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"I want his heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah."

Many moons ago, Rich announced the launch of the Mike Tyson Ass-Beating World Tour, but since then more details have surfaced regarding just how far the mighty Iron Mike has fallen.

"If I don't get out of this financial quagmire there's a possibility I may have to be a punching bag for somebody," Tyson said Thursday at a news conference in Youngstown, Ohio. "The money I make here isn't going to help any of my bills really from a tremendous standpoint, but I'm going to feel better about myself. I'm not going to be depressed."

So in order to avoid being somebody’s punching bag, Mike Tyson’s… going to be somebody’s punching bag? Sounds like the last thing Mike needs is to be punched in the head some more. This is the first fight on what is shaping up to be a four-rounds-per-fight world tour, starting with a fight with former sparring partner Corey “T-Rex” Sanders on October 20th, coming to pay-per-view.

That last part is not a joke; the fight will be part of a PPV special broadcast from the Chevrolet Center. But no worries serious boxing fans, there’ll be a few real fights on the PPV in addition to the freak show, lead by the return of Paul Spadafora among others.

Although Tyson figures to attract fans and viewers to the exhibitions, he can't figure out why.

"I think I'm useless to society," he told the assembled crowd. "I don't think I'm worthy of the people who come out to see me, but they do."

He’s right, people still do want to see him, even though everyone knows he’s a shell of the fighter he used to be. If someone is willing to pay to see him, or watch him work out in a casino, then so be it. He’d be dumb not to take their money, and I hope this helps him out with some of his debt.

We’re talking about him now, aren’t we? Is he going to bite off another ear? Is he going to quit on his stool? 30-second-knockout? Knockout shot after the bell? Is he going to get knocked out? Is he going to try to break someone’s arm? Is he going to fight with class and dignity? You can’t predict a goddamn thing this guy is going to do, and THAT is why people want to see him.

I don’t think Tyson’s a terrible person. I think he’s dumb, violent, and mentally-unstable, but I view Mike like I view the Frankenstein Monster. He doesn’t know he’s doing bad, he’s just too strong/desperate for his own good. Boxing is the only thing that Mike Tyson has in life to make him any money, and when you sense your career is in jeopardy, you’ll do anything to keep your head above water.

When he was still a serious fighter, Tyson would fight dirty when he got cornered. Now that he can’t cut it anymore (but he’s still a huge draw), he’s trying a new money-making tactic. Hence, the exhibition tour.

He’s not the first boxer to do this, nor will he be the last. Joe Louis did it. Muhammad Ali did it. Even John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight champion, did it to raise a little money on a cross country train trip. “In 1879, he challenged anyone in America to fight him for $500. In 1883-1884 Sullivan went on a coast-to-coast tour by train with five other boxers. It was scheduled to comprise 195 performances in 136 different cities and towns over 238 days. To help promote the tour, Sullivan announced that he would box anyone at any time during the tour under the Queensberry Rules for $250.”

Maybe some good will come out of these exhibitions. Tyson’s ability to be taken seriously as a heavyweight is totally gone, but at least he can restore his name (to some degree). His candor is refreshing after years of posturing to a goofy degree. Also refreshing is his newfound sense of what I can only describe as peace. He seems content with his station in life, which is good.

Tyson’s not the boogeyman he’s lead us to believe, nor is he the boogeyman we believe him to be. He’s simply a man-child who doesn’t know any better. We can only hope he’s no longer a danger to himself and others.

Well, okay, he can be dangerous to one person.

Fortunately for us, he’s gonna be stopping in the Middle East on his way around the universe, so we can only hope he catches a certain 6’6” terrorist/murder/kidneyless guy in a dark alley somewhere. That’d be about the only way I’d pay to watch a Tyson exhibition fight.

Well, unless he fought a bear. Say, on a Fox TV special event? Can we make this happen?
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Damn, I'm psychic. Or is that psychotic? Anyways, it'll be a hell of a half-assed show at least.

Posted by Rich at 10/04/06 16:34:50

I'm mostly really surprised that it's going to be on PPV.

Posted by Ron at 10/04/06 20:23:08

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