While the animated ogre Shrek has been cleaning up in the cinema sweepstakes, raking in huge box office returns for Shrek 2, Mike Tyson will be hoping to do the same in his own sequel when he climbs into the ring against Danny Williams on July 30.
Is this Tyson IV or V? We've seen Tyson, who is definitely one of the most animated characters in boxing, start numerous returns to the ring over the years, but not much has been forthcoming. We're still all holding on for the real Tyson to re-emerge, not that poor imitation who showed his face against Lennox Lewis in what I found to be one of the most boring fights of the decade. No matter how much people made of Lewis's victory, on that performance, Frans Botha could have beaten the sedated Tyson that night.
Going back to the Shrek comparison, if one were to draw Iron Mike and shade him green he could well have landed the leading role in the hit movie. No offence, but except for the ears, they do look alike. Given the ogres popularity at this stage, that's not a bad thing. In his first movie Shrek told a pursuing army that he was going to boil them alive and grind their bones into oatmeal – sounds like something our man Tyson could say, after all there was the comment about eating Lewis's children.
When Tyson uttered these things the world was shocked. When Shrek says them, however, the world laughs. After all, the ogre who lives in the swamp didn't really mean it. He was only trying to scare his enemies. Tyson, on the other hand, is taken literally. Admittedly, he's by no measure as articulate as Muhammad Ali was when he told Joe Frazier he was going to hit him so hard that his forefathers in Africa were going to feel it, but Tyson is one of the few fighters who has made an attempt to talk up a fight, something which Ali spoiled us with. It is something missing in the modern fight-game. James Toney has tried his hand at trash talking and has received publicity as a result. We are all now well aware that he wants to fight the big boys in the heavyweight division.
Am I hooked on ogres now or does he also have a slight resemblance to Shrek? I'm not saying boxing now needs a bevy of trash-talkers lest we become another version of WWE, but we do need characters with personality. We need to find the fairytale of poor boy makes good again. Let's hope Tyson can make it out of the swamp in his sequel and inspire all the other characters who are hiding in the forest to come out and show us their stuff.
A last thought — if Tyson is Shrek, is Williams his Ass? I guess we'll find out on the 30th.