The Cyber Boxing Zone Journal
A/K/A The America Online Boxing Newsletter
June 29, 1997 Special Edition
Editorialby Mike DeLisa In 1969 I became a fan of boxing. That Summer I purchased my first boxing magazine. I did so because of the morbidly fascinating cover photo of Rocky Marciano, blood streaming from a cut over his eye, punching a distressed Ezzard Charles. Later I saw additional photos from that fight. The Rock's nose was split vertically down the middle to the bone. The Rock fought on with honor and won.
That issue also contained some wonderful stories about this mysterious culture of bruising -- George "Elbows" McFadden, Jack Johnson and the White Hopes, and others. My morbid curiosity swiftly turned to admiration and awe.
Tonight, a person (I won't call him a man) who previously had raped one human mutilated another by biting off a piece of his ear.
Tonight, when a gobbet of Evander Holyfield's flesh landed on the mat, an entire sport went tumbling to the canvas with it. And then it was trampled by a throng of thugs, criminals, murderers and rapists.
Tonight, nobility has been sucked from the sport, and I no longer have even a morbid curiosity.
The Bite Seen Round The World
By: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pusboil)In what was one of the most anticipated rematches of all time before the biggest audience our sweet sport has ever seen, Mike Tyson performed the most disgraceful act this fan has ever seen. He bit his opponent Evander Holyfield not once but twice in the third round and was disqualified rightfully so.
These were not bites like Andrew Golota. Tyson attempted and partially succeeded in removing Holyfiield's ears. The actions in the fight pale in comparison to the effect these actions will bring upon boxing. What the hell was Tyson thinking?? We will probably never know. Well we'll probably never know the truth at least. Already Horne and King have made this out to be some type of justified revenge. Holyfield's vicious, calculated head-butts left Tyson with no recourse except to try to chew his opponent's fucking ears off. Bullshit.
Holyfield has always been one of the true gentleman of the sport. I can not and will not believe Evander Holyfield purposely headbutted anybody. In the first fight Tyson was the fighter leading with his head and charging in. Knowing how Tyson can throw a pretty strong overhand right would make any fighter lower his head to avoid the blow. This is how most of the "head butts" occurred during both of their fights. An accidental collision of the heads. Whether I'm insane for feeling this way or not still leaves no excuse for the disgusting exhibition put on by the self proclaimed"baddest man on the planet". Appropiately so, the commission has suspended Mike Tyson indefinitely and witheld his purse for his actions. Amen to that. I was not a Tyson hater prior to this fight. I had "discussions" with people arguing why Tyson should be allowed to fight after his conviction for rape and his time served. The man committed a crime, served his time and should be allowed to continue his career if he is fit to do so. I still feel this way even about Mike Tyson.
While Tyson's criminal trial and punishment are now over, I can't help but believe a little more that Tyson is the animal he was reported to be in that hotel that evening and in all the other reports of his less than human conduct. And I must admit I will grin every time he loses a fight. Tyson lost this fight way before the disqualification for biting Evander Holyfield twice in the third round tonight. This fight was lost when Tyson watched Holyfield come into the ring as confident as he has ever been. That was when Tyson knew he could not intimidate his opponent. Tyson without his aura is nothing more than a street punk bully. Tyson simply lost it and in turn parlayed boxing's biggest moment into one of it's worst memories for a long time. Both fighters were a little frustrated during the first two rounds. Neither one was really landing clean and there was a lot of clenching. Holyfield won the first two rounds 10-9 on my scorecard and with the point deductions in the third was easily ahead.
Tyson had really started to come on in the third throwing more punches like he should have in the first two rounds. But Holyfield's refusal to yield apparently enraged Tyson to the worst of all possible options. There is nothing that Tyson's mighty spin doctors can do to salvage their fighter's reputation this time. Nobody else was in the hotel room or in the nightclubs or anywhere else prior to this fight. But this time millions and millions of people got to see Mike Tyson at what is probably not even his worst. We will see what punishments and fines are levied against Tyson for this appaling behavior. But whatever they are, the damage done to the sport is far worse.
By email@example.com (Thomas Gerbasi) - 2am - Sunday, June 29We all knew that Mike Tyson was a time bomb. The early morning street brawl with Mitch Green. The running of his car into a tree after a fight with then wife Robin Givens. His conviction and imprisonment for rape. And now we get to see the culmination of this troubled life LIVE, in front of a sold out crowd and a record pay per view audience. In front of the world, Mike Tyson lost it, biting Evander Holyfield not once, but twice, to lose his bid to regain the heavyweight crown.
