Tyson Loss Puts Nail In Coffin For Heavyweight Division

BY Rick Folstad ON July 31, 2004
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You can call a doctor, but there's no saving it now. It's over, dead, deceased, gone toes up.

Left the building.

The heavyweight division died a horrible death Friday night in Louisville, Kentucky when the division's last hope for redemption took a header into reality in the fourth round and stayed there.

Mike Tyson, boxing's fabled savior, turned out to be Mike Tyson, a tired old man who likes to raise pigeons.

R.I.P., heavyweight division.

Tyson's loss to Danny Williams doesn't really mean an end to the world as we know it. The sun will still rise and set, bills will still come in the mail, and we still have the junior-welterweight division to cherish and hold on to.

But we've learned that Thomas Wolfe was right when he said we "can't go home again." The Tyson we were looking for and expecting to see, isn't around any more. He's been gone for 10 years, though not everyone wanted to admit it.

Sure, there have been a few reported sightings of the man over the years, a glimpse of him here and there handing out a brutal beating to a bum. But now we know they were just apparitions, shadows, a fading mirage. All this time we were just fooling ourselves, believing there still might be some of that rage left in him, still that bone-snapping left hook and the ugly disposition and the perpetual scowl that made him more of a beast than a man. And kept us watching.

The multi-fight deal to help bring Tyson back from the poor and the down-todden? I guess you can kiss that plan good-bye. He might have to start looking for honest work as a door man.

Over the past several years, Tyson has gone from the most feared man on the planet, to the craziest man on the planet, to a heavyweight oddity. And finally, to a circus sideshow no one wants to see any more. You can try to beat back time all you want, but we all know who gets the big win.

As for Danny Williams, give him points for agreeing to fight Tyson. Give him credit for beating Tyson. And finally, shake his hand, pat him on the back and tell him he picked the right time to be a heavyweight. If this were the 70s, Williams' would be trying to find work as a sparring partner, and probably coming up short.

I'm not saying Williams is a mediocre heavyweight, but there were reports coming out of his training camp that his chin was robin's-egg tough.

Finally, when the heavyweights from across the ocean are winning all the big fights, it tells you most of the gifted big men in this country are choosing the NFL.

So what can bring the division back from the dead?

Big George, can you hear me?

Just kidding. I think.

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