The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Tyson returns to Jail

By Thomas Gerbasi

Before a judge in Maryland, Mike Tyson reached the end of the road. Led off in handcuffs after being sent back to prison for two years (one suspended) after pleading no contest to an assault incident last year, boxing's greatest attraction left the courtroom in silence.

The apologists and hangers-on will insist that Mike Tyson is a victim. He is. He is a victim of a society where talented athletes are given a pass throughout life if they are proficient in their given field. He is a victim of misplaced trust, as he has placed too much stock in those who only saw him as a cash cow. And he is a victim of his own rages, which led him to prominence in the ring, and to jail outside the ring.

Mike Tyson has been broken down to his bare essentials. When the Nevada State Athletic Commission allowed his psychiatric records to be made public, you saw a man stripped of the last ounce of pride he had left. And he seemed to know it. The statements became more bizarre, his actions more erratic. He seemed to be saying "Do what you want, you can't take me down any lower."

In a strictly boxing sense, I've been a Tyson fan since he first burst onto the scene. He saved the sport in the post-Ali era. Unfortunately, he took the potential for greatness and threw it in the gutter. I cheered wildly for Douglas, Holyfield, and most recently, Frans Botha, when they gave Tyson fits. Why? Because as a fan, I thought that maybe Tyson would return from a knockout or a bad performance as a better fighter, as the old Kid Dynamite. I thought that Tyson would be my generation's Joe Louis. Unfortunately, Tyson will go down as this era's Sonny Liston.

And it doesn't get any easier. Tyson will next find out from an Indiana court if this latest incident will be marked as a parole violation. If so, he will serve more time. And expect the NSAC to revoke his license once again. There will be no third chance.

The optimistic among us will have us remember the Tyson-Frans Botha fight as the final image of Iron Mike. Just think about it. The perfect leverage... the speed... the thud...and Botha goes down and out. That one moment crystalized what we would think of when it came to the prime Tyson.

But I believe this story is not over yet. There will be one more chapter to be written in Mike Tyson's life, one more image, and it won't be as pleasant. In a strange ring in some foreign country, the man formerly known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet" will be reduced to cannon fodder for some up and coming heavyweight stud. Tyson, exiled from fighting in his own country, just in it for the payday, will once again be used by unscrupulous handlers and promoters to make a final buck. And that will be our final image of Mike Tyson. Beaten.

"A boy comes to me with a spark of interest. I feed the spark and it becomes a flame. I feed the flame and it becomes a fire. I feed the fire and it becomes a roaring blaze."

Cus D'Amato

D'Amato left out the part which says that all fires eventually fade away or get extinguished. All that's left of Mike Tyson's life are the cinders.

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