We've all heard the story: stand up to the bully, and the bully will fall down. In 46 fights no one stood up to Mike Tyson. He was on his way to becoming one of the greats, an intimidating destruction machine whom no one could take down. Only a "fluke" loss to Buster Douglas marred his record. But in Tyson's last two fights, he was the one being bullied. Evander Holyfield not only took his title last November, he took his heart. And on June 28, the same scenario was being played out.
This time Tyson fought back in the only way he knew how. All the training, all the D'Amato, Atlas, Rooney, Bright, and Giachetti teachings disappeared. Mike Tyson turned to his first teacher, the street. In the street, there are no standing eight counts, no neutral corners, and no sportsmanship. And after the performance we saw in that MGM Grand ring, that's where Tyson belongs. I would not allow him in a professional boxing ring again. The sport of boxing has enough enemies and problems without having one of its own soil it. There is no excuse for Tyson's behavior. Mills Lane is one of the toughest and fairest referees in boxing. If there was any intentional fouling, he would have resolved it. And he did. Yet, all Tyson's pimps, oops, I mean managers, Horne and Holloway do is complain about headbutts. Forget that Holyfield took a ride to the hospital with his ear instead of his bible in his hand. "I'll have to look at the tape" said Horne.
I've thought for a while that if Tyson got away from the Three Stooges (King, Horne, Holloway), he could regain his past glories and proudly take his place among the Louises, Alis, and Marcianos. But now I wonder. Maybe there is no help for Mike Tyson. His interviews proclaim how he trusts no one, and how he hates the world. Unfortunately, he made no friends on June 28. Mike, you claim to be a Muslim. Why don't you follow the example of a Muhammad Ali, or a Hakeem Olajuwon? This "Thug" image leads to one place: the grave. And no one's impressed. You are definitely no longer the "baddest man on the planet". Maybe the biggest punk, because that's the way you took out of the ring.
As for "The Real Deal", my advice to you Evander, is to retire. You've got nothing to prove to anyone. Enjoy your family, and let Tyson live with the fact that you spanked him twice. How dare he challenge you with his primitive skills?
MAD MIKE BITES OFF MORE THAN HE CAN CHEW
(by firstname.lastname@example.org (Derek Cusack))This fight was billed as "The Sound And The Fury." Well, Mike Tyson assured that we sampled the fury in all it's sickening intensity. The demons we knew were festering under the surface of media monster Mike came shouting and screaming to the surface tonight.
It's been more than fifty years since a world heavyweight title fight ended in disqualification, and this fight will enter the history books - alongside Gene Tunney's 14 second count before he eventually beat Jack Dempsey, the Ali 'phantom punch which floored Liston in their rematch, and the Golota - Bowe double horror show - as one of the weird (and not a little controversial) ones.
We all wondered before the fight whether Tyson could recapture the hunger of old, but Mike obviously took us at face value. The fact that TV post - fight replays focused not on pugilistic skills, but on 'Hannibal Lector' Mike's grisly chewing antics, summed up the quality of this much - hyped battle. Tyson has severely damaged the sport which has been more than good to him. Rather than recapture the invaluable teaching administered to him by the loving Cus D' Amato, Tyson has behaved in a manner which will be making ol' Cus turn in his grave as we speak.
It didn't look to me as if Tyson's assault was calculated, I felt I was watching a man losing his mind completely - an aggressive Oliver Mc Call, if you like - but I was wrong. If you watch the fight again, as I have done, you will notice that Tyson left his corner for both the second and third rounds without his gumshield. Mills Lane had to insist on both occasions that Tyson return to his corner and retrieve his mouthpiece. If this is not proof that biting Holyfield was a pre - meditated act, then I don't know what is. I also find it impossible to believe that 'Team Tyson' were not aware of his intentions given that they allowed him to return to battle TWICE without a gumshield.
Retired British commentator Harry Carpenter drew a perfect analogy for this fight - before it even began. He felt it was being hyped a la Steve Collins - Nigel Benn II: Selling a fight between a dominant and supremely confident champion and a washed - up formerly intimidating KO artist. I felt that the ending was as inconclusive as Collins - Benn I - when Benn twisted his ankle while both were still firing on all cylinders - and I felt that most of the fight went the same way as the Collins - Benn rematch - when Collins affirmed his dominance and eventually forced Benn to retire on his stool.
