Tyson at Festival di Sanremo pictures


Published: March 3, 2005

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, right, performs a rap song flanked by Italian TV host Paolo Bonolis during the Festival di Sanremo Italian Songs contest, in San Remo, Italy, Wednesday, March 2, 2005. Mike Tyson is one of the international guests featured in the show aired on the Italian State TV RAI, from Tuesday through Saturday and will reportedly earn as much as 70,000 euros (US$92,460) from Italian state broadcaster RAI for his appearance.

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Sanremo, March 3 – It’s 22:35 and the magic begins – off he goes, Mr Mike Tyson, down he runs, off the holy stairs of Sanremo’s Ariston theatre. There he is, greeted to a hero’s welcome, the glorious music signalling his arrival, the former heavyweight boxing world champion whose appearance at the song festival spawned so much controversy. So many wanted him, so many didn’t. But it’s time for the stools: one for host Bonolis, one for Tyson, and the gag dialogue kicks off, aided by the simultaneous interpreter backstage. After humming Modugno’s “Volare volare”, Mike’s joke gifts is handed to Bonolis by the useless Federica Felici. A ring towel and a skipping rope to keep fit. And then tons of celebratory footage showing Iron Mike’s victories, until that much-delayed question: did he really have so much anger inside? And why? Quite obviously he had some, just look at how he punched his opponents. But wait a minute, Mr Tyson says there was no anger inside of him, no hatred, it was just boxing, nothing more and nothing less. Bonolis, an amateur confessor, kept asking dubious questions, about Mike’s tough childhood, about how he was only ever loved by his guru coach. What did people like about Mike the most, asks Bonolis. “My feats”, he replies. “I did get annoyed every now and then. But I’m no villain”. It’s time for music. And for Mike’s rap. “This was not like any other interview. It was the story of a man told through his feats. Hopefully, his life has taken a turning point now”, is how Bonolis parted ways with him. All in all, it was a 20 minutes affair.

Source: agi