Last edited by tedsares; 07-29-2008 at 01:28 PM.
I would vote for Tyson if I had a hall vote.
If Barry McGuigan is in the HoF, Mike deserves a place. If it's criminal activity that would make you hesitate, then how can you put Monzon in the hall?
Mike will be in the hall, first time around too I reckon.
Youngest HW champ ever - Depending on if you recognise beating Berbick is as meaningful as Patterson winning the lineal title at 21, I guess Tyson was about 22/23 when he beat Spinks a couple of years later...
I dunno - There's so much stigma around the guy - He's a hard one to gauge. Interested to see the new doco on his life that received rapturous responses at Cannes this week.
I fully expect that when the day comes that Mike Tyson's name appears on the ballot for voters to ponder for selection into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, there will be tremendous reaction, both positive and negative.
If a rap sheet should be the reason to keep a person out, then lots of current inductees would not be on the HOF roster (Carlos Monzon, Sonny Liston, Don King, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Graziano).
Dominance and prominence of a fighter in his division and sport is what I believe matters here, and in my book, Mike Tyson was as dominant and prominent as an athlete can be. From 1985 until helost his title to Buster Douglas, Mike Tyson was as dominant a figure as boxing has ever seen. His victims were dispatched with highlight reel quickness and devastation. In the ring, he was absolutely breathtaking.
Don't give me "lineal title" bull. Once upon a time, the lineal title really meant something. But over the years, the "alphabet soup" organizations have really destroyed any lineal heritage in just about every division.
Today, the casual boxing fan cannot name each champion. When Mike Tyson was champ, you could walk up to someone who just casually followed the sport and ask who the heavyweight champ is. You'd always get a reply of "Mike Tyson."
Video games sprung up in his name ("Mike Tyson's Punchout"). He was on talk shows, morning shows, news programs and at ringside for virtually every major fight. His un-tattooed face graced the cover of, not just boxing magazines, but major periodicals the world over.
During the last half of the eighties, Mike Tyson had become one of the most recognizable faces on this planet. And when he was doing his thing, his thing that got him so famous, nobody did it better or more spectacularly.
I guess you see, when the ballot arrives at my house, which way I'm going to vote.
Whatever I think about him, is a HOF fighter.
I do have a question about the statement: " If you go with Mike, can you leave Bowe out?"
What does one have to do with the other?
I think Bowe gets in based on the current standards of the Hall, But I don't understand why voting in Tyson deems you Have to vote Bowe in.
I really don't see a "connecting" factor between the two to be honest.
Possibly the most devastating 4 round fighter in the history of the fight game.
Without a shadow of a doubt he is H O F.
Tyson will surely be in on first ballot and deservedly so. Forget that Barry Mac and others are in there Mike would make it into a properly selective Hall of Fame.
Bowe might sneak into this version of the Hall but will only just be ahead of Michael Moorer and Buster Douglas!
That would be an interesting year to go to Canastota! Mike's induction would bring out some interesting fans!
I'm fully with Randy. I can't stand Tyson the man, but based on accomplishments, stature, impact, etc., he was THE man, period, from 1986-1990. Throw in 1985, too. No one had a more fearsome and unquestionable reign. I can't stand him but readily admit this.
Only thing, Randy, is that there are far, far more thugs in the hall than just those named here. That shouldn't even enter into it, or the place would have many fewer inductees.
I don't see Bowe in any sort of comparison with Tyson except psychologically. Though based on the hall's standards, Riddick definitely cuts it.
It was not bull, even when before the Tyson Spins fight, you can trace the lineal title from Patterson, to Spinks, (Marciano retire of couse)
Ali lost to Holmes, Holmes lost to Spinks and of couse the Spinks Tyson showdown. the lineal line for heavyweights at least was pretty strong.
Ali was not champion in any way when he lost to Holmes. He had come out of retirement and surely a retired guy isn't champ forever . . . I'd be more comfortable with someone saying John Tate's belt, won in an elimination series after Ali retired, is the lineal belt.
But that belt degraded in credibility whereas Holmes gained more and more credibility, and longevity. He had also beaten Norton, who was awarded the title because Spinks, unquestionably the lineal champ, had refused to fight him.
Holmes has to be lineal, and de facto, champ in my book.
Is the same Scenario as Charles Louis, in that the old champ came out of retirement to challenge the current champ, who did not hold universal recognition and then Lineage was handed along.
Now this all said, I'd like to pose a question to the Commish here:
The Ring did not recognize a World Heavyweight champion in the immediate aftermath of Ali's retirement. On the night when Mike Weaver KO'd John Tate and Holmes had successfully defended agianst Leroy Jones, Ring Magazine awarded the WORLD championship Belt to Holmes on the basis of already having beaten the now WBA champ, Mike Weaver, albeit a year earlier.
So according to the Ring, at the time Holmes defended agianst Ali, Larry was the World champ, and Ali was indeed the challenger.
Now fast forward to 1987, the final copy of the Ring Record Book that was put out by Herb Goldman (and after Gordon and Sugar had left the Ring), now falls on the Holmes winning the World title when he stopped Ali.
I'd be curious to hear what the discussions were like among those working at the Ring when the decision to list Holmes as the World Heavyweight champion, following the EPIC Mar 31, 1980 Quadruple Header. Was there buy in from everyone working at the Ring at the time that decision was made? Were there "holdouts" (Ie Goldman) who thought that the World title could only be won and lost in the ring and that when and if Ali came back, could the World title truly change hands?