Tyson's actions confused this writer. The first two rounds were a virtual repeat of the later rounds from their last meeting: Holyfield dominated an awkward, off balance Tyson completely while Mike sent out distress signals in the general direction of the referee. However, the challenger gained a foothold in the third as he finally began to connect cleanly and wobble Holyfield. Why did he chose this moment, of all, to throw away the rulebook along with his chances of winning? Maybe Holyfield was roughing him up discreetly, but there are other ways to retort in a psychological battle such as 'accidentally' letting punches stray low or heads fly dangerously. Only Mike knows why he did what he did, but my feeling is that his warped mind had determined that biting would be the right course of action. Like a killer who 'hears voices,' Tyson blindly disregarded any upsurge in his fortunes to carry out this twisted mission.
"My motto is 'destroy or be destroyed,'" Tyson had said in the week before this fight. Suddenly I think I know what he meant. I think what we saw was rage fueled by his fear of being destroyed, which appeared - in the first two rounds at least - to be what was happening. Incidentally, Dr. Ira Trochi (Tyson's probation officer, present in his corner) had been compiling a report recommending that his probation term be ended due to his recent positive behaviour. I wonder how tonight will influence the report!
Lest we forget, Evander Holyfield is still WBA heavyweight champion of the world. As ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. put it, "At the end of round three referee in charge Mills Lane disqualified Mike Tyson for biting Evander Holyfield in both ears." Not a regular post - fight announcement by any standards! Understandably frustrated at such an inconclusive result, Holyfield said, "If you feel you can whup me, why can't you whup me with your gloves....I just give praise to the Lord that it is not worse than it is, I thought my ear was going to fall off." As he said his reasoned few words, the sight of Tyson's damage to both of Holyfield's ears was truly sickening.
Still at the backstage interviews, John Horne cried and moaned about the "three - inch cut" which Tyson sustained in round two while dodging the issue of Holyfield's ear injuries. Indeed, this seemed to be a 'party line' as an unusually despondent Don King - who, as my mate Dermo put it, had "a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp" - went on to answer questions in exactly the same fashion. Tyson himself also made a brief appearance before the interviewer's microphone, and his wired, adrenaline - induced temperament was in marked contrast to the classy humility he showed in defeat last November. "Look at me," he snarled, pointing to his cut eye, "I gotta go home and my kids are gonna be scared of me."
I feel Tyson's children will have plenty of reason to be scared of him without having to point to his eye injury. I worry for the man. I believe he only ever felt at peace in a boxing ring, and that this joy has been taken from him by an amazing boxer who believed in his own ability. Tyson has had a tragic life of many bereavements, but the impending loss of his dominance in the ring was to be one loss too many: It pushed him over the edge. Don't get me wrong, there is no justification for Tyson's actions in Las Vegas, I just hope Tyson doesn't allow his sporting misfortunes to ruin his - and by default his family's - life.
As the sun rises on an Irish Sunday morning, I am left with an empty feeling in my stomach. This fight promised so much through the build - up, and right up to the third round (when it was most competitive), yet delivered so little. We, the fans, are the true victims once again: 16, 000 paid hard cash to be in the MGM while millions worldwide paid hard cash to watch the action on PPV ($50 in the U.S., ten pounds in Ireland and Britain). This should have been the 'Superbowl' of boxing (and we don't even get one as often as every year), but instead was another massive anti - climax.
Boxing has been shamed tonight.
The Last Supper For Tyson
By: email@example.com (The Sanity Cruzer)How much sadder of a performance could it have been? Not much!
Nobody I wanted to see showed up tonight. Now I expect the Tyson I wanted to see will never show up again. I don't know who is living in Tyson's 'home', but who is ever up there is losing touch with reality. It reminded me of what Teddy Atlas said about how allowances were made by Cus D'Amato for Mike's behavior. It seems to me those allowances are coming back to haunt Tyson. It's like that old commercial for oil filters, "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." Tyson's "later" is now.
Even Don King was subdued by the outcome of the fight. I had wondered to myself if Tyson would ever pull a "no mas" out of his trunks, but I had not forseen anything like we saw tonight. Once was bad enough, (and I admit I was hoping they would not stop the fight at that point), but the second instance was absolutely beyond my comprehension. Once was insane, but twice?
