By Francisco Salazar
“Bite his ear!”
Mike Tyson has heard it all throughout his life. And you know what? He will probably hear it more until a higher power decides he will no longer be amongst us on Earth.
While there are people who tend to look at the glass half-empty in regards to Tyson, isn’t it about time people to move on from that?
No? Well, that is your thing. I have already moved on.
While people still think Tyson deserves to have things go bad in his life, I already accepted the fines, jail time, and bans he has faced throughout his life.
However, maybe those punishments are just a tip of the iceberg through all the demons he has faced throughout his life. If you think about it, Tyson should not be living modestly in the Las Vegas suburbs. He shouldn’t have a caring wife by his side. Nor should he be promoting fight cards, as he will be doing this Friday night from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.
Yes, Iron Mike Productions will promote the fight card that will be televised live on ESPN2, starting at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT.
Should Tyson be reading this, he would probably want the focus to be on the fighters and not that fact that the attention is drawn to him.
Super featherweights Argenis Mendez and Arash Usmanee will square off for Mendez’s world title belt, while featherweights Claudio Marrero and Jesus Cuellar fight an interim world title belt. Both are scheduled for 12 rounds.
However, it would be hard to not mention Tyson, who will be sitting ringside on Friday night at the casino located right in the middle of New York state.
While some think Tyson had plans of becoming a promoter, the idea fell in his lap almost by accident.
“My dream had always been to be involved in the sport,” Tyson addressed the media during a conference call on Monday. “My wife had talked about promoting and Gary Jonas got involved, talking about this great deal. My wife said to try it out and now I’m just happy to be involved.”
Tyson has found something constructive he could do with his life. Not that knocking out fighters for millions of dollars or appearing in the Hangover trilogy was a bad thing.
But he is around the sport, something that has given him a second, third, fourth, or fifth chance at life.
However, Tyson has another way he could be around the sport, something he has long to do for some time.
“I really want to get involved as a trainer.”
And while the idea of Tyson as a trainer is an intriguing, seeing he could try his hand at working with veterans, contenders, or prospects, the idea of Tyson working as a promoter is more appealing.
Not only that, the irony of promoting Friday’s card is that is not too far away from where he trained under Cus D’Amato.
“Being there (in the Catskills) was the best moments of my life.”
As it should have been. He was away from Brooklyn, NY, where he was on a first-name basis with the police since he was a young boy and did not have the love of his mother or father while growing up.
Fast forward to the present and you get the sense Tyson is a happier man who is willing to put others first than himself. After all, he was once in the shoes of the fighters who will appear on his card and will do what he can to be as honest and transparent with them.
It is only fair, considering what Tyson went through as a young fighter.
“I never learned anything from a promoter’s perspective. If I wanted to, I could manipulate fighters and lie to them.”
“Being a boxer, a lot of my life went so fast. I didn’t know what was going on. As a promoter, I want to help these kids and give back to the community. I will never be wealthy, but I could still give back from a sport that gave me a lot.”
As blunt and honest as Tyson is, he speaks the truth. So when he was younger, was he not honest with the boxing world or mainstream media? Unfortunately, he was the person he was, probably because of the abuse of drugs or demons he encountered in his personal life.
Tyson is in a better place now, even though some days are challenging for “Iron Mike.” But the man wants to do right and is willing to go on talk shows and on the radio to sell the fights on Friday and to better his life.
Tyson even went as far as to apologize to his former boss Don King for anything that he did that offended the longtime promoter.
While there are some who would like to kick Tyson down a notch or two because they can not let go of the past, there are many, many more who are happy to praise him.
Rather than negative words to describe him, how about these words to describe Tyson and his current state:
Francisco A. Salazar has written Boxingscene.com since September and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper and Knockout Nation. He could be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing Tags: Mike Tyson