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Baddest Man On The Planet
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"THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT MIKE TYSON
by William Dettloff

It is a condition not only of followers of the fight game but of all sport that new heroes are sought to replace those whose time at the top has come and gone. Grizzled baseball diehards are still waiting for the next Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays. They'll be looking for another Michael Jordan for generations. The search for the next Mike Tyson is on even as you read this.

It doesn't matter that everyone knew Tyson would come to an end more or less the way he did, because that's the way it ends for all fighters. Ring heroes greater than Tyson ever was, fighters named Pep and Robinson and Armstrong and Louis ended with bloodied noses and aching headaches and only cloudy memories of their halcyon days. So why not Tyson too? Like the rest of us only to a more pronounced degree, fighters blink and they are old - young men for most other jobs but too old anymore to be prizefighters. Tyson was no different.

And so the search for his replacement began most probably in earnest on June 9, 2002, the day after Lennox Lewis overpowered him in Memphis, Tennessee and stopped him in eight more or less one-sided rounds. Up until that fight there still was hope in some quarters that Tyson's unique brand of power, hyper-aggression and barely restrained insanity would propel him past a fighter in Lewis who was younger, bigger, stronger and decidedly more together. Most wanted him to win.

"Mike had such an exciting style. He just came to knock you out and that's what he did," said veteran trainer Ronnie Shields, who was Tyson's chief second in the Lewis fight. "He was a guy, who, let's face it, made everybody money. His style was so exciting he made people want to see him fight and that's what makes money in this game."

You can say now that you knew he was no match for Lewis and that everyone else should have too. The fact remains that enough people believed in him still that the venue sold out and PPV buys hit almost 2-million. It was a big, big fight; the last very big one until Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather got together in Las Vegas. And don't tell us your heart didn't beat faster in that first round when Tyson seemed to get to Lewis and you thought to yourself with a rush of excitement, "He couldn't still be Tyson, could he, after all this time?"

Alas, he was not, and the appearances he made that followed that night, and they were appearances only, wouldn't have made anyone believe in him anymore even if he'd won them. As it was, the losses -- by means of capitulation, no less -- to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride were sad exercises in desperation perpetrated by a man gradually unraveling before everyone's eyes.

So the fight game's biggest star, easily its biggest since Ray Leonard and probably since Muhammad Ali, was gone and whenever that happens, in any sport, a vacuum is created and we scramble around in search of something to fill that void. It's the way it's always been in this business (and others): after John L. Sullivan was gone, and after Jim Jeffries, too. They couldn't stomach Jack Dempsey when he was coming up but their hearts broke after Gene Tunney and soft living retired him. The searched and searched for his replacement and thought they found him in Max Baer, but they hadn't.



"Mike had such an exciting style. He just came to knock you out and that's what he did," said veteran trainer Ronnie Shields, who was Tyson's chief second in the Lewis fight. They looked for the next Joe Louis and the next Ali and the next Leonard and someday we'll be looking for the next De La Hoyas and Mayweathers. But the biggest catch would be the next Tyson. Are there any out there?

"There are no Mike Tysons out there at heavyweight right now," said Tommy Brooks. Brooks trained Tyson for six fights, starting with his one-punch knockout of contender Franscois Botha in January 1999 and ending with a win over Brian Nielsen in Denmark in 2001 (Tyson's last win before the Lewis debacle). But the news isn't all bad. There are smaller fighters - even if they don't have the charisma and story that helped Tyson simultaneously fascinate and repel an entire generation of sports fans - that have the style and in-ring tenacity that made Tyson's fights must-see events. One is middleweight puncher Edison Miranda.

"There are no Mike Tysons around anymore, but I like Miranda," said Shields. "I really like that dude. He has an exciting style. He can hurt you with either hand and he can knock you out. Who wouldn't want a fighter like that? If he hits you once he'll hurt you and if he hits you twice he'll kill you. He can hit."

Miranda's aggression, no-fear mentality and heavy hands have made him a fan favorite and one of the top contenders in the 160-pound division. He can be hit and is not above using all the means at his disposal -- legal and otherwise -- to win. And that's one of his charms; he's all fighter. He lost a brutal bout with Germany's Arthur Abraham, breaking Abraham's jaw but getting five points deducted for repeated fouls. He's trying to improve his technical skills too, but what makes him special is the power he carries.

"You may see that animal come out and you don't want to miss that," Miranda's co-manager, Steve Benbasat, told writer Don Stewart of Boxing 2007 magazine. "You know there can be an explosion any minute. Jermain Taylor hasn't proven that. Edison can give boxing that shot in the arm that it really needs."

