Tyson/McBride on Pay Per View? Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

10.06.05 - By Tony Fondacaro: I’d like to know one good reason why I should pay to watch Kevin McBride get his head smashed in by Mike Tyson. I understand that Mike Tyson is still the Marilyn Manson of the boxing world, and that any fight of his is going to be made into some kind of circus by promoters seeking large paydays off of boxing’s most lucrative poster boy for Prozac. But a comeback fight against Kevin McBride? A post-Danny-Williams Mike Tyson? What’s the attraction?

Is Tyson going to snap again and bite one of McBride’s ears off? Is he going to punch the ref’s lights out again like he did against Savarese when he tried to stop the fight? Is Mike going to whip out a stool and suit and do a rendition of “That’s Life”? Let’s face facts; Mike Tyson is a long, long way from being accepted as a genuine force in boxing, and the general consensus is that he’s finished anyway. Sure he can still knock out bums like McBride in the blink of an eye, but have you watched McBride spar?”

It’s like watching a dog crap in your neighbor’s yard, and just as compelling. At least Tyson can move a bit like his old self, which let’s admit, is part of the enjoyment of watching him box. At this point, we’re all waiting for the next upset. Who’s it going to be this year? Will he knock out a few bums and then get squashed by a motivated Lamon Brewster? Will he go up against Vitali Klitschko and not find a way to get past that huge reach? Will Danny Williams get into his head again and knock him out? I don’t think any of these scenarios is that big of a stretch, because no one is scared of him anymore.

This fight belongs on a show like “Best Damn Sports Show” or “Friday Night Fights.” Seriously, this is hardly PPV material. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say no fight made recently or in the coming months is worthy of being on PPV. Maybe something involving Bernard Hopkins, because you know you’re going to get rounds. I’m not paying $50, and waiting through two unbelievably boring undercard fights to watch Tyson blow someone out in ten seconds. Yes, you don’t get to see that everyday, but it hardly calls for the kind of money they’re asking. I’d pay exactly $3.50 to see that; the average price of a protein smoothie, and the smoothie would last longer.

It’s not all on Tyson either, part of this is Kevin McBride. The last time Kevin McBride fought, I watched it for free. It was on regular cable, and I could flip away from it occasionally to watch something else. McBride doesn’t make for a compelling boxing match, even when he wins. Honestly, who is this guy?

Kevin McBride is so boring, such a talentless bum, so bereft of any boxing savvy, that watching him box is funny. It looks like Bigfoot trying to play golf with a tree trunk. His hands are slow, he can barely lift his legs to move his feet, he gets tired quickly and lays on guys most of the round. I’ve never seen him box other than his last fight against Kevin Montiy, and I don’t think I need to. I certainly don’t want to either. This is the most one-dimensional boxer I’ve seen in a long time.

Mike Tyson is so far past his prime that kids born during his undisputed days are now in high school. When he lost to Buster Douglas, you could buy a gallon of gas for less than a dollar. There was no freaking internet either. He’s fought one fight per year for the last four years, and only won exactly two of them. He’s 5-3 in his last ten fights with two no contests, including a monumental loss to Lennox Lewis, and an embarrassing loss to Danny Williams. Everytime, we hear promises of a new Mike Tyson. A new Mike that looks like the old Mike. A Mike that will reclaim the glory days.

If anything, Mike looks a lot like a new man these days, speaking softly, calmly, taking time to measure his response and focus on what he’s saying. There haven’t been any outbursts, anything near wanting to rape someone, or eat someone’s children; he genuinely seems rebuilt. To just what extent is what this upcoming match is all about—whether or not he can still handle bums, not disintegrate when he gets hit, and if he can still throw combinations. People talk about a nice, 10-round match being the best thing for Tyson. I don’t think so—I think Mike needs some confidence and the experience of fighting without being so confused and mentally unstable. If he wants to take it slow, we shouldn’t be worried about it.

What we should be worried about is getting screwed to watch old champs and new bums go toe-to-toe. Is boxing really this pathetic right now that this is what gets PPV attention? No wonder the sport is hurting for viewership.

I will not be watching; but I will be searching for alternative ways to tune in. Try BBC’s website; they usually do round-by-round updates, and are fairly quick about it. If the fight is being broadcast on a radio station, see if you can’t pick it up via internet. It’s up to us to reject the idea of paying so much money to see so little.

Whoever had the idea for this should be ashamed of themselves.

Article posted on 10.06.2005

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