Anticipation builds for Mike Tyson’s return to boxing
If it were possible for the Beatles to reunite for one last concert, would you want to watch it?
In my opinion, most music fans young and old would answer with a resounding yes. Even for non-Beatle fans, the iconic status of the legendary foursome would surely attract eyeballs to the television set just for the sheer spectacle of it.
The same could be said about legendary prize fighter “Iron” Mike Tyson. Because of his name recognition within general pop culture, I believe Tyson’s upcoming exhibition bout with fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday, Nov. 28 will be one of the most watched sporting events of the year. While a generation of people too young to remember the former fighting champion will have a rare opportunity to see Tyson in action, people old enough to recall his glory years of the late 1980s will be able to take a trip down memory lane.
Meanwhile, the 51 year-old Jones has his own legion of loyal fans as he was once considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world during the 1990s. Despite his age, Jones has stayed relatively active in the ring with his last competitive match taking place in 2018. Certainly a qualified opponent for Iron Mike, the main storyline heading into this showdown is not that Jones is continuing his career, but more so that Tyson is returning to the fight game.
At 54 year-old, Tyson has been featured in several Youtube videos that have officially gone viral. In phenomenal condition as he prepares for his first competitive boxing match since 2005, people such as myself were amazed to see Tyson’s trademark intensity on full display in these training clips. As detractors remind us there is a distinct difference between training for a fight and actually being in a fight, the fluidity and ferocity which Tyson has showcased in these recent clips has done wonders to promote this match to the masses.
Aside from the public’s innate fascination with Tyson’s propensity for violence and brutality, it seems to me as though the former heavyweight champion has gained moral support to promote the fight as well. His well documented struggles outside the ring include financial difficulties, marital problems, as well as substance abuse and legal issues. I believe there is a segment of the population who just want to see the troubled ex-fighter doing something productive. By offering to donate the proceeds of this event to charity, it appears the Brooklyn, New York native is attempting this comeback for a cause greater than himself. Perhaps this is his way of making amends on all the havoc he has created through the years.
With regards to my own expectations of the upcoming fight, I really do not know what to expect. Will Jones Jr. and Tyson playfully exchange a few light jabs, and casually move around the ring with one another, or will Iron Mike unleash a wrath of devastating combinations that will separate Jones from his consciousness? Or will Jones prove to be too quick and elusive for Tyson to even get his hands on? These questions will remain a mystery until the night of the 28th.
When he was an active fighter, I believe it was the anticipation of the unknown that made Tyson such a spectacular box office attraction with fans. Whether it was a stunning first-round knockout, a press conference outburst or chomping off a piece of an opponent’s ear in the ring, the theatre of the unexpected was a calling card of any Tyson event. Amazingly after 15 years of inactivity in the sport of boxing, the individual once know as ‘the baddest man on the planet’ still carries that appeal.