Some countries have already found their next Tyson. Manny Pacquiao is the biggest thing in the Philippines since, well, maybe ever. It's nothing for Pacquiao to sell out 60,000-seat stadiums in his homeland, and also to bring in thousands of fans when he fights in the United States. He has achieved rock-star fame in his country and is even running for political office at this writing. Many expect his overwhelming popularity to carry him to victory in politics even though he has zero experience in public service.

It's not a stretch to say that Pacquiao's popularity in the Philippines is far greater than Tyson's was in the United States at his peak. And it should surprise no one that it's not Pacquiao's diplomatic skills that make him one of the most popular fighters today. It's what he does in the ring and how he does it. "Pacquiao? Without a doubt. He goes in there and throws caution to the win, goes right at you to knock you out, man-to-man," said Brooks. "That's the way Tyson did it and that's the way people like it done."

The power-punching Pacquiao, who is The Ring magazine's top-rated junior lightweight, is in the eyes of many the only serious threat to Floyd Mayweather's standing as the unofficial pound-for-pound champion. His wins over Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera and his exciting draw with Juan Manuel Marquez mark him as one of the best and most exciting fighters of his generation. And there's more where he came from.

"There's a kid I saw on ESPN recently, a Romanian kid, that I thought was the closest I've seen to Tyson in a long time," said legendary West Coast promoter and World Boxing Hall of Fame member Don Fraser. Fraser, who is not given to hyperbole, is referring to Adrian Diaconu, who overwhelmed light heavyweight prospect Rico Hoye on the way to scoring a third-round knockout in Montreal in May. Diaconu is one of several exciting fighters out of Canada leading a resurgence of boxing in the country.

"Rico was a lot bigger and taller than this kid and Diaconu just went out there and cut him down," said Fraser. "He looked good -- fast and strong and he couldn't wait to get in there. He just wanted to get in there and knock the other guy out." There is little to suggest that Diaconu can ever have the effect on the sport that Tyson did, but having the right style goes a long way toward reminding fans of what the sport can produce.

Diaconu and others like him recall Tyson far more than does, for example, Ruslan Chagaev, whose nickname -- "The White Tyson" -- is both a tribute to Tyson's earning power and a serious misnomer. As he showed during his win over Russian giant Nicolay Valuev, Chagaev, of Uzbekistan, isn't a big puncher. He moved and counter-punched his way to a boring decision win, something Tyson couldn't do and had no interest in doing. If "Iron Mike" couldn't beat you by coming at you and pounding you with power punches, he wasn't going to beat you at all. Chagaev appears not to be a terrible heavyweight, but Tyson he clearly is not.
 

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People liked Mike because he was a heavy handed knockout artist. The common fans who aren't quite fit to understand boxing fit with Tyson perfectly because they just watched until he knocked his opponent out. As you can tell I am not a tyson fan. He is an ignorant, drugdealing rapist.
 

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Baddest Man On The Planet
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Discussion Starter #5
too bad that cus damato died. he was the one who had mike controled. when he died mike went off. he would of been a respected boxer in this generation.
 

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Tyson didnt rape anything, he'll admit to everything else but that. People like you shane, really upset me when it comes to your hate towards tyson. He was a lonely kid with no mom and dad and lived on the streets and got beat up everyday. One day a kid killed one of his pet pigeons( Tysons only friend in the world ) and Tyson finally faced him and put him in a comma. Cus took him in, Ronney became his best friend. At that time, The only person who turned against him was teddy atlas, for reasons that i believe to be true and im sure you all know too but teddy had no right to put a gun to his head. After he lost cus and ronney and met givens and king. His life fell about. I blame 2 people for tyson and those 2 fit the cause. Other than that, i think he can be the kindess person in the world, and i think he has an animal instinct when someone tries to screw him over. FINALLY A REAL PERSON in the spotlight. I wrote a 27 page college paper on Tyson and my professor knew the who tyson was and hated him but knew nothing about him. Needless to say, he shoke my hand and gave me an A for standing up for someone that i believed in.
 

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tysonjones said:
Tyson didnt rape anything, he'll admit to everything else but that. People like you shane, really upset me when it comes to your hate towards tyson. He was a lonely kid with no mom and dad and lived on the streets and got beat up everyday. One day a kid killed one of his pet pigeons( Tysons only friend in the world ) and Tyson finally faced him and put him in a comma. Cus took him in, Ronney became his best friend. At that time, The only person who turned against him was teddy atlas, for reasons that i believe to be true and im sure you all know too but teddy had no right to put a gun to his head. After he lost cus and ronney and met givens and king. His life fell about. I blame 2 people for tyson and those 2 fit the cause. Other than that, i think he can be the kindess person in the world, and i think he has an animal instinct when someone tries to screw him over. FINALLY A REAL PERSON in the spotlight. I wrote a 27 page college paper on Tyson and my professor knew the who tyson was and hated him but knew nothing about him. Needless to say, he shoke my hand and gave me an A for standing up for someone that i believed in.
Very, very well put Mr. Jones. I couldn't agree with you more. That bitch givens ****ed everything up. I honestly think if Cus was still around, there is no way Tyson marries Robin, and would never had signed with King. It will be a long, long time before we see someone like Tyson again.
 

