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Mike Tyson Begins Life After Boxing

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That’s it. Mike Tyson’s officially done. After losing in a six-round fight with Kevin McBride, Tyson announced he was retiring from the sport, saying “That’s it, I’m finished. It’s just not in my heart. I’m just not interested in fighting anymore.”

He hasn’t been a legitimate fighter since he fed on Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997. He’s also lost three of his last four fights, not to mention one ugly face tat.

So he’s done as an athlete. In the twilight of his boxing career, he was a loser. And in real life, he might be even more of a loser, having been convicted of rape in 1992.

I don’t know much about boxing. Some of you might. But he was good, and he had the potential to be one of the best. Heck, he’s the namesake for the greatest NES games ever. Then again, many people had “the potential.” Grant Hill. Mark Fidrych. Christian Hosoi. John Daly. Davey Allison.

Most of these people were unable to bounce back from injury (or, in Allison’s case, death), but Tyson’s story is probably comparable to that of Hosoi, the talented skateboarder from the ’80s. Both Tyson and Hosoi made the wrong decisions in life, and it cost them the chance to be the greatest.

The debate about his place in boxing history is not one I would like to participate in– again, not being a boxing aficionado. But he is an active member of society. He is a father. And he does have the chance to educate young athletes to make the right decisions.

When LeBron James signed his multi-million dollar basketball/shoe deals, my father posed these questions to me:- What kind of people will he hang around? Will he make the right choices? James has history on his side, and knows what not to repeat. (And thanks to the NBA, there are many shameful case studies.)

Tyson realizes he has nothing left. He’s past bankruptcy. He fears dying alone. He wants to find some semblance of a life, because boxing is no longer a part of it. If he fervently believes he made mistakes in his life, he could mentor young boxers (or any athlete) and become a role model for once in his life. There are reports he is also considering becoming a Christian missionary.

Tyson is 38 and doesn’t know what to do with himself. I’m 22, fresh out of college and am in the same boat (hence all the blogging). I guess you can never be too old to search for what you really want in life.

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  • http://spaces.msn.com/members/dorksandlosers Tan Hoang

    Nice article. But I’m conflicted. Tyson did reach his potential, being the youngest reigning world champion. Although his actions hurt his chances at maintaining that championship and his greatness. I guess it depends on your evaluation of Tyson. Could he have been the greatest? Possibly.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Weirdly enough, back at the peak of Tyson’s career, I predicted he would end up broke and working as a greeter at one of the casinos. Tyson had an intensity and a ferocity that couldn’t be matched in his heyday but at the heart of things he remained pretty much a thorough-going thug.

    How he would have done out of the hands of the exploitative Don King…who knows.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Tyson was, is, and always will be an unhinged lunatic. The rape, the ear-eating, the attempts to break an opponent’s arm, the head butts, the drug use, the bankruptcy after earning hundreds of millions of dollars, the divorce, and the bizarre public displays (including facial tats) all lead one to believe that this guy should be locked up, put away, and the key should be melted.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Back when he was the youngest heavyweight champ, he was quite possibly the most powerful boxer ever. Not necessarily the greatest; he was mainly a one-dimensional puncher. But what a punch he packed. In those days, fights only lasted a couple of rounds, not because of bitten ears, but because he would knock his opponent into oblivion.

    But even in those days, he was unhinged. Cus D’Amato, his trainer who took him under his wing when he was a teen, said he was mean; he wasn’t kidding.

    It’s a sad ending, but it was predictable, as Deano pointed out.

    He’s never shown a whole lot of integrity; I imagine he’ll attempt a comeback, which will turn out as farcical as the others.

    What can he do except box? A lot of people have feared he’d channel his rage into wrong avenues without it; he already has, as his jail time shows.

    I’ve long predicted that he’d be dead by 40. Maybe I’m wrong, and I hope I am. But 50? A lot can go wrong before now and then…

  • http://www.docofdiets.com dietdoc

    When Mike became heavyweight champion, I used to wonder how Ali’s magic would work on Tyson’s incredible and, IMHO, unmatched punching power. I also considered a match of a “Masters of the Left Hook” – Joe Frazier vs. Tyson. I don’t have those type of illusions any longer. Tyson became frustrated by anyone who he couldn’t knock out. Ali would have killed him as would Frazier.

    When Cus let go of the reins, Tyson let go of his sanity. I really don’t think “Iron Mike” rates very high in the pantheon of “great heavyweights.” At least, not in the top 10.

    Cheers,

    Ron

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    I actually found myself hoping he’d win. From what I heard, he was winning in the early stages, but he never got up for the second round.

    Tan, you’re right Tyson did reach his potential then bottomed out quick. So did Christian Hosoi, although his stay at the top was considerably longer, just not in the spotlight.

    Hosoi was an underground rockstar in the 1980s, until all the drugs and law evasion caught up to him. He was supposed to be the face of the X-Games when they began, but instead his rival, the “good boy” Tony Hawk played the part, and now look who has their own video game franchise?

    If Tyson was able to prolong his career, he might have been the namesake to EA’s Fight Night series today.

  • vato

    to RJ and all the other people that hate tyson. have you actually ever been part of society? people head butt people during fights and do other things that are even worse, and some people actually bite too during bare knuckle fights, ive seen it for myself, and other people do take drugs too you know. some unlucky people get their hands or other parts of their body broken. tyson aint the only guy to have a divorce either, people get worse tattoos and other weird body modifications, but for some reason, you think that makes tyson crazy, so what are you saying, people who do the same sort of thing are crazy too? and another thing, this is a fact, there has actually been some proof found that indicates tyson did not rape that woman and he might try his case again.
    all you haters just ask yourself, tyson aint the greatest heavyweight now, but what did you think of him before all this happened, when he became champion?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    All the excuses made for Tyson remind me of all the excuses made for MJ. One has to SERIOUSLY suspend one’s disbelief to think Tyson is an angelic figure, just like one must ignore all the facts to believe MJ is just a normal dude who got a bad rep from the media…