Tyson steals the heavyweight show, King calls Tyson again


Published: April 18, 2004

NEW YORK: Mike Tyson did not throw a punch
or say a word, but the former world heavyweight champion proved to be the main
attraction here, upstaging a pair of world title bouts.

Despite financial woes and having barely
fought in the past two years, the 37-year-old ring legend had promoter Don King
and the three current champions in his stable of fighters trying to coax him
into a ring return.

Tyson sat at ringside on Saturday as Puerto
Rican John Ruiz beat countryman Fres Oquendo to keep the World Boxing Association
crown and American Chris Byrd kept the International Boxing Federation title in
a draw with Poland’s Andrew Golota.

Fans ignored ring action to catch a glimpse
of Tyson as he walked into Madison Square Garden.

As the pace slowed after the first three action-filled rounds, the crowd at Madison Square Garden booed occasionally. The loudest cheers during the bout came when former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, in a cream-colored suit, entered the arena during the 11th round. Tyson’s continuing popularity speaks both to his frenetic fighting style and the lack of a charismatic heavyweight in the current crop.

And after the fight, when Tyson sat in the
third row for a post-fight news conference, King made a pitch to his former
client, one who is now suing him for $100 million and staying out of the ring
despite financial setbacks.

“I’m just waiting on you,” King
said as he pointed at Tyson. “We can change the globe. Let’s do it again
Mike. Let’s see if we can regain the glory of the past because it’s a new era
now. There are new fighters, hungry fighters.”

King hyped a May 22 cruiserweight fight in
South Africa between Frenchman Jean-Marc Mormeck, the WBA champion, and
American Virgil Hill and tossed an aside to Tyson, adding, “Mike, I would
love you to go too.”

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson sits at ringside as he attends a night of championship boxing matches at New York’s Madison Square Garden, April 17, 2004.

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

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson sits ringside during matches at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday, April 17, 2004.

April 17th Post Fight Press Conference

April 17th Post Fight Press Conference

April 17th Post Fight Press Conference

April 17th Post Fight Press Conference

April 17th Post Fight Press Conference

Sources: The Mercury News, Times of India and boxingscene.com