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Jack_the_ripper said:
alot do....
Yes Jack, alot of people do. pbf, i have never been a common fan and I think that Tyson has been one of the all time greats hands down. If you were never a fan, thats ok. Just don't express your opinions as if they are facts.
 

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Everyone has a tragedy in life guys. I just don't think that everyone would go to the extremes that mike did. His comments about eating children and all of the others just made me lose respect for him. I will admit that he has grown up a little but I just don't respect people selling drugs like cocaine and whatnot.

Sum1. I do not express my opinions as facts. If it came across that way I apologize.
 

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cus had very little control over mike when he was younger, thats just a myth. cus hardly trained mike either he trained the trainers (atlas & rooney) who worked with mike.

when mike was young he'd get suspended from school and atlas would ban him from the gym for a week to dicipline him, cus was the one who'd go over atlas head though and let him back in.

cus was more a father figure than trainer to mike, teddy and rooney are the guys who deserve the credit for what mike acheived.
 

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i agree.
cus was just the owner of catskill.
and act as the father of thier boxers..
 

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shane i understand where your comign form, and i dont do drugs and have never drank alchohol and never will, never touched a cigarette and hardly eat any candy. But many people in this world, drink when they have a problem or do drugs. Im sure you have drank when you didnt have anything better to do or just felt down. You say everyone had a tragic life, but Tyson was more of an extreme. And i dont think he took it to extremes. holyfield deserved the ear bite, i would of turned over to street moves if someone kept butting me, and it's been proven that holyfiend butts, he is one of my favorite fighteres non the less. I just wish people could see the indestructable tyson before he went to prison. Prison confused him even more. Cus and Rooney were his only family, after they left, robin and don turned tyson over to the dark side. its been reported that givens had drugged tyson with antidepressants before fights because it would control him in the ring, not allowing him fight all to his ability. Remember, Tyson had a chemical imbalance.
 

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ive got more vices than a wood shop. :laugh:
 

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tysonjones said:
shane i understand where your comign form, and i dont do drugs and have never drank alchohol and never will, never touched a cigarette and hardly eat any candy. But many people in this world, drink when they have a problem or do drugs. Im sure you have drank when you didnt have anything better to do or just felt down. You say everyone had a tragic life, but Tyson was more of an extreme. And i dont think he took it to extremes. holyfield deserved the ear bite, i would of turned over to street moves if someone kept butting me, and it's been proven that holyfiend butts, he is one of my favorite fighteres non the less. I just wish people could see the indestructable tyson before he went to prison. Prison confused him even more. Cus and Rooney were his only family, after they left, robin and don turned tyson over to the dark side. its been reported that givens had drugged tyson with antidepressants before fights because it would control him in the ring, not allowing him fight all to his ability. Remember, Tyson had a chemical imbalance.
Good point. Maybe I was a little too hard on him. I just feel strongly about some of the things he has done.
 

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I don't care what anyone from this thread thinks about Tyson. He was THE BEST of THE BEST OF THE BEST that ever was! He trained hard, and fought harder. He was a young man that had everything in the palm of his hands. Man, he beat anyone and everyone and HE BOXED with speed and POWER. A style that NO one sall in that division. SO you have to be RE---TARDED to say that he wasn't the best. Yes he was an ass hole. SO WAS PBF to OSCAR... and what..... they both know how to sell... ya boy PBF said "TWO THINGS RUN THE WORLD, MONEY AND CONTROVERSY" ya boy and TYSON knew them well... so by saying he is a bad man, is just plane ignorant. YES he has problems now days but back when he was a fighter (before he went to jail) he was the man. and like someone said on here, HE ADMITS to doing everything but raping that whore. She did ***** everything that walked. She found a way to get money get heard and be seen and get him put in jail. She was a CUNT that needs to be raped for real by someone with aids (wheres tommy morrison) anyway Tyson was great and I don't think there will be another or at least while i'm alive. but who knows. ALL I'M SAYING... have respect for a ONCE GREAT! He is the reason I love the sport... goes all the way back to Nintendo... ya'll know what I'm talking about. Have respect for what the man did to the sport and the history of boxing... He is just a man with no guidance or support in his life. (god, family what ever) he is just the shadow of what was once the BEST in the world and NO ONE will take that away from him...
 

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:thumbsup: thanks shane. My heart feels better now, honestly. I dont know what it is, i seem to defend mike tyson more than anyone in the sport of boxing. Dude your free to feel however you want but i appreciate the good gesture.
 
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