- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Well, if you got a chance to watch the highlights of yesterday's riot at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson news conference, consider yourself lucky.
You got to watch Lewis-Tyson I for free, saving yourself $50.
There won't be a Lewis-Tyson II or III or whatever. This fight will never happen now.
Call 911, baby. Mike Tyson is finished.
There is no way that 911 Mike should be licensed to fight again. He can't control himself, and he is a danger to anyone he is around or in any place he is. A hotel-casino that stages a 911 Mike fight is gambling with the possibility that it will end with a riot, like his second fight against Evander Holyfield did at the MGM Grand (the fools who were going to host this fight against Lewis).
What 911 Mike did yesterday may do far more damage to boxing than simply negate a Lewis-Tyson fight.
America Online, the new bosses at Time Warner, the owners of Home Box Office, Lewis' network and one of the two cable networks, along with Showtime (911 Mike's network), that were backing this fight in an unprecedented deal, have privately expressed concerns about being in the boxing business. They don't like the sordid publicity that comes with it, and what happened yesterday may force those high up the corporate ladder to rethink their involvement in boxing.
911 Mike is scheduled to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday to seek a new license there. Normally, a fighter can just seek license approval from the commission's executive director, but because 911 Mike is 36, he has to undergo extensive medical testing and a full hearing before the commission.
Here's my diagnosis. He's nuts.
Here's my prediction. Butterbean, not Lennox Lewis may be 911 Mike's next opponent. He was looking for someone to fight after The Fridge (William Perry, not our guy Ralphie) pulled out of their fight for medical reasons. This may be the only fight 911 Mike can get.
Based on the pictures of a flabby 911 Mike going after reporters in Cuba a few weeks ago, Butterbean might be a more appropriate opponent. If 911 Mike, who just fired his trainer Tommy Brooks, managed to get in shape in time to actually fight Lewis on April 6, he should put a tattoo of Richard Simmons on his arm.
He may have a chance to get some new jailhouse tattoos soon, because 911 Mike may be facing much more serious trouble than the fallout from his throwing fists and biting (there were reports that 911 Mike bit Lewis on the leg during yesterday's melee) at the news conference in New York.
911 Mike could face rape charges in Las Vegas resulting from an incident in December. The police just handed over their investigative report on the incident to the Clark County district attorney, which concluded there was probable cause to substantiate a charge of sexual assault. The DA will decide by next week whether charges will be filed.
All eyes will be on that office, because there is the suspicion that the hotels and casinos which run the town will exert pressure on the district attorney against filing charges. Let's face it, a fight between Lewis and 911 Mike, however a one-sided massacre it would be in Lewis' favor, would be a huge financial boost for a town that has been suffering economically since September 11.
Now 911 Mike made those questions moot. Even if there was no assault investigation, there is little chance that 911 Mike would be licensed to fight in Nevada or any place that could afford to stage such a fight.
911 Mike had his Nevada license revoked once, back in 1997, after biting Holyfield's ears in their second fight. He got it back a little more than a year later after a lengthy hearing process, and then made commission members look like idiots for their decision to relicense him:
In January 1999, he nearly broke Frans Botha's arm on purpose after the bell rang ending the first round of their fight.
A month later, he was sentenced to year a prison for beating up two motorists in an August 1998 incident in Gaithersburg and wound up serving nearly four months in the Montgomery County jail.
He came back to Vegas to fight Orlin Norris in October 1999, and hit Norris after the bell rang to end the first round. Norris couldn't continue, the fight was declared no contest, and 911 Mike was told that he couldn't fight in Nevada again until he proved he could behave himself.
911 Mike took his act overseas, fighting stiffs like Julius Francis and Lou Savarese. He declared in the ring after the Savarese fight in Scotland that he wanted to eat Lewis' children, and had to pay British promoter Frank Warren $3 million after beating him up over a dispute about who would pay for 911 Mike's jewelry.
He came back to the states to fight Andrew Golota in October 2000 in Detroit. The fight was originally declared a second round technical knockout for 911 Mike after Golota quit, but it was later changed to no contest after tests revealed that 911 Mike had tested positive for marijuana before the fight and refused to take a required drug test after the fight. He was suspended by Michigan boxing authorities for 90 days and had to pay $200,000 to avoid having a more serious license suspension.
He hasn't fought since, save for his scuffle yesterday in New York.
911 Mike has certainly proved himself, hasn't he?
"I had concerns before this happened," said commission member Amy Ayoub. Her fellow commissioners were careful about passing judgement, but Dr. Flip Homansky understated the issue when he said, "This is a recurring problem."
Like money in the bank, which Showtime saw fly away yesterday when 911 Mike went nuts. The network has loaned 911 Mike at least $13 million to pay off an IRS bill to keep him out of jail The two-fight deal against Lewis was the cable channel's last chance to recoup its money.
911 Mike's explanation for what happened yesterday was that he was just going along with what someone told him, "to stage a face off," when he walked across the stage yesterday in New York to confront Lewis.
These must be the voices inside 911 Mike's head. I wonder if they will be appearing before the commission as well.

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