I Bid Farewell To Mike Tyson, The Flame Once Raging


Published: June 23, 2005

Source: boxingscene

By Phenyo Molefe

sit quietly upon my stool not knowing where to look, nor what thoughts
to ponder. I systematically travel the vast array of thoughts and
perceptions of ambition, which have formed over time. Perceptions which
once fuelled an intensity of a hope, easily surpassing all sense. The
pedigree of hope that firmly endows its beholder with untarnished
moments of brilliance. When your hero falls from grace, all fairy
tales are uncovered, myths exposed and pain magnified. The greatest
pain discovered, is the pain he shares.?

I am a marked child of
the eighties; it is I who fell in love with the galvanising enigma of
Michael Tyson. I was the child who sought a figure of strength and hope
when the presence of a father was no more than a cloak of inexistence.
Michaels story was a story we the children of Temba Township, South
Africa cast upon our pedestal; it became our story of triumph as we
fought our own battles with a disproportionate injustice. For
those of us who had been forced to acquaint ourselves with childhoods
riddled with poverty, he was one of our own, our symbol of hope.
The hope that would sever the harrowing tentacles of abuse, poverty and
overwhelming fear. Michael was our vehicle of faith, he possessed the
fight and the will to survive forming a catalyst, which charged the
dreams that propaganda, had failed to reach. He was our pinnacle of

Michael the fighter was born of the masterful
brilliance of boxing genius Cus DAmato. The gentleman dedicated his
life to the troubled young man within Michael, giving him a sense of
purpose. The growing historian fought like a seasoned gladiator,
finding the perfect synergy for his brute strength, speed, skill and
undeniable rage. He stalked his opponents (many terrorised by a phantom
of thee unknown.) launching some of the most devastating combinations
ever witnessed in the history of our sport. The unmistakable passion
for victory spurred within him a newfound greatness.

It is said
that God moves in mysterious ways; however I warn ye all, the devil is
no exception, he too has his ways. The devil from Cleveland was clothed
with little disguise but a painfully matching Afro, it was that very
evil that so stridently rode upon the name of Ali in the most
extravagant fashion. We all know that after the Spinks fight,
Michaels union with the devil was solidified. A relation, which
began to breed mutated anger within the heart of young Michael, charged
by asymmetrical propaganda. I cannot stand and claim that Michael is
without fault or that he is not responsible for some ill-conceived
decisions he made. It was he that made the conscious decision to follow
Kings scripted words as he left the Catskills connection and the
brilliant Kevin Rooney.

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).

Our gladiator temporarily forgot Cuss
advice regarding the dangerous evils in boxing. We witnessed
Michael grow increasingly restless and seemingly confused by the
pretentious demons which surrounded his world. The same parasites fed
of his soul and dwindling bank balance. We could only sit and watch as
pillars of truth echoed distressing signs of gross inconsistencies. Our
hero began to crumble as he regretfully fell in love with anger and a
hatred fuelled by pain. The very pain notorious for scarring a mans
heart indefinitely. We were of the old school of thought, we sought not
to judge a man by that which was merely presented to us but rather
measured him by his whole life. How many of us stand in line to pass
judgement yet fail to walk a mile in the midst of adversity.

times misperceived vision is blurred by that which we want to see, the
perversion and pain we want to render real. Intermittently the unspoilt
eyes of a child perceive for more than what grown men and women will
ever see. We saw the undeniable rage, which was brewing
self-destruction, however beyond that was a decent and loving
individual. An individual that many had failed to portray to us, did we
really have to wait for Camille Ewald to reveal Michaels kindness?
Regardless, the world was seemingly not ready for that; we pursued the
killing machine one who was supposedly cold and fearless.

I write
not in a dismal attempt to justify Michael s life nor to paint a
portrayal of contaminated truth. The individual concerned is aware of
his sin against others and himself and truly needs no reminding of an
occasionally tainted life. Like all of us, Michaels life has not been
without sin but nor has mine. I know no sovereignty, which has bestowed
upon me the right to crucify another individual over events which
already haunt them, for I, like ye all am also far from glorious
perfection. What can be said about the dream that Cus and Michael had;
perhaps they knew that how the name Michael Tyson would remain a
unique aspect of boxing history. It undeniably pertains to each one
individually yet to all simultaneously; Irrespective of which side of
line you choose to stand the name Michael Tyson is one that will that
draw certain thought on our minds forever.

Neither Psychology nor
philosophy are my forte, but I have studied no other fighter in the
same fashion that I have Michael. However today I witnessed the last
remains of what has become a flickering flame in a torrent of winds
merely doused out by a name we never knew, Kevin McBride. It was the
type of ending I would have never dreamt of nor wished for. At
times I wish that his boxing career had come to an end a long time ago,
back to the Spinks fight where a damned union was formed. However this
is the reality in life, which we erratically wish would never come to
pass. A reality aware to mortal souls, that very little of this world
lasts forever. That is the beauty and unsung honour of this all,
those golden moments lingering in our past are neither reborn nor
shattered. I bid Michael farewell (In his role as a fighter of the
squared ring.) and dare not wish nor hope for any resurrections. He has
done enough for our sport; it is now time for him to cast off the
burden, which has weighed so heavily upon his formerly young shoulders.
My glimmer of hope is all but lost. I hope that Michael triumphs over
adversity, learning from mistakes and misfortune as he has clearly done
over the past few years. I hope that he will find peace within himself
and his children.

What follows is not said to be an absolute
truth but rather an expression of my opinion, which through time have
become my truth in certain sectors of this life. We may be aware of the
fact that purpose for one individual may not hold the same value for
another. Some of us go through certain phases in life where we are
fully conscious of what we deem to be our purpose. Others may execute
their purpose with little for simple classifications. It is not my goal
to pass judgement upon anyones life therefore I am merely making
deductions based upon what I have seen and learned. We may read or know
of strings of people who have accomplished a lot of things in their
lives yet these individuals speak of restlessness and a void that
troubles them. At times we may attempt to find peace within superficial
elements however we will soon realise that these elements utility soon
wear off.

Irrespective of how long our flames will burn I am of
the mind that we all have a purpose or fulfil certain duties in our
time. Recurrently this has a strong correlation with how we reach our
equilibrium if ever. As a father, a mother, irrespective of who we may
be all of us have some role to play. When we are inspired by purpose,
an extra ordinary project even simple in mans eyes; our thoughts may
be pushed beyond their orbit. Our minds may slowly begin to transcend
limitations and a particular level of consciousness begins to expand
into a vast array of fields.

When Forces, talents and
faculties, which once lay dormant, begin to take form; one is sure to
discover a greater depth within oneself, the preternatural individual
that we have never known in our passing breath. It is for this reason
that I embrace pressure and challenges, for at times they act as
catalysts for greater things?although unmistakably dangerous in certain
cases, combined with other factors they inaugurate prodigious entities.
No raging flame burns forever and unashamedly so, for there comes a
time for the flames to subdue and make way for springs reborn
chapters. Like your pigeons, Michael you are free to fly, I hope that
you follow your heart in this new chapter of your life. May peace rest
upon you indefinitely as you begin to pursue that which truly matters.

* The words in the opening paragraph in inverted commas as the edited words of Tupacs poem titled when your hero falls?