Were I psychoanalyst, I might ask you – do you feel any compassion now it truly appears to be over for Mike Tyson? Good thing for both of us I’m not.
Tonight in Louisville, Kentucky, Danny Williams – an unknown, English heavyweight from Brixton in South London – put to bed, once and for all, the myth surrounding Mike Tyson, erstwhile baddest man on the planet. Williams knocked Mike Tyson out at 2:51 of the 4th round in a startling upset.
Following the conclusion of the first round, a Williams upset did not look probable, if even possible at all. Tyson came out attacking in the first, wobbling Williams noticeably with a left uppercut near the midpoint of the round, but the Englishman managed to hang on, tying Tyson up and hanging on for dear life. Williams somehow managed to greet the bell to end the opening round, upright and still in the fight.
"I was hurt," Williams conceded. "Tyson still has tremendous punching power. But I saw from the Holyfield fights, that if you keep throwing punches, he doesn¹t recover all that well."
What most in the arena hadn’t noticed was that Tyson had appeared to injure his right knee during round 1. It may or may not have had an affect on how the rest of the fight played out, but in retrospect the wheels started to fall of for Tyson after the opening stanza. Willams continued to fight in survival mode through round 2, only for the script to take on ominous overtones for Tyson in the 3rd.
With Danny Williams still hanging around in the 3rd, the outcome now appeared less than sure for Tyson. Williams’ resolve was such that he started trying to bust Tyson with left uppercuts and short right hands, to the point where referee Dennis Alfred felt compelled to deduct 2 points from Williams, once for hitting on the break and then for a low blow. It was hard not to believe that if a Tyson victory could not be earned on merit, then promotional muscle just might give fate a gentle nudge in that direction. But it was not to be.
By the 4th, Williams, perhaps sensing Tyson was beginning to fade, had started unloading the right hand, and it eventually found its mark. Williams finally wobbled Tyson, and with Tyson now fatigued and his technique visibly eroding by the second, Williams unloaded an onslaught of unanswered blows which ended with another right hand that sent Tyson slumping into the ropes and eventually to the canvas. Though Tyson attempted to beat the count, it was over.
Danny Williams, 10-1 underdog, had penned a fairytale ending to his night. As Alfred wrapped his arms around Tyson and waved the fight off, one could not help feel like an era had just ended. Maybe this time for good. Tyson’s fragility was now manifest for all to see and his resolve had shown to be wafer thin.
How much more evidence do we need that it is over? Unequivocally. Undeniably. Emphatically and without question. It is over for Mike Tyson.
There should be no question as to Mike Tyson’s future as a serious player in the heavyweight division, but the thing is, he is indisputably a money-generating machine. So it is never that easy when it comes to Mike Tyson.
One must ask, if not retirement, then where does Mike Tyson go from here? After all, it’s boxing, and it’s Mike Tyson we’re talking about. So Yogi Berra’s maxim simply does not apply.
Even though it’s not over til’ it’s over, and in Mike Tyson’s case it’s clearly over, we still have to ask – what next for Mike Tyson?
Though his days as a top flight operator, even in these barren times for the heavyweight division, are clearly over, sadly, the financial imperative may dictate that Tyson must go on. There are bills to be paid. Creditors to be satiated. Divorce settlements to be satisfied.
Surely, the thought of a spent Mike Tyson continuing to chase the heavyweight title solely to stave off debt, surely this must breed some kind of compassion in all of us. If not for Mike Tyson himself, then at least for the game of boxing that it might find itself treading in such murky depths yet again.