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Old 01-17-2007, 04:04 PM #1
Mr. Ryan Mr. Ryan is offline
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Default Open letter from Alex Ramos, Retired Boxers Foundation


I am the founder and president of the Retired Boxers Foundation. Our mission is to assist retired professional boxers in the transition from
their glorious days in the ring, to a dignified retirement.

We are writing this letter of support for Mike Tyson, who is a friend.
Needless to say, public perception of the retired champion is based on
what they read or what they see in the media. Having been in the fight
for over twenty-five years, I can tell you with confidence, that
much of what is said in the press is said to promote a fight or the
fighter. Most of it is fiction. Granted, there are facts that cannot
be over looked, but there are also many factors that lead to the ugly
side of a messed up fighter. I know from my own personal experiences as
well as the experiences of the hundreds of retired fighters we have

At the Retired Boxers Foundation, we choose to look at a fighter in
need just like the emergency room doctor examining a shot victim: We
don't ask the patient whose fault it was, why they were where they
were, or what started the altercation. Like the ER doctor, we evaluate
what is in front of us and treat what we see. Unfortunately, law
enforcement and the courts have to look at these issues and all we are
saying is that we could save the taxpayers in Arizona a lot of money if
they can get Mike the medical care he needs and treatment.
Arizona, like most states has an Intensive Dual Diagnosis Treatment
program that would be more effective for Mike than jail time. It would
be the more humane thing to do. I, for one, recognize Mike Tyson for
the contributions he has made to us every time he entered that ring and
risked his life for our entertainment. We are suggesting that a more
compassionate thing to do would be to give him a chance at

Basically, we are asking the people of Arizona not to jump to
conclusions too quickly. While the Prosecutor wants jail time for
Tyson, we believe he should be treated, not as a celebrity, but as an
ordinary man who needs help. The facts support the allegation that Mike
Tyson has a problem, and he admitted as much. By all reports, he
has behaved as a gentleman both at the scene and in court. Mike was
given a field sobriety test, which he failed.

What most people do not know is that the field sobriety test is, in
reality, three tests known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test
(SFST), which are used in every state. The tests are basically
observations of a defendant's balance, coordination, and ability to
follow directions. While the SFST is used to assess a person's
impairment, it does not necessarily mean impairment due to alcohol
consumption, although that is primarily the reason the test is
administered. What is important to note in Mike Tyson's case is that
he failed the field sobriety test, but did NOT test positive for

The failure of Mike Tyson to pass the SFST is far more likely to be the
result of a brain injury causing neuro-cognitive impairment. There are
more than 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury every year. Of
these, some 300,000 require hospitalization and approximately 80,000
develop a serious chronic and profoundly life-changing alteration of
their brains, their behaviors and their personal life.

Mike Tyson has been in many wars, inside and out of the boxing ring.
As a heavyweight, it is obvious that the blows he has absorbed could
have caused more damage than you or I can see, but his actions clearly
indicate that he has suffered and continues to suffer from a declining
emotional state, for which is may be using to treat his depression
that even he does not seem to understand. The Retired Boxers Foundation
and our medical advisory board recommend a complete neuro-psych
evaluation for Mike, and that he specifically be evaluated for what
clearly appears to be neuro-cognitive impairments. Mike Tyson would
not be the only retired fighter suffering from impulsivity, poor
judgment, disorganization, irritability, mood swings (to name a few)
that are classic symptoms of chronic or traumatic brain injury. We are
not providing this as an "excuse" for Mike Tyson's mistakes, but
more so to educate the public on the injuries suffered by many people,
not just boxers, who suffer from traumatic or chronic brain injuries.
I have lived this life and I have suffered from frontal and temporal
lobe damage. My Executive Director, Jacquie Richardson, said I am the
"Poster Child" for retired boxers who suffer damage as a result
of not just boxing, but poor choices in terms of substance abuse and
life style. I know from my own experience that treatment helps and that
there are medications that can help Mike Tyson live a less chaotic life.
It ain't easy, but with commitment, he can have a satisfying

For more information on Brain Injuries, please visit the Retired Boxers
Foundation website at [Link View Has Been Removed. Click Here To Unlock This Content.], and look under the
"Resources" tab.

Alex "The Bronx er" Ramos
Founder & President
[Link View Has Been Removed. Click Here To Unlock This Content.]
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