An open letter to Danny Williams:
Nice fight. You beat a legend Friday night, caught the world napping, looking past you and onto bigger and better things.
Sure, the guy you beat was an old and tired legend, but like an aging junkyard dog with no supper and sore feet, he still had a little of the bite left in him.
Even when he's 38, you wouldn't want to get into a shoving match with Mike Tyson for stealing your seat at the movies.
So of course you should be proud of the win, especially since most of us thought you had as much chance of winning that fight as Joan of Arc had of blowing out the torch. It was nothing personal, but we all remember what Tyson used to be and what he used to do, how he chopped down bigger men and ravaged his way to the top of the heavyweight division at the age of 20.
It was never “if” he won, but “when,” what round. The best thing about a Tyson fight was watching how the loser went down, whether it was quick and scary, or in slow motion, whether the guy slammed face-first onto the canvas or he went down tangled in the ropes, a drunk reaching out to find something to grab onto to hold himself up, something like a rope or a referee or Tyson himself.
Iron Mike was something to watch back then, though I'm sure you remember that yourself.
But the last time we saw that Tyson was 13 long years ago. That's how long it's been since he beat a legitimate heavyweight contender. It was Donovan “Razor” Ruddock back in June, 1991. Since then, his wins have come against the Peter McNeeley's of the fight game. His recent history has been wins against names like Bruno, Seldon, Botha and Francis.
We haven't seen even traces of the old, crazy Tyson since the days of Desert Storm.
So Danny, don't get too caught up in all the hype and hoopla. Don't be crazy and call Lennox Lewis out of retirement for an all-British heavyweight fight in a packed soccer stadium. You'll get hurt.
Don't start looking for a Klitschko or a Toney or a Golota right away. Avoid Antonio Tarver. Don't get too excited about being on Leno or Letterman or ESPN2.
And most of all, don't forget who you've beaten besides Tyson. And who beat you.
In your last four fights before Friday night, your opponents had a combined record of 49-27-1. And that includes a 1999 loss to Julius Francis, a journeyman fighter with a record of 19-7, who beat you on points. Tyson fought that same Julius Francis two years ago and knocked him down five times on his way to a second-round TKO.
Finally, if you want another big-money fight, play it smart. Give Tyson the rematch. After all, he had that bad knee, right? Curiosity alone will sell a lot of tickets.
It's not much, but it should be safe.