Published: June 7, 2005
Tue Jun 7
source yahoo news
HIS prized fighter Mi guel Cotto of Puerto Rico is making his Garden debut Saturday night, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is also interested in what happens that same night in Washington, D.C., where Mike Tyson returns to the ring against Kevin McBride in a 12-round fight at the MCI Center.
Getting the promoter of one boxing show to talk about a competing show on the same night is sort of like getting the Republicans to endorse the Democrats. While the unbeaten Cotto defends his WBO junior welterweight title against Muhammad Abdullaev on HBO Live, Tyson’s non-title fight can be seen on Showtime Pay-Per-View for $44.95.
Arum hasn’t spent any money on a heavyweight in a while, but remains interested in Tyson, especially if the former undisputed champion can look good against McBride (32-4-1, 27 KOs).
“I’d consider it,” Arum said when asked if he’d have any interest in pursuing Tyson (50-5, 44 KOs). “I’d probably get him a few relatively easy fights on Showtime, then put him in against [Vitali] Klitschko.”
Tyson, 38, is fighting for the first time since July 30, 2004, when Danny Williams of England stopped him in the fourth round of their fight in Louisville. Before that upset, Arum had Tyson all but signed to a $60 million, multi-fight deal. Arum’s vision was to use Tyson as the main-event draw on an undercard filled with top Latin fighters. That would make an attractive pay-per-view show that would appeal to the African-American and Latino fan base.
But Tyson hurt his knee in the first round against Williams, lost his punching power, and was eventually counted out on the seat of his pants. While Tyson had subsequent knee surgery, Williams got beat up by Klitschko in a one-sided fight for the WBC title on Dec. 11.
With no dominant heavyweight emerging since the retirement of Lennox Lewis, it wouldn’t take much for Tyson to regain the spotlight. But he’ll need more motivation than the $6 million he is earning for Saturday’s fight.
“He can be a factor in the heavyweight division. It’s just a matter of whether he’s willing to do the training that’s needed,” said Arum, who recently spoke with Tyson. “He seems to be a much nicer person. Even if it’s an act, at least it’s an effort.”