Mills Lane showed he knows on what side his bread is buttered. Mills called out that the fight was over after the first foul. Marc Ratner (shades of Larry Hazzard) came up on the ring apron, and after a very brief conversation with referee Lane, the bout continued with two point deducted from Tyson. So, if you like the way the bout was handled, it appears you have Marc Ratner to thank for allowing the fight to continue after Evander had been bitten the first time.
With hindsight, it appears that a meltdown-mad Mike Tyson tried to leave his corner without his mouthpiece for the third and final round. I now wonder if he intentionally refused to allow his corner to insert it into his mouth before the bell for the third round.
When the third round began with Tyson storming out to destruct and destroy Evander Holyfield, there was a glimmer of hope for Tyson fans (which included me). What followed is still too bizarre to truly grasp. I expected there would be no more "Mr. Niceguy" from Tyson and that he would return Evander's fouls, in spades, but I did not expect mayhem to be committed in a $100 million sporting event.
Regardless of what brought upon the end of the fight, the Tyson who fought tonight is not the man people used to pay to see. At least the skill level is not the same as the man people used to pay to see. When Tyson was walking down the hallway on his way to the ring, I was telling my friends. "His eyes don't look right. He seems nervous or tentative." Then once the fight started, it was evident this was not going to be the fight I was hoping to see.
Tyson, a fighter who had made his living off of imposing his will on another man, found that he could not do so in a reasonable manner with Evander Holyfield. I think the butts were caused by Holyfield's style, which had an inherent disregard for an 'accidental' butt. But that is beside the point. There was no rational excuse for biting a man's ear off. That is literally an example of mayhem. There are rationalizations being made by Team Tyson; just none of them are rational.
And regarding the winner: while I didn't like his tactics, he did not deserve for anyone to take 'a pound of flesh' for his sins.
Mike Tyson has put himself into the same land of limbo which Roberto Duran found himself immediately following his second fight with Leonard. IMO, Duran, much to the amazement of most, redeemed himself through years of hard work following his night of disgrace. I will be amazed if Tyson will ever do that. I don't even know if Tyson could ever do that, even if he wanted.
The worst part is, of those millions of casual/borderline fight fans who shelled out about $50 for the evening of boxing, many will likely be much less willing to part with their money for the next Fight For The Ages. With less fans, there is less in the media on the sport. Less fans means less advertising dollars for televised fight, and that translates into less boxing on television for us to watch. That is not for what I was hoping when this evening started. Not at all.
Too often there have been absolutely incomprehensible/controversial endings to fights which seemed to promise so much (except to Heath Reed). Not only do they create more nights of beyond-belief results, they create a recent history of boxing being a sport which cannot be trusted to deliver the goods. And sadly, the 'future' which boxing has been living into, is one which is eating away at the sport, one bite at a time.
P.S. If you were one of the people who thought that Mike Tyson had wrongly been convicted of raping Ms Washington, did tonight's performance by Mr. Tyson bring you a little bit closer to believing he was guilty?
THE TOOTH, THE WHOLE TOOTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH: MIKE TYSON BITES THE FAN THAT FEEDS HIM
"When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro," -- Hunter S. Thompson<P> June 29, 1997; 3:01 a.m.: Every so often there comes an event that, due to its sheer unprecedented oddity, defies immediate comment. The crash of the Hindenburg, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the Oklahoma City Bombing....And now, the "sport" of boxing, which has become the sporting world's haven for the crooked, the cranks and the out-and-out crazy, has given us another.
In recent years, the ever-dwindling coterie of serious fight fans have seen a parade of outrages unprecedented outside the self-mocking fantasy asylum of big league wrestling. We've seen champions fake injuries to hold on to meaningless paper titles, title belts thrown into garbage cans, champions stripped of titles over technicalities no lawyer could explain, allegations of in-ring fight fixing, pay-per-view mismatches against boobish fairground brawlers, managers starting major riots over low blows, championship matches disrupted by sideshow morons in homemade gliders, champions refusing to fight through technicolor-televised nervous breakdowns, phony postponements, step-asides, horrendous decisions, grandstanding congressmen introducing hopeless federal bills over bad decisions affecting home-district fighters, fighters maimed and killed in the ring, and...as they say in the rock and roll biz, those were just the opening acts...