And here's a wrinkle: Say Ali's negotiations with Mike Weaver actually worked themselves out and the two faced each other. And say in some sort of Miracle, Ali beats Weaver (He wouldn't have, but I'm saying WHAT IF). What would the Ring have done then (Given Holmes was listed as WORLD champ and Ali only the WBA title holder), other than pray for Ali and Holmes to meet ASAP to clear this up? Not a bad thing to have for Buildup, I would also add. The Fight for the TRUE champion. (Where have we seen this before?)
I really think this could have been VERY intersting.
I know I'm AGIAN, pushing the memory banks here Randy, but, were any HEATED discussions such as WHO was the real Heavyweight Champ, Following ALi's retirement, ANd then Weaver beating Tate and THEN ALi returning?
talent, accomplishments, skills... no doubt.
However, I'm really surprised no one has yet to mention the biting of holyfields ear. both ears.
that was no small violation. It was also something one couldn't just chalk up to the stupidity of youth. Tyson was over 30 by this point, had held the belt & knew better then anyone the responsibility that is suppossed to go w/ big fights.
sure, very nasty things happen in fights, even the biggest ones... but tyson's action in holy2 was the most blantant & naked disregard for the sports integrity, history & gamesmanship.
sure, one could make arguments that holy was blantantly headbutting him (obviously no small infraction in itself) & others could say several other high profile name fighters have skirted the rules using below the belt punches, rabbit punches & even toxic ointments to win fights. however, no fighter in as big a media fight as this has ever taken it to the level tyson did.
it wasnt as much the direct result it did to holy that was the most grievous effect of tyson's actions. face it fighters can get hurt much worse then holy did, so as bad as biting a portion of someones ear is, it wasnt lethal or detremential to longterm health. and in boxing circles on the lower levels its not a completely unknown act.
no, imo what was more grievous in tyson's act was his blatant disrespect for the sport itself. this coming from a fighter who had held the belt & now had a chance to regain it. A guy who had been brought up on the lore & history of the sport by cus, watching film from jack johnson foward. That night he figuratively & literally spit that respect he gained w/in the ropes all out the window. he showed he no longer had the class or control to be a champion.
furthermore, it wasnt like he just did it once, he bit holy twice, biting both ears! An obvious lack of class or mutual respect for a fighters health. But also a dark cloud cast on the sport itself. A sport wh/ needed positive displays at the time.
instead of tyson walking away from the fight w/ the respect of enduring the fight ( like a dempsey did in both tunney fights) & probaly gaining sympathy and respect, esp since holy whether purposely or not, was headbutting. Instead, in a huge media event, w/ many casual crossover sports fans (who like them or not, are needed for the big revenue flow for the sport) watching, tyson makes a mockery of the rules & class of the gamemenship that so many ex champions held before him. Tyson, knew how destructive image wise that action would be. Him biting holy a 2nd time, was his way of telling the sport to f off & he would only do as he chose. He further added insult w/ a lukewarm apology.
Don't kid yourself, that event turned off many fence fans & has hurt boxing to this day in trying to put on board other heavywt mega events.
so in final judgement, when that criminal action is weighed in (one this time that happened inside the ropes) its hard to just see Mike as a shoo in. He did too much in disdain for the sport w/ that action. considering he hasnt shown any later more heartfelt contrition for the event, I dont think he deserves first year contention into the hall. I think he needs to step foward and try to do some positive things for the sport & take some public responsibility for the countering destruction he laid upon it rather then just the tour de force he was in his prime. Until those actions fall in place I'd keep him out. If he chooses to do nothing, then I'd ice him for a long enough period (perhaps 10 years after contention) so that the sport can make an important point that such actions in the ring by a champion cant be tolerated.
Last edited by HandToMouth; 05-22-2008 at 03:02 AM.
good post- i agree.
Hawk: As I recall, there were no HEATED discussions at all over who the real champion was following Muhammad Ali's retirement and prior to his coming out of retirement to fight Larry Holmes. Both Bert and I--and let me throw in Herb Goldman, too--had no problem recognizing Holmes as the champion. Also, I don't recall ever discussing with Bert, "What if Ali should fight Mike Weaver and BEAT him?" I suppose that scenario was just too far-fetched to take seriously (although that really would have been something!).Originally Posted by hawk5ins
There is no question Tyson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame in Canastota NY for what he accomplished in the ring. Others deserve to be in for what they accomplished outside the ring in other categories too.
His rape conviction was obtained by objectionable and very questionable circumstances and a variety of abuses of that particular legal system.
He was initially metriculated into that system as a defendant with a fairy tale.
Very few people including cops and lawyers can make it through a full lifetime without someone signing somekind of bullshit complaint unless you stepped out of Twilight Zone's Willoughbee or a Norman Rockwell painting.
He has however done other things like kicking the 50 year old man in a roadrage incident and mugging helpless people that were more offensive than making moves at 2AM with a woman who came to his hotel room with asexual benign intent.
King killed TWO people, only in America though.
Bowe ain't no Tyson and is an apples and oranges scenario
The voting methods have changed in Hall of Fames all over the place and in different hands has become an issue of whether someone "Likes you" despite what persons have accomplished.
A hall of fame should not be a social club made up of tisking (As in tsk tsk), wannabee writers or wannabee historians who themselves should not even be there voting but an honest and independant venue made up of strong and fair men who know boxing inside and out, not to mention life.
Tyson was a unique destroyer of others and himself.
Iron Mike deserves to be in, not on Cosmopolitan's cover, but in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
I agree, that "scenario" is VERy far fetched.
The reason I ask about the "resistance" Re Holmes is becuase Ring magazine began the recognition following the Jones bout. ANd when Herb put together the last edition of the Ring Record book in 87