Esteemed British Boxing Writer Colin Hart Says He Won’t Be Voting Mike Tyson Into The Hall Of Fame

By James Slater: Though it’s possible some American fight fans haven’t heard of Colin Hart, the veteran scribe is a big name in Britain; and a well respected fight expert. One of the esteemed writers asked to cast a vote regarding this year’s Hall of Fame entries, Hart has written in The Sun how he will NOT be voting for a fighter practically everyone sees as a lock to be voted in now that he has been retired for the five necessary years: former heavyweight king Mike Tyson.

Hart, who acknowledges “Iron” Mike’s fistic talents - to the point where he feels Tyson’s reign of terror looks even more impressive in comparison to today’s heavyweights, who don’t do much for him - is of the opinion that Tyson’s indiscretions rule him out as far as a Hall of Famer.

“We always had a good relationship and Tyson gave me some memorable interviews, so I have nothing personal against him,” Hart wrote in The Sun. “But having wrestled with my conscience for several days, he won’t get my vote. Now, The Hall isn’t inhabited by angels. Abe Attell was believed to have thrown a few fights. Jake La Motta admitted to taking a dive and Rocky Graziano had a criminal record.

“Yet they all pale into insignificance compared to Tyson’s outrageous behaviour.”

Hart then took the time to list certain outrageous acts Tyson committed; the ones that bothered/bother him the most.

“For starters, he’s a convicted rapist,” Hart wrote. “And I can never forget that hideous moment when he chewed off the top of Evander Holyfield’s right ear and spat it out on the canvas. Despite Tyson’s formidable talents as a fighter, I strongly believe that incident alone guarantees he has no right to be placed on a pedestal as a hero to young or old.”

Strong words indeed, but who can really disagree with them? Sure, Tyson is still going to get voted in - he has too many writers on his side; fans who choose to ignore what Hart’s conscience cannot. I for one commend Hart and his decision. The Hall of Fame should indeed be for heroes, and Tyson, despite his ring achievements (and let’s not forget, Tyson beat only two greats in his whole career - an ageing and inactive one in Larry Holmes, and a light-heavyweight great in Michael Spinks), is no hero.

I’ll bet Tyson himself would agree he is nobody’s hero. But of course, he will accept his place alongside fistic greats who are heroes: guys like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and George Foreman. Does Tyson really deserve to be included in such exalted company?

Article posted on 26.10.2010

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