Published: February 26, 2005
By Gary Pino (February 26, 2005)
Mike Tyson has completely rehabbed his left knee and has been training with Buddy McGirt for his last and possible final comeback. Tyson, looking noticeably smaller and better conditioned at ringside for HBOs Hopkins vs. Eastman showdown Saturday night, spoke passionately with Jim Lampley and Roy Jones on Hopkins place in middleweight history and gave a brief view on the late Max Schmelling who past away two weeks ago at the age of 99.
Tyson expressed interest in returning to the ring and may possibly do so on HBO. HBO executive producer Ross Greenberg had a four year deal on the table for Team Tyson pending the outcome of the Williams fight in which Tyson was knocked out in the 4th round in an exciting fight. Tyson was one shot away from taking Williams out in the first round, but ended up losing the fight after tearing his ACL/MCL in his left knee.
Because of the way Tyson lost to Williams, HBO pulled out on a four fight deal worth millions, and killed any chance of Tyson getting out of debt. However, with the recent dedication to getting back into fighting shape and looking the way he did early in the Williams fight, Tysons ringside appearance on HBO was more than just a visit from the former two time champ. Was having Tyson appear with Lampley on the HBO telecast was a trailer for a possible sequel? Currently Tysons contract with Showtime is done and HBO again is showing interest in having Tyson return as a main attraction with the heavyweight division being a footnote as of late.
This time however Tyson must be brought along slowly with some lesser talented fighters to sharpen up his skills before he gets into the heart of what the division has to offer. I think Byrd would be an easy win for an in shape Tyson, and its just up to Shelly Finkel for choosing the right fighters for Mike this time around. Finkel has been basically force feeding Tyson top flight opponents just to make the money and honestly if Buddy McGirt managed and trained Mike, this would not happen because McGirt wouldnt expose Tyson and further damage his development for a proper comeback. I do think this is the reason Tyson isnt training with Roach. Roach is spread way too thin and cannot manage Tyson and train him. At the age of 38 Tyson still has the tools to capture the title again and possible unify it, but rushing him back will hurt him and not help him.
How ironic would it be if Mike Tyson captured the title for a third time back on HBO? In the 80s Tyson helped put HBO on the map as the top boxing network and after all these years HBO and Greenberg actually may need Tysons fan base to help the network recapture some heavyweight star power.