Boxing

Mike Tyson Tells The Mirror, Today’s Heavyweight Scene Is “Pretty Good,” Says “It’s Not The Klitschko’s Fault There Isn’t Enough Competition”

By James Slater - Retired great and former two-time heavyweight king Mike Tyson is about to hit the stage for his “Undisputed Truth” one-man show in Las Vegas. The former “Iron” Mike, now at peace with himself at age 45, is said to be planning a show that will “make you laugh, cry - go through every emotion.”

The show will run for an initial week in The City of Entertainment, but already there is talk of the show being extended and taken on the road if it proves successful. And Tyson sure has some story to tell, doesn’t he!?

Speaking with Oliver Holt of The Mirror recently, Tyson spoke of having found peace and of being a different person today to the man he once was, back when he was terrorising the heavyweight division. Always an fascinating interview, Tyson had some interesting things to say and the article had some interesting revelations - for example, remember when Tyson acted up like a crazy, raving lunatic of a person whilst on the podium after the huge fight between he and Lennox Lewis had descended into chaos (with Tyson biting Lewis’ leg)? Well, the unidentified person Tyson then proceeded to yell every expletive under the sun at (I’ll f**k you until you love me, faggot” being one of Tyson’s more colourful outbursts) was sometime ESB contributor Scoop Malinowski; who had said “someone get a straight jacket. He’s an animal. He belongs in a zoo!”

Tyson really lost it, and today he is not afraid to admit he was so out of control back then.

“By the time I was fighting Lennox Lewis I was so miserable I just wish someone would have shot me,” Tyson told Holt. “I hated myself and everything around me.”

Tyson said that he doesn’t miss boxing, but that if he were a young kid again, he would definitely become a fighter all over again. Tyson lit up the division in a massive, massive way. But the ring excitement he provided was often overshadowed by the controversy he caused.

Tyson, who once bit an opponent’s ear off and who was no stranger to press conference brawls, gave his take on the recent Haye-Chisora fracas in Germany. This was kid’s stuff compared to some of his own antics, Tyson basically said.

“What David Haye did in Munich when he had that brawl with Chisora, that was not good,” he said. “That was the kind of stupid stuff I once did. I thought that when I was watching it. No-one did as much as me to bring boxing low. Haye and Chisora would have to go some to beat what I did. At least Haye didn’t bite anyone’s ear off. What they did was nothing.”

Tyson, as we know, was banned for a couple of years and fined $3 million for “The Bite,” while Haye has escaped punishment thus far, and Chisora has been banned “indefinitely.”

But what does Tyson think of the state of today’s Klitschko-dominated heavyweight division?

“I think the heavyweight scene is pretty good right now,” Tyson said. “The Klitschkos are doing great. It’s not their fault that there is not enough competition. But I don’t buy the idea that today’s fighters are not as good as the old fighters. If you had asked Joe Frazier if he could beat me when I was at my best, he would have said, ‘hell, yes,’ That’s the way boxing goes.

“I think I could beat the next generation of fighters but the reality of history is that the fighters get better and better, bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. I was bigger than Rocky Marciano and I was not even one of the big guys in my generation.”

See what I mean when I say Tyson is always interesting? His opinion on who would have come out on top between the fighters of yesteryear against today’s best will likely cause a big debate in itself. Personally, I disagree with Tyson, as I think the 1988 version of the man himself would have torn through a Wladimir Klitschko. But, hey, Tyson knows more about boxing than I do!

Imagine a 1980’s or 1990’s version of “The Baddest Man on The Planet” being so humble as to admit that the fighters of the future would be able to beat him! Tyson has mellowed, no doubt.

That show in Vegas should be well worth catching.

Article posted on 11.04.2012



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