Get Ready For Mike Tyson’s World Tour

By Francis Walker
Updated: October 20, 2006

NEW YORK—The “Mike Tyson’s World Tour” made it first stop on Friday at the Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown. Ohio. Tyson will appear in an exhibition contest against one-eyed former heavyweight contender, Corey “T-Rex” Sanders. Arena tickets were sold for as low as $25. Tyson can be seen in the ring again at a suggest retail price of $29.99.

It was only a matter of time before Tyson fought in the ring again. Very few fighters remain retired once they’ve hung up their gloves for good. Look at Sugar Ray Robinson, who fought well past his prime into the 1970s???? Sugar Ray Leonard’s losses to Terry Norris and Hector “Macho” Camacho nearly tainted his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in boxing history. Evander Holyfield has returned at age 44 for once last run toward a world heavyweight championship.

“It’s all fun,” Tyson said at a recent news conference to promote his world tour. “I’m not 20 years old. I’m not going to smash anybody. I’m not going to talk about smashing somebody’s brains. You’re not going to see that guy anymore.”

A cash-strapped Tyson’s return to the boxing arena shouldn’t surprise anyone. He owes millions to the IRS.

“The money I make here is not going to help any of my bills really from a tremendous standpoint,” Tyson added. “But I’m going to feel better about myself.”

Tyson became the youngest fighter to win the world heavyweight championship when he knocked out Trevor Berbick to win the WBC title in November 1986. At 21, Tyson became the first and the youngest fighter to ever unify the world heavyweight championships when he beat Tony Tucker in a 12-round decision in August 1987.

Spectacular KOs against Larry Holmes, Tyrell Biggs, Tony Tubbs, Frank Bruno, Carl Williams, Alex Steward, Henry Tillman, Pinklon Thomas, and an undefeated former heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks led Tyson to immeasurable fame and popularity.

Tyson was never really the same fighter once he lost the undisputed title to James Buster Douglas in February 1990 in Tokyo, Japan.

Tyson was regarded by many as THE world heavyweight champion from 1986 to 1990. However, following a 1991 rape conviction which cost Tyson four years of his prime and countless millions.

Tyson was 25 when his boxing career stalled because of a rape conviction of an Indianapolis beauty pageant contestant, Deseree Washington. When Tyson resumed his boxing career, he was rusty 29 year old shell of the former “Baddest Man on the Planet.”

When Tyson returned in 1996, his career plummeted. Tyson was KO’d and disqualified in two separate fights between 1996-97 against Holyfield. Tyson was banned for more than a year for assaulting Holyfield.

In January 1999, Tyson was losing to Frans Botha until he landed a lucky one-punch knockout blow in the fifth round. Tyson was arrested and jailed once more in 1999 for assault. Tyson returned in October 1999 and was nearly disqualified again for hitting former cruiserweight champion Orlin Norris after the bell to end the first round. That fight was ruled a no-contest.

In the final six years of his career from 2000 to 2006 (2,190 days), Tyson fought only once a year compiling a miserable 2-3-2 record.

Tyson’s second-round TKO of Andrew Golota in October 2000 was changed to a declared a no-contest when Tyson tested positive for marijuana following a post-fight drug test.

Tyson weighed a career-high 240 pounds and struggled during his seventh-round TKO of Brian Nielson in October 2001.

In June 2002, Tyson, in his final world heavyweight title fight, was KO’d in the eighth-round following a one-sided beating by WBC/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis.

Tyson’s final victory was in February 2003, when he KO’d Clifford Etienne in the first round. Tyson attempted to reestablish himself as a top heavyweight contender, but he was knocked out in three rounds by Danny Williams (July 2004) and quit on his tool before the sixth round of his fight against Kevin McBride (June 2005).

Tyson doesn’t want his quitting in a corner to be the final images of his famed career. At least these exhibitions will allow people to see Tyson fight again. Whether Tyson fights again professionally is another question.

Until then, it all begins again exhibition style.