Mike Tyson: Show's Over!

24.09.06 - By John Howard: Mike Tyson's gig at the Aladdin Hotel & Casino has ended. In a little over the time it takes for blood from a severed ear to coagulate on the canvas of a boxing ring, the freak show has come to an end, and I've missed it. This was destined to become a train wreck from the very beginning.

I didn't go to Vegas specifically to see Mike Tyson. I was on a ten day hiatus, and being in Vegas, why not stop in and see the ex-heavyweight champ. That's what the Aladdin had in mind hiring Mike in the first place, right? The draw. The allure. See the ex champ, and while you're at it, maybe drop a few hundred dollars in a slot machine. Who doesn't want to hurry home and tell their friends they shook hands with the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. While at the Aladdin, I was hoping to get an interview with Mike. Be revered by readers on East Side Boxing as being the writer who landed the interview of the year.

Yet, here I sit with my laptop computer ready to write, but no material. When I arrived at the Aladdin on Friday, there was no Mike and no boxing ring. A janitor was sweeping up the area where the ring was removed. I should have known this side show display wouldn't last. I should have hurried to Vegas earlier. My interview hopes with Mike are dead. I was prepared, too. I had the prewritten questions on a pad ready to fire away. Q: Mike, what did it feel like to be the youngest heavyweight champion ever? Q: Describe Teddy Atlas in one word? Q: Have you and Don King buried the hatchet over that little rift regarding 200 million? Q: Mike, where are you going from here? Q: Any thoughts on a possible future match-up with James Toney, or Tyson/Holyfield III?

Also, I was hoping to speak with Jeff Fenech, Mike's trainer, about his fight with Azumah Nelson back in '91. That was probably one of top five undercard fights I've ever seen. They could have fought the fight in a phone booth.

Despite my good intentions, as a writer, I've missed the story. The only interviews I have are from the janitor (his English was limited and hard to understand), a reservations agent, and a waitress who worked the day shift at the buffet. The waitress told me Mike never took off his shirt during the "training" sessions. Through the reservations agent, I found out Mike was signed for a month (through Sept. 27th), he stayed less than three weeks (he left on Wednesday, Sept. 20th), and according to her, only showed up about half the time. The former "baddest man on the planet" was for three weeks, anyway, the "baddest man this side of the buffet."

Officially, it's all come to an end. Team Tyson has left the Aladdin with no forwarding address, and I'm left with no interview.

Article posted on 25.09.2006

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