An Mike Tyson is all archaic these days. There are pictures and video sequences of him during boxing training, mostly in dim surroundings, more like a workshop than a gym. You can see beat sequences like at their best, fast, powerful, high frequency. It is hard to tell whether the filmmakers have brought in a bit more speed at the speed of the screening or whether the 54-year-old ring veteran can actually fire another hail. The suspicion is that something has been manipulated in favor of the image by the indestructible. In any case, the message is: look, he still has it.
His beard, which is more wild than handsome, naturally betrays him. It has been gray for a long time, it is the color of a wrestler who has had his last fight in what feels like an eternity. That was in June 2005, after some prison stays and attempts to make a comeback. Tyson collected another five million dollars against Irishman Kevin McBride and a right hook in the sixth round.
He went down and almost had to be asked by the referee to get up again. He made a gesture that looked like a request for help from an old, tired man who somehow needs to be helped to his feet from the sofa in his living room. Tyson was finished, in fact it was his end as a boxer, the end of one of the best heavyweights of all time. At least that’s how it seemed.
Mike Tyson – Archetype of the street fighter
Because now, the pictures have a certain effect, he has to start again. He is staged as an athlete, sweating even in the interview chair like after seven rounds of sparring, which could easily fight for the crown of the heavyweight again. An illusion, of course, but with charm. Because Tyson, of course, evokes memories. On the piece of ear he had bitten off in a duel against Evander Holyfield, but also as an archetype of the street fighter who made it into the ring and then wrote a fairy tale.
In the video, which announces his return along with his opponent and fight date, is therefore one of his first sentences that he was born hungry and would still be hungry. Conversely: Listen, I’m not tired of boxing yet.
Elsewhere, he wipes away the doubts about his comeback after a 15-year break with a few hearty sayings. “Simply because I can. Just because you are 54 does not mean that you have to start a new career and life is completely over, ”said the former heavyweight world champion when he was interviewed by celebrity broadcaster TMZ in the car about his show fight against Roy Jones Jr. has been.
Millions through the TV plus ten-part documentary series
On September 12, the two of them will be in the ring for eight rounds in California and want to prove to the world that they are still capable of it. Tyson reportedly smoked a joint when signing the contract via video conference.
The creators of the strange spectacle are more likely to cash in on pay TV. Not only the fight should bring in millions on TV, a ten-part documentary series is also planned around the two old ex-champions. “Your comeback is a sleazy, money-grabbing circus performance,” etched boxing expert Nick Parkinson from US sports broadcaster ESPN.
Despite all criticism from boxing purists who fear for the already damaged image of the sport, the organizers could do the trick. Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. are ring legends, fans had long hoped for a duel between the two. And when Tyson has repeatedly given indications of a possible comeback in the past months, the network community reacted very excitedly.
With his brutal clout, “Iron Mike” had risen from the poor to the youngest world champion in boxing history when he won the title at the age of 20. The dazzling New Yorker knocked out many of his opponents with the distinctive tooth gap in mostly short fights before he sensationally lost to James “Buster” Douglas in 1990. A three-year prison sentence and the scandal in the Holyfield fight finally earned him the reputation of a scandal boxer.
“Everyone has a plan until they get one in their face,” Tyson once said. A sentence that also symbolizes his life. Again and again Tyson hit the headlines with brawls and derailments, even was temporarily banned from work. “In the ring I was a destroyer, that’s what I was born for. Now the time is over. It is empty. I’m nothing, ”he said in a podcast a few months ago with tears.
Now Tyson wants to go back to the ring, where he has had his greatest success. “I have never been hit many times,” he replied, worried about his health. “I feel like I took better care of my body and mind than most of the fighters before me who stopped and then came back,” Tyson said.
He and Jones Jr. are “savvy boxers, we can take care of ourselves,” Tyson said. His opponent had fought his last fight in 2018. At the peak of his career, the now 51-year-old multiple world champion was considered the most technically brilliant boxer of his time, combining speed and ring intelligence. But his era ended in 2004 with the knockout loss to Antonio Tarver, after which he was only a shadow of himself. “I tried to enjoy my retirement, but people don’t want me to stop” , let Jones Jr. know. And that raises the curtain for the illusion of a boxing match: It will always be a big show, big sport in all likelihood not.
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