- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2005

Mike Tyson professes to be done with boxing despite the line of creditors and IRS beating on his front door.

Even if Tyson is not done with boxing, boxing is almost done with him.

The promoters lured 15,472 enablers to Fun Street with the hope that Tyson had enough left in his aging form to turn back a pug from Ireland and generate another payday or two.

That plan is hopelessly misguided now, given the lack of fight in Tyson. He quit on his stool after a head butt and arm-breaking attempt failed to deter the lumbering load of body mass before him.

He actually quit on the sport long before his carnival found a sucker in the District. He quit with an out-of-control life style that aged his body before its time. He is almost 39 going on almost 59 in party years.

Perhaps the sight of a whimpering, sniveling Tyson was worth the price of admission. Or perhaps a few felt cheated that Tyson refused to take his beating like a man. Either way, Tyson as a meal ticket is up against the diminishing returns of the marketplace.

Tyson is stuck between the rock of debts galore and the hard place of no redeeming skills outside the ring.

Tyson is hardly qualified to hit the job market, not unless there is a company in need of an ear-biting, leg-chomping ex-con who lacks good social skills.

The latter even would hurt his ability to land a meet-and-greet position with one of the casinos in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, N.J.

He is left with three potential pursuits: a reality television show or a career in ultimate fighting or professional wrestling.

Tyson is something of an ultimate fighter already, given his desperate tactics when pressed. He possibly is too real to work in the highly choreographed nuttiness of professional wrestling.

The reality of the reality show genre comes with a wink, wink, of course, as if Paris Hilton and the like ever forget the cameras lurking in their midst.

Being inane with a twist sells, as Tyson knows only too well.

Tyson also offers the freak element, if not the hint of danger, although he keeps insisting he just wants to be a father to his children, which really does not inspire a sense of drama.

The hard-living Tyson — whether getting into bar fights or groping women or assaulting motorists — is the one who could capture a respectable audience share.

Coincidentally, as if somehow the stars are properly aligned, the demise of Tyson comes as the nation’s other weird Mike awaits his legal fate from the creepy confines of Neverland.

The two have altered their faces, one with a tattoo and the other with multiple surgeries that have granted him the faux-Diana Ross wax museum look.

Tyson threatened to eat the children of an opponent, while Wacko Jacko merely has sleepovers with young boys, ostensibly to share cookies and warm milk with them.

Their place in the Uncle Fester wing of pop culture lore is forevermore and certain to be adjusted accordingly as they descend deeper into the demon-filled abyss.

Tyson at least recognizes his absurdity.

As he says, “If you saw a [police] lineup and saw [Mike] Tyson and [Jeffrey] Dahmer and they asked, ‘Who killed and ate those people?’ you would pick me and not Jeffrey.”

His problem remains: What’s next?

He fought a bum, and the bum won, as the previous bum did.

Tyson is the biggest bum of them all now, so long as he remains unable to find a bum who falls down in his presence.

That could be the basis of a show, titled “Bum Search,” as Tyson and his handlers go tromping around the planet to find a suitable opponent, possibly a one-eye, 40-something shell who has been knocked out in his last 10-15 fights.

Tyson could fight a woman, except he already fought Robin Givens, and Givens won by TKO in front of Barbara Walters and millions of television viewers.


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