Bert Sugar was close.
“Mike Tyson has gone from the bizarre to the tragic,” the writer, publisher, philosopher and boxing goodwill ambassador said on TV recently. He forgot to add pathetic.
Tyson has filed for bankruptcy, which didn't really catch anyone napping. Besides, we hadn't heard from Tyson in almost a week. He was due to be caught up in another controversy.
A lost kid who grew up on the streets of Brooklyn, he made $300 million during his boxing career and now he's broke, busted, played out. He's just another pug who lived high and mighty and a little too fast. And now it's too late to go back and start over.
In the past, Tyson might have been able to fight his way out of this kind of jam. Book him a fight against a top contender, and he'd be back on his feet in no time, at least for a few weeks. Pay him $30 million to fight and maybe the wolves would back away from the door for awhile. He could continue his lavish spending.
But today, the only guy you'd pay that kind of money to was the old Mike Tyson, the guy who use to scare us just by climbing into the ring. He was like watching a horror movie. It was only a matter of minutes before someone lost their head.
But that guy's not around anymore. The new guy, the new Mike Tyson, is 37 and has dwindling boxing skills and limited earning potential. His days of big-time fights and big-time purses are over, and making a small fortune on the lucrative lecture circuit doesn't appear to be an option.
Still, he could pawn that $173,706, 40-inch, 80-carat necklace he bought last year. Or he could quit going to the jewelry store in a stretch limousine, which he still owes $308,749 for the use of.
If he hasn't done it already, Tyson should donate his pet tigers to the San Diego Zoo. It costs serious money to keep a tiger happy. In this case, he's $8,100 in arrears for tiger care and maintenance.
Think your phone bill is a little high following that 20-minute long-distance call to Denver? Between 1995 and 1997, Tyson reportedly spent $230,000 on pagers and cell phones. Just how much time does he spend on the phone and who is he talking to?
Tyson also reportedly owes millions in back taxes, owes several thousand in child-support and he's facing a number of lawsuits filed by old “friends” and ex wives.
Tyson isn't taking all the blame for his bounced checks and bad credit. He's suing Don King, claiming the promoter stole about $100 million from him during their carefree days when Tyson was king and King was making daily trips to the local savings and loan.
The problem with suing Don King is the long waiting list in front of you. Everyone from his ex-fighters to the check-out girl at Winn-Dixie wants a piece of King, and his won-loss record is impressive. King knows lawsuits and he has seldom dealt with one he couldn't beat.
As for Tyson, he brought most of this on himself. The number of fighters who claim to have lost millions to King is no secret. And even Tyson swore off King before he went to prison for rape in 1992. When he walked out three years later, he apparently forgot everything he'd learned. He went right back to King.
That's not bizarre, tragic or pathetic.
That's just crazy.