Chaos Erupts Across The Fighting World

17.11.05 - By Gabriel DeCrease: The ever-unpredictable world of boxing has once again proven that its gladiatorial spirit can never fully be confined to the prize ring. In the last week, three separate incidents, on three different continents, came to pass in which famous boxing personalities were in some way linked to eruptions of violence that, in one way or another, involved unsuspecting citizens who live outside the fight game.. Pugilism is often both lauded and maligned for producing chaotic melees at events that are intended to be non-confrontational gatherings. Boxing press conferences are notorious for degrading into gang brawls—after all, the guys are there to discuss how they are going to pound one another into bloody submission. Here is a quick roundup of each recent free-swinging, and ultimately amusing, fracas:

Anyone who follows the sport can call likely call up a sort of highlight reel of press conferences at which Mike Tyson has temporarily lost his cool, or his mind, and punched, kicked, bit, or otherwise molested himself or any number of other people. I seem to remember one press conference where Iron Mike threw a ceramic mug at someone while wildly grabbing his crotch and screaming obscenities while his handlers attempted in vain to subdue, and/or distract him. I believe he was wearing velvet pants. I have deliberately avoided doing any research to clarify the memory, which I am surely better off having only a vague and humorous recollection of. Bearing all that in mind, it is no wonder that Tyson was involved in two of the three recent incidents.

11-11-2005…Tyson is ordered to journey back to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he recently made a handful of public appearances, in order to face trial for allegedly assaulting a cameraman who was likely irritating the volatile former heavyweight champ with pesky paparazzi-antics. Carlos Eduardo da Silva, a Sistema Brasileiro de Televisào (SBT) cameraman, claims that Tyson told him to cease taping and then proceeded to break the camera equipment…over Silva’s head and back. Tyson, infuriated by the allegations, will admit only to mauling the tape inside the camera that contained the footage that Mike so eagerly sought to destroy. Perhaps, and this is my own speculation, Tyson somehow became aware of, and thus insecure about, his notoriously bad fashion sense, and did not want an entire nation of trendy Brazilians mocking the two-sizes-too-small, yellow jersey he likely paired with leather pants.

This all happened as Tyson stopped in Brazil after a trip to Argentina where he appeared on soccer legend, Diego Maradona’s popular talk show. Argentina is the homeland of middleweight legend and convicted murderer Carlos Monzon, who, incidentally, happens to be one of Tyson’s most beloved heroes. Perhaps Mike’s admiration for Monzon demanded a certain respect for the Argentinian people because Tyson entered and left the country without terrorizing or hospitalizing Diego Maradona or anyone else. I guess that’s something.

11-15-2005…A ceremonial dinner near London, England, at which Iron Mike made a personal appearance, ended in a very large, very raucous brawl. Miraculously, reports are coming in that say Tyson had left the premises by the time the fight broke out, which I am certain is some sort of world record that the good people at Guiness should look into immediately. It is still unclear what caused the sudden outburst of violence. But when you consider that long-time Tyson rival Frank Bruno was also listed as an honored guest, the writing begins to appear on the wall. Again, this is my own speculation, but I would lay good money on the fact that the combustible mixture of harshly divided fans of two rival ex-champions and a fully stocked bar was stirred to volatility by the appearances by those rivals who were each no doubt spirited in their own way. Tyson…Mike Tyson only indirectly involved. That is amazing.

And as the wisdom of the ages would dictate, I have saved the best for last.

11-16-2005…When Lance Whittaker singed on to fight Sultan Ibragimov, I was not terribly excited to see the clash actually come to blows. Whittaker has held his own in recent years, but ever since he appeared old, haggard, and unfocused in his fight with Luan Krasniqi, I imagined he was almost shot. And I still do. And Ibragimov knocked the stuffing out of Al “Ice” Cole. That’s about all I can say for him, and that isn’t saying much, these days anyhow. But whatever the case, I now am hotly anticipating this upcoming bout, regardless of the general quality of the guys involved because it has turned into a true, old school grudge match. And that, as we all know, can elevate has-beens and never-gonna-be’s to once-in-a-lifetime peaks. At a press conference on November 16th trash talking between the two quickly escalated into a full-tilt brawl in which an entire room full of people were unable to restrain the two impatient, hot-tempered heavyweights as they slugged it out at mid-press-table.

Sultan Ibragimov landed the best punch I have ever seen him land flush on the jaw of an off-balance Whittaker. And Whittaker took the punch better than he has taken one in years and came swinging back with all the passion of a hungry young fighter. Both men seethed with pure hate and exhilaration after they were finally pried apart. It was then that someone finally noticed that Ibragimov’s promoter Samson Lukavich was downed during the scuffle. A replay of the menace showed that almost everybody, including Ibragimov, and some other as-of-yet unidentified people had accidentally pushed, bent, twisted, or hit Lukavich who gets a red badge of courage from me for being either brave enough, crazy enough, or dumb enough to get between two very big men with very bad intentions. Samson was taken to the hospital, and I wish him a speedy recovery. From the way he moved in between the two rampaging heavies, I’d say Lukavich has a decent shot at an alphabet strap if he ever decides to throw his hat into the ring. I would make more light of the situation, but, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll spare you and provide some links to photos of the debacle....

Samson Lukavich sticks and moves:;_ylt=AtoVotgVoGlKZK5mVKQ1J_aUxLYF?slug=nyff10311162008.ibragimov_whitaker_nyff103&prov=ap

Sultan Ibragimov goes for an early knockout, a month early:

Whittaker takes a dive at his assailant:

Article posted on 17.11.2005

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