to scream repeatedly,
“Rapist! Rapist! Kill him Lewis!” and various other outbursts similar
to that effect the entire evening. I sat quietly in disappointment and
muted tongue as I wondered to myself if this truly was the end for
Tyson and if so why did I have to witness it in this fashion?

To many the defeat of Mike Tyson by both Lennox Lewis and
Danny Williams served as both the beginning of the end for him and his
eulogy at the same time. But for those of us who support him it was
more of a wake up call. It was a true realization that maybe not
everything is as it seems and that boxing has changed dramatically
since the imagined reincarnation of Jack Dempsey shocked us all in the
arrival and form of a young Tyson in his prime.

I read a really solid interview with Buddy McGirt that
informed me that Mike may return on the scene in the future. However, I
don’t believe everything that I read (especially if it’s on the
internet – present site excluded of course) and my highly acute
skepticism tends to get the better of me all too often. I truly hope in
my heart that he does something soon, because the Heavyweight division
needs cleaning up in a major way and I believe he’s just the man to do
it. His actual return (with intense rededication and focus) to the
boxing ranks would be just the kick in the pants that boxing needs
these days.

Now I know what you’re thinking and I don’t necessarily blame
you. You’re probably saying to yourself and anyone who will listen,
“Sure, we’ve heard this malarkey before too many times. Your boy is
washed up, old news and a has-been.” You’re not only entitled to that
opinion, but probably not alone in your viewpoints. I’ve been reading
that same negativity about Mike Tyson for as long as I can remember so
feel free to continue, because as you are most likely well aware it is
a free country. Deep down (call me delusional if you must) I think he
has another window of opportunity here. It is an extremely limited and
rather narrow window, but it does exist. Maybe I’m just grasping at
straws or being an eternal optimist when it comes to Tyson, but I
believe there’s something still there. There has to be.

Those of us who have a fair understanding or concept of the
mechanics of boxing also know that “Iron” Mike Tyson still has all the
tools and capabilities in his arsenal to still be successful in the
sport. Granted, Father Time has stolen several of his finest years, but
his gifts have never left him. As a youth Mike was an encyclopedia of
boxing history and fact and as his new trainer Buddy McGirt has
suggested accurately, “Mike Tyson is Cus D’Amato’s masterpiece. Mike is
extremely gifted and it’s incredible to watch him.” If Tyson can get
his mind right, there is no doubt that he will reign supreme once more
in the sport that he ruled in so long ago. I am still rooting for him
and his glorious return and if enough of us believe in him I’m positive
that there is nothing he can’t accomplish. This isn’t a pipe dream here
or delirium, it’s a solid request for a rightful monarch to return to
his honorary throne and place in history.

It is also really a relief to see all of Mike’s entourage
absent from his life. It appears that Mike Tyson has returned to the
Mike of old and is trying to rekindle that sensational fire he once
possessed. I’ve read numerous times that several people feel that Tyson
was only recently humbled because of his losses and bankruptcy. Now I
don’t know the man personally or claim to. I’ve never had the honor of
meeting him in person. But I feel confident in estimating that the
humility and gentleness that the world saw Mike Tyson express was
genuine, just as his public outbursts of rage and frustration were. Few
if any have heartfelt sympathy for the man and that’s their right I
suppose, no one can tell you who you can or can’t care about in this
world. But who among them, among us have walked a mile let alone a one
foot in the shoes of the “Mighty” Mike Tyson (as he was also dubbed
early in his career for a short time)? How many of us have experienced
such betrayal and deepening loss, or had everything and then nothing?
Who of us have walked onto the blood stained canvas, vulnerable and on
display for the world to dissect piece by piece, and waged battle
against giants of men as a boy? What right do we have to condemn or
berate such a warrior? None.

Source: ringsidereport