Published: February 22, 2005
OPEN LETTER TO MIKE TYSON
I’ve read on the internet that you are now back in training and ready to resume your boxing career. I also read that your new trainer, Buddy McGirt, seems to believe you can still be a major player in the heavyweight division and I know some fans out there believe you can once again become heavyweight champion of the world.
I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that for any comeback of yours to be taken seriously by boxing fans you must first come through me, the man who knocked you out in four rounds in July 2004.
Your fight with me last summer was called ‘Return for Revenge’ but it appears Mike Tyson doesn’t actually go for revenge at all. Of the four men to knock you out – Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and myself – you’ve only tried to even the score with one of them in Holyfield.
I wonder why.
Perhaps ‘Iron Mike’ is only interested in facing opponents he knows he can intimidate and dominate? I guess we’ll soon see. Since I beat you, you’ve never once given me any credit for besting you inside four rounds.
Instead, you’ve come out with excuse after excuse for what happened in that Louisville ring and now I see you’ve described me as ‘a journeyman’ and dismissed my victory as a fluke. Mike, I know you are a boxing historian so how come you are so unfamiliar with boxing’s tradition of showing an opponent respect after the fight has happened? Are you so deep in denial?
You also said over the weekend that you want to start with ‘an easier fight in May or June’. Well, why not fight this ‘journeyman’ in an easy fight and prove to the world that my win over you was actually just a stroke of rotten luck for you? I dare you to fight me again, anywhere, anytime. You can even have another biased referee who takes two points per round off me for non-existent fouls, if that will make you feel more secure.
The rematch between the two of us is a natural fight which would be appealing to boxing fans around the world. Our first fight was one of the most exciting fights of the year and was certainly the most entertaining heavyweight battle of 2004. Mike, you need to beat me to prove that you should still be taken seriously as a legitimate heavyweight rather than a touring sideshow, knocking over part-time fighters, which I hear is one of the plans on the table for you.
And, to be honest, after my fight with Vitali Klitschko two months ago I need another big win to prove that I am worthy of another run towards the world heavyweight champion. This fight makes sense for me just as much as it makes sense for you; assuming, of course, you believe you can win. A rematch between us wouldn’t need any hyping and I’m coming off a bad knockout loss myself, too, and so you’ll never have a better chance to beat me and ‘prove’ that my victory was the’ fluke’ you claim it to be.
If you really think what I did to you – pound you into the ropes and down in to the canvas with 26 unanswered punches – was an accident or the result of some mysterious knee injury then you’ll have no problem instructing your people to call my promoter.
Let’s do this. The only reason this fight won’t happen is because you or those in charge of your career don’t want it to. Mike, I’m returning to training now, too, and am also targeting a May or June comeback date.
Pick up the phone and let’s see if I can catch you with 26 more ‘lucky punches’.
Yours in boxing,