Monday, May 11, 2009

Considering Mike Tyson

A really good review of the film "Tyson," by Sheila O'Malley.

I'm looking forward to seeing it - there's no question that Mike Tyson was the last boxer with enough ability and charisma to transcend the sport and become a household name in his own right. Over time it became negative charisma, but Tyson himself bears a lot of responsibility for that.

Even setting aside the circus that his non-boxing life became (and Sheila's comments about the Robin Givens interview are spot on), Tyson too bears the responsibility for squandering his enormous talent. He was truly an awesome force in his prime - a truly great fighter, and from Sheila's review it sounds like he realizes that he indeed let it all go through a loss of discipline. After all, it's not as if anyone had ever hurt him in the ring (easy for me to say that, but you know what I mean).

I'm interested in hearing what he has to say about the infamous Holyfield fight, because I don't remember thinking at the time that Holyfield was fighting dirty at the moment when Tyson tried to bite his ear off - in fact, I remember thinking that Tyson was fighting dirty, that he was a desperate man, having lost to Holyfield the previous fall (in a tremendous fight) and realizing that even with the revenge factor and anger on his side, he no longer had the tools to compete with the best in the ring.

Howard Cosell once wrote about Sonny Liston that he could think of no requiem for this particular heavyweight. I'm looking forward to seeing what this film does for Tyson.

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