Should Former Heavyweight King Mike Tyson Be Inducted Into The Hall Of Fame?

tysonby James Slater - As fight fans know, a boxer must be retired for at least five years before he becomes eligible to be inducted into The Hall of fame in Canastota. Well, former two-time heavyweight king "Iron" Mike Tyson last fought in June of 2005 (when, way past his best, he was made to quit on his stool after the sixth-round of his fight with big Irishman Kevin McBride) and he is now eligible to be voted in. And, according to an news piece in The New York Times, Tyson, now aged 43, is indeed going to be inducted into The Hall.

"Mike is so delighted," a representative of Tyson's said to The New York Times. "It has been an amazing year for his so far."

No doubt the debate will now begin as to whether or not Tyson deserves to be voted in amongst greats such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard.. Some fans will argue for Tyson; others will argue against him. For what it's worth, I feel Tyson should definitely be in. Though the later years of his career saw him fall to some ordinary fighters by comparison, and though Tyson's various antics outside of the ring brought the sport of boxing into disrepute, it cannot be denied how the peak "Iron Mike" brought genuine excitement and attention to the heavyweight division.

Okay, some will say that, despite the excitement he generated, Tyson never achieved full greatness. "Name one truly great heavyweight Tyson beat?" is a comment I've seen written by a number of fans on the websites over the years. And it is a valid question. An ageing and ring-rusty Larry Holmes aside, Tyson did not manage a win over a true heavyweight great. But it must not be forgotten how Tyson beat all those who were on the scene at the time (Evander Holyfield aside - who Tyson did not finally face until both men were past their peak; the fight originally talked about for as early 1989), and it cannot be ignored how Tyson made boxing history by becoming the youngest ever holder of a world heavyweight title.

Tyson, a very well educated boxing historian, will no doubt be hugely thrilled at the idea of his name being alongside all the great from yesteryear he grew up studying and learning about. Often a modest man, Mike may well even say he feels he doesn't belong to be in such exalted company (indeed, Tyson's induction speech will be well worth listening to). But, adding everything up and thinking about it, then yes, Tyson does deserve to be in The Hall.

Not only that, but the man who retired with a final pro record of 50-6(44) and was heavyweight champion from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1995 to 1996, deserves to be there far more than do a number of the current inductees.

Article posted on 19.02.2010

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