Morilla’s Spit Bucket – Tyson Starts the Year on a High Note and More

The Spit Bucket is your weekly source of random thoughts, opinions and comments about the Manly Art, compiled by TSS boxing writer Diego Morilla. Make your suggestions and comments and dare to give us your own short commentary on this week’s boxing issues by sending us an email at diegomorillabox@hotmail.com

The Tyson brand is not going to go away soon. Ever since he became the youngest heavyweight champ in history and developed a reputation as a cold-stare, barrel-chested KO artist, Iron Mike has become synonymous with punching power, fierceness, and even boxing himself. This has led to a number of exploratory efforts to monetize his brand, ranging from TV and film appearances to stand-up comedy and more, in his effort to sustain himself after squandering (in one way or another) most of his ring earnings.

Now, he could have gone for a Starbucks blend or a Spotify playlist as his next project, but instead, Iron Mike has reportedly secured a location in a California town where he will develop his own strains of marijuana, presumably taking advantage of the state’s new legislation that allows the almost unrestricted commerce and use of recreational marijuana starting on Monday, January 1.

Apparently, Tyson has partnered with a few people to develop an entire project called “Tyson Ranch,” where they will develop marijuana products on a 40-acre farm in the Mojave Desert, some 110 miles north of L.A. Given Tyson’s friendship with actor and director Spike Lee, the chances of seeing a strain being named “40 Acres and a Mule Kick” are high, but it is much easier to expect names such as “Berbick’s Duck Dance,” “Spinks’ 90-Second Nightmare,” “Buster’s Rollercoaster” and “Mitch Green’s Barbie Doll Stroll,” just to name a few. We’re ready for the menu, Mike!

Arum Drops the Gavel and the UFC is Sentenced

A former Harvard Law graduate who became a tough prosecutor before becoming one of the most powerful men in boxing of all time, Bob Arum has been known for not pulling any punches when dealing with friends and (especially) foes. But he is best remembered for his witty comebacks and retorts in the usual smarty-pants legalese that he still dominates so well, such as his now infamous “yesterday I was lying, today I am telling the truth.”

It turns out that, in perspective, Arum tells the truth far more often than he lies, especially when he tears into his enemies with his personal blend of humor and sarcasm.

In recent remarks regarding UFC president Dana White’s intentions of becoming a boxing promoter, Arum reportedly told TMZ Sports that this action would imply the acceptance of boxing’s superiority over their feisty cousin, the still-developing fruit salad of combat sports rules known as MMA.

In other words, Arum just read White his Miranda rights: everything you say or do will instantly be used against you, and you will be entering a world that I not only live in, but that I created myself along with some other people who happen to be smarter than you.

“By coming in the business, he is really admitting that boxing is the more popular sport,” quipped Arum, “and in order to keep his company alive, he has to go into the boxing business.”

Not a bad statement at all, but perhaps Arum forgets that White already did that with the Mayweather-McGregor fiasco, and will presumably use part of the spoils from that promotion to launch his boxing promotional outfit. Of course, that fight would have never happened if Arum had remained Mayweather’s promoter throughout his career, but that’s one layer too deep in this nightmarish Inception scenario already. And the new layers will continue to pile up during 2018 and beyond.

Jones Promises to Stay Retired This Time

We’ve heard this before, and just like then, there is no reason to believe this now. Yes, Roy Jones Jr., former undisputed pound-for-pound king of boxing, poster child for Olympic abuse, is calling it quits with the whole business of calling it quits. Or something like that.

In an official announcement in his social media accounts, Jones (65-9, 47 KOs) announced his final bout, this time in the cruiserweight division, on February 8th in Pensacola, his hometown in currently frigid Northern Florida. Jones Jr., a former middleweight, super middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight titlist, will face a yet-to-be-named opponent in a yet-to-be-determined number of rounds, but no one appears to be counting. The 1998 Olympic silver medalist hasn’t fought since last February when he stopped Bobby Gunn, but has not been a factor in any rankings in any of the divisions he once dominated for a very long time.

The soon-to-be 49-years old Jones promised to retire on several occasions, always jumping to new ventures which included short stints as a rapper, sports promoter and entrepreneur, and a return to his family business of raising and training fighting cocks. But this time it feels real, as the aging Jones, who has won 11 of his last 12 bouts but has been irrelevant on the big stage for the better part of the last decade, has seen his once formidable talents completely eroded after a number of crushing defeats in a career that has been at least 10 years too long.

The silver lining in all of this? By fighting for the last time in 2018, Jones will automatically excuse himself from consideration in the already crowded Class of ’22 of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, a ballot that will feature sho-ins such as Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Wladimir Klitschko not to mention Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and many others. Provided, of course, that they all remain retired.

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