Tonight's tilt in Vegas between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, for sheer head-scratching, eye-popping, patience-trying, crazy-making, bull-goose looniness, took the bleedin' biscuit. It beat Jack Dempsey and Tex Rickard cleaning out an entire Montana cow town. It beat Max Schmeling winning the title from Jack Sharkey on a foul. It beat all. And in the process, it shredded whatever tiny fig leaf of credibility this poor jailhouse-bitch of a sport may have still had left. It was a sight to behold.
Nothing in any of the pre-fight hoopla could possibly have presaged the kind of insanity we saw in the ring. It was all so routine. Evander talked about Jesus and the great shape he was in. Don King dribbled forth a steady stream of glossalia about what a stupendous, super-colossal spectacle he was capable of putting on. Mike, much calmer and more detached than a man in the fight of his life should have been, prattled on about his respect for Holyfield, his refocused dedication and the joys of family life.
Then, almost on cue, the craziness began. First, it was laff-riot "manager" John Horne petitioning the Nevada State Athletic Commission to remove ref Mitch Halpern from the contest, claiming the first fight had been too physical for him to control, and that it would be disadvantageous to use the same referee for both the original contest and the rematch. Huh? Wasn't this the same Mitch Halpern who, when Iron Mike's legs looked like overcooked ziti and he was utterly defenseless in the 11th frame of the first fight, stepped in with perfect timing and kept Iron Mike from becoming Iron LUNG Mike? Horne's sophomoric move made no sense; it was obviously a transparent attempt to rattle the Holyfield camp, to distract his attention from the contest in the ring and to play head games with the opposition, something that a mentally- and physically-sound Tyson had never had to resort to. Clearly, the Tyson camp was not clicking on all cylinders.
Then, the fight. For those of you who may have been cryogenically frozen for the past 24 hours, Michael Gerard Tyson, once the universally-acknowledged Baddest Man on the Planet, was DQ'ed in the third round for biting -- I shit you not -- BITING Evander Holyfield on two occasions, after spitting out his mouthpiece for maximum toothsomeness, after being penalized TWO points for an initial infraction and after being warned by Mills Lane (probably the only remaining man in the boxing business who can still face himself in the mirror when he shaves) that another nip would mean the showers.
"Is this guy nuts?" you might ask. Good (and not in the least rhetorical) question. All we can be sure of is that, on the night that should have been the sport's biggest-ever showcase, Chinese newsmen had to come up with ways to say "psychopath" in five different regional dialects.
From the opening bell, the Tyson loyalists were still desperately clutching their dreams of an early KO. But time wounds all heels, and in boxing, few fighters have ever been improved by the addition of a few months to their ages. Holyfield, who was singing spirituals in the dressing room -- more Mahalia Jackson than Julian Jackson -- seemed confident that we would see a replay of his first TKO, only quicker, and events appeared to be unfolding according to Vander's particular passion play. The side-to-side motion and head movement that the Tyson camp promised to revive from MT's glory days, were nowhere to be found. Holyfield got the best of Tyson in the first round, nullifying his power by clutching and generally moving Tyson backward. Mike tried to wing some big shots, but both men's punches whistled over the top. A thin, but discernible advantage to Holyfield. For Michael, it must have felt like deja vu all over again. In the second, a clash of heads cut Tyson over the right eye, a spot near the one in which he had been cut during training. Holyfield continued to physically impose his will and move Tyson around the ring. Mike looked to the referee for help, something that winners almost never do. In general, he seemed to be in a trance, sleepwalking, a spectator at his own dismantling. Two rounds gone and Tyson already two points in the hole. Quite possibly, I thought, an early night.
In the third round, Tyson seemed rejuvenated, and actually initiated his best exchanges of the fight. He appeared to be clawing his way back into the contest when the two clinched, Holyfield coming out (literally) hopping mad, jumping up and down and gesticulating like a wildman. Soon, we saw the reason, a major gash on his right ear suffered when Tyson, who spit out his mouthpiece, chomped down on it like it was a Thanksgiving turkey leg. Even Mills Lane looked puzzled. To his credit, Evander opted to continue -- cementing his warrior reputation, in my book -- and Lane took the almost unprecedented step of penalizing Tyson TWO points for his unfortunate ear d'oeuvre. In the clamp of a jaw, Mike went from a potential one-point deficit to a well-nigh insurmountable four-point hole. Could he have seen his place at the head of boxing's banquet table vanishing fast and snapped? A second clinch just instants later saw Mike nibble yet again at Commander Vander's other ear, prompting another furious response and, ultimately, leaving a perplexed and nonplussed Lane no choice but to award the contest to the dumbstruck champion. He simply had no other way to [Vincent Van] go.
If it was possible for things to get any more bizarre, the post-fight interviews fit the bill. First, the comments of Horne. Don King has always found patsy paper managers (on occasion, King's own son) for fighters King owned and controlled, and Horne fits the bill perfectly. With his smug expression, his wardrobe of comically-ornate and "stylish" pimp gear and his glib explanations for Team Tyson's crimes against rationality, he is the very picture of self-parody. Listening to him apologize for Tyson's bizarre and inexcusable fouls by comparing accidental clashes of heads with intentional cannibalism must have left half the audience crumbling in hysterics; the other half slapping their foreheads in disbelief. Horne claimed that Holyfield reacted to his "nicks" like a "bitch," and it could not have been clearer; Tyson sealed a good portion of his fate when he placed his career in the hands of dimwitted neighborhood yes-men like his Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber, Horne and Rory Holloway. Horne's elaborate and self-righteous defense of his meal ticket leads me to believe that he and Holloway will be pawning their gold teeth and eating ketchup sandwiches weeks after Tyson retires and King stops returning their cell phone calls. Much more plausible was Holyfield's explanation, that Mike saw himself in a fight he couldn't win and (like sprinter Michael Johnson with his "pulled muscle" against Donovan Bailey) took a distasteful, but face-saving way out of a checkmate situation.
In response to the debacle, the Nevada Commission temporarily suspended Tyson and held up his purse, pending a July 1 emergency session to consider the whole mess. One doubts that Mike's money will stay frozen very long, because, unlike Mike Himself, the sanctions of boxing's various ruling bodies have no teeth. The sport simply needs him too badly. He has always been a highly-marketable bad boy and the irony of the whole shameful spectacle is that a certain segment of the boxing population (ie, idiots, the kind of people who go to Indy for the crashes) will see Tyson's sideshow appeal as more potent than ever before. To them, he will be the Wild Man, the Man They Could Not Tame, the man-child who harnessed the raw, elemental power of the ghetto and turned it on the glib bureaucrats of boxing. Boxing will become even more dependent on the very uninformed fans it could most do without. The rest will have to re-evaluate whether this sideshow, this senseless abbatoir of sportsmanship, is really worth giving our money to. Many fans will drop this poor addled sport like a doper relative who filches drug dosh from the family wallets. And who can blame them?
More important than the state of the sport is the mental health of boxing's Jimmy Piersall, Mike Tyson. No man can see into the heart of another or judge him until he's "walked a mile in his shoes," but it isn't an incredible leap of the imagination to feel that a man who can talk placidly about child-rearing with Roy Firestone one minute, then savagely chew a piece of flesh the size of a Jefferson nickel from an opponent's body like -- quite literally -- a wild animal, has some serious rage and other emotional issues to deal with. (Anyone want to re-interview that nightclub patron who claims she had Tyson's teethmarks on her?) Let's hope that Mike has the innate survival instinct to disregard the okey-dokes of his camp-follower parasites and get some serious counselling for himself. His real fight -- a fight much tougher than 12 rounds with Holyfield -- will be getting his life in order, blotting out the legacy of his violent upbringing, letting fade the clang of jail-cell doors, and getting himself right for his wife and his children, before the Tyson fortune burns up in a conflagration of smashed Bentleys, criminal defense costs and civil suit settlements. A word of advice: Mike, start now. It will only get harder.
How can we prevent this sort of garbage in the future? Meaningful punishments, enforced sport-wide would be a decent start. Tough, central regulation is desperately needed to save boxing...if it can be saved at all. And fans need to stop enabling mismatches, bad sportsmanship, backroom chicanery and outright criminality with our pay-per-view and live-gate dollars. Boxing has been crying for help for decades. Maybe now, the fans, the rating organizations, Congress and the state commissions are finally ready to lend an ear. Or two.
"Q: Did you ever see anything like tonight before?"
A: Yeah, in Harlem."
-- Don Turner
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