Published: June 7, 2005
Tyson at crossroads fight against McBride
June 7, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) — Promoter Rock Newman feels Mike Tyson is reaching a pivotal moment toward the end of his boxing career.
If Tyson can beat Kevin McBride on Saturday night, he could be on track to fight again for the heavyweight championship. But a loss, Newman said, could mean Tyson’s career would be effectively over.
“I think that Mike Tyson, at 38 years of age, has gotten to a place where he understands it’s his final chance,” Newman said. “Everything in his life, in his professional life, is riding on Saturday night, June the 11th.”
Newman was on hand Tuesday for Tyson’s open training session at Howard University’s steamy Burr Gymnasium. Tyson sparred briefly with his trainer, Jeff Fenech, before addressing the media.
Despite Newman’s opinions, Tyson refused to say a loss would mark the end of his career.
“Losing does not enter my mind (unless it becomes) reality,” Tyson said. “If it does happen, I just keep fighting until I get what I want in life. Whenever you’re trying to become the best in the world in anything, you’re going to have ups and downs. It doesn’t mean you should give up.”
Many of the questions for Tyson centered on his age. Tyson will turn 39 on June 30. The fight at the MCI Center is Tyson’s first since an embarrassing fourth-round knockout loss to Danny Williams on July 30, 2004. Tyson has not fought for a heavyweight crown since 2002, when he was knocked out by Lennox Lewis in the eighth round.
That fight was Tyson’s first attempt for the title since 1997, when he was disqualified for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear. That reputation for erratic behavior has been a signature of Tyson’s last several years in the ring.
“Mike and I have prepared mentally and physically,” Fenech said. “My job is to make Mike happy, to make him enjoy training. He’s done that tremendously. I have no fears whatsoever that Mike Tyson will be fully in control of his emotions, and his actions and we believe it will be a successful night for Tyson.”
Tyson added: “I’m not going to bite anybody, or break anybody’s arm, hit anybody after the bell, if that’s what you’re talking about.”