- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2002

If Mike Tyson was not medicated during yesterday's hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission (he claimed he was not), then I'm betting by last night he was plenty medicated.

He probably wasn't the only one. I'll bet Shelly Finkel, his pathetic advisor, made a run to the pharmacy, as well as officials from Showtime, the MGM Grand and anyone else who had a stake in the multi-million dollar showdown that was to take place between 911 Mike and heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on April 6 in Las Vegas.

There may not have been enough Zoloft in Las Vegas last night to soften the blow the commission dealt to everyone who needed 911 Mike to make it to this big payday so they could finally get the money back they had invested into this human being.

Yes, 911 Mike is a human being. He declared so yesterday when he appeared before the commission to get a license to fight in the state of Nevada, which he hasn't had since the commission told him to take his act on the road after he hit Orlin Norris after the bell ended the first round in their October 1999 fight that was declared no contest.

"I am a human being, but I haven't been treated that way," 911 Mike said. "I haven't been written that way."

He is a human being. I am writing that here.

What he is not is a licensed fighter in the state of Nevada, as the commission voted 4-1 yesterday to deny 911 Mike his application for a boxing license in the state.

There was speculation that because of the large sums of money that a Lewis-911 Mike fight would bring to Las Vegas, and because of the depressed economy of the city since September 11, that the commission would bow to the economic pressures of the casinos and grant 911 Mike his license.

But that really was never an option. Let's face it, if they licensed a human being like 911 Mike to fight, then any human being would be fair game to box in Nevada, no matter what rules they had broken.

This is the beginning of the end for 911 Mike, and you have to believe it won't end well for him. Now he can't fight, although there is the opinion that he never really wanted to fight Lewis, and got into that melee at the New York news conference to get out of the fight. He is facing the possibility of sexual assault charges, as police have recommended that the district attorney file criminal charges against 911 Mike involving a complaint from a woman who claims 911 Mike raped her in his home in Las Vegas.

911 Mike thought rape was something to joke about yesterday, when he declared he was "crazy, but not that kind of crazy" not crazy enough to commit rape or murder, he said, laughing.

Considering his conviction on rape in 1992 in Indiana, and the charges that could be filed against him in Nevada, it was the wrong material for 911 Mike's act, which will now be taken on the road, although Lewis may not be joining him.

There have been reports that other places where 911 Mike has fought in the past few years since being booted out of Nevada, such as Michigan and Denmark, would welcome him back.

I know there are charities in the state of Michigan that must be lining up to testify in favor of bringing 911 Mike back there, where he fought Andrew Golota in October 2000 in a two-round fight. Because 911 Mike tested positive for marijuana use before the fight, and refused to take a post-fight drug test, 911 Mike agreed to donate $200,000 to a group of Michigan charities if they would not permanently ban him from fighting there. He was suspended for three months and fined $5,000 officially. The $200,000 donation was just a gesture from this human being.

But to put on a fight like this one takes a lot of money. The combined purse for both fighters was expected to be as much as $40 million. The MGM Grand was willing to pay a $15 million site fee just for the privilege to host the fight, which was scheduled for April 6. No one in Michigan or Denmark will be able to come up with that kind of money.

The only other places that could possibly compete financially on that level are Madison Square Garden in New York, the casinos in Atlantic City or the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and all of the boxing commissions in those states are not likely to license 911 Mike if Nevada didn't. The commissions with any small piece of credibility in this country respect each other's actions. Michigan doesn't fall in that category.

England, Lewis' homeland, won't sanction the fight. The British Boxing Board of Boxing Control doesn't want him back after he refused to stop fighting after the referee stepped in to stop his fight with Lou Savarese in the first round of their June 2000 fight, and had beaten up boxing promoter Frank Warren in a dispute over an unpaid jewelry bill.

By the time they could find a way to put Lewis-911 Mike on, it's likely that he would have done something else to put the fight in danger. It was hard enough to put together this deal. It will be nearly impossible to patch it together again.

The life of 911 Mike the fighter may finally be over. Sadly, the end of the life of 911 Mike the human being may not be far behind.

"My life is doomed the way it is," 911 Mike told Playboy magazine in a 1998 interview. "I have no future."

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