You gotta think tix sales for the Mike Tyson one-man broadway show on tour now are going to uptick, after the former baddest man on the planet showed he can still get into a mode.
On live TV, during an interview on CablePulse24 host Nathan Downer, Tyson was asked about his appearance with controversial, and now sober, Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
In case you missed it, the outfit breaking more news than the NYTimes, TMZ, ran a clip from Tyson's Wednesday appearance on CP24.
Downer poked his stick at the middle-aged but still lethal lion, who of late has been a more sedate animal, but can still get growly when irked. Downer wanted to know about the show, and also Tyson's dealings with Ford. Tyson met and chatted with Ford on Tuesday, and gave him his endorsement. “We're cut from the same cloth,” said Ford of Tyson. The boxer maybe poked the stick himself, when he said, during a meet 'n greet with Ford covered by media, that the 45-year-old Ford has been the focus of rabid coverage for misdeeds because he's been under “24-hour surveillance” by the media.
“He’s a human being,” Tyson said. “We have no idea what you do behind closed doors, what your habits are…And you guys are perfect?”
Downer threw himself into the mouth of the lion, when he asked on Wednesday, in the now infamous chat, “Some of your critics would say, there's a race for Mayor (of Toronto), we know you're a convicted rapist, this could hurt his campaign. How would you respond to that?”
You can see Tyson, 48, tensing, and you wonder of Downer knew what he'd done. “Hey, I don't who said that, you're the only one I heard said that. I don't have no comment,” the ex fighter, and now promoter said. “It's negative and you're being negative. And I met the Mayor, there's nothing they can do about it.”
Local fight promoter Alex Choko, who was present with Tyson for some media dates, took over, and looked to smooth the waters. He said the Mike 'n Mayor meeting went quite well.
The boxer fumed, still, and wasn't ready to move on. Staring at Downer, he said, “It's so interesting, because you come off like a nice guy, but you're really a piece of s—t.”
“Hey, hey, come on,” Downer said, with a 'who me?' look on his face. “We're doing live TV now.”
“I don't care, what are you going to do about it?” said the now provoked ex hitter, proving you can take the boy out of Brownsville, but you can't easily scrub Brownsville outta the boy.
Downer stuck to the script, asking about the Tyson show taking place that night, Wednesday evening, in Toronto. “It speaks for itself, everyone saw the show,” Tyson said, looking at Downer like he was Bruce Seldon. Choko, bless his peace-making soul, talked up the production, mentioning it was heading to Monaco (Oct. 9).
Downer wanted his stick back, and to play nice.
What is more nerve wracking, boxing, or doing the show, he asked amiably.
“It's more nerve wracking to be here talking to a rat piece of shit like you,” he said, eyes burning holes in Downer's chest. “No, because you're a piece of shit…(Expletives bleeped)…Eff you.”
Cue station break and a run to wardrobe to get new drawers for Downer. I would have asked him about it, but a CP24 spokesman said that, “Unfortunately Nathan is unavailable for interviews at this time.”
Frankly, you wonder, actually, if Downer meant to provoke such a reaction…Especially since no one doesn't know that Ford is quite the character. In a Nov. 2013 interview, he told press, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine but … am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Um, probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.” He went to rehab in April of 2014, so I'm guessing an endorsement from Tyson won't be the difference-maker in his current campaign, for re-election.
Tyson too was looking to move past this situation, I heard. A source in his camp said that Team Tyson, who said a CP24 interview hadn't been signed off on, and CP24 snagged Tyson for the sit-down. The Tyson team felt “bamboozled” and that the boxer felt attacked. Also, the source told me that TMZ said that the station sent TMZ the tape, which makes it seem like even if Downer didn't plan to poke his stick, and manufacture a viral video meltdown, than at the least, they did make sure to capitalize on the brouhaha.
I asked CP24 if they did indeed send the video to TMZ and for a comment from a station exec. “Due to the profane nature of the interview, we did not make the video available for distribution to any media organizations,” a CP24 spokesman said.
Readers, talk to me. Was the question and topic fair game? Was Downer brave, or crazy?
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Several women I spoke to didn't seem to have any problem with Downers' method. Tyson, was, after all, convicted of rape in 1992. Fair enough; no one, I mean no one condones rape… but I can understand his reluctance at rehashing events from 1992…and know that I'd be disinclined to re-process my missteps from 22 years ago on a regular basis. For the record, Tyson maintains in his show that he was wrongly convicted.
On Twitter right after the uncomfortable session, Downer Tweeted, “I'm OK everybody. Unfortunately my question hurt Mike Tyson's feelings. That was not my intentions. My apologies for the language.” And then, “No ill will toward Mike Tyson. He lashed out at me and that's okay. Not taking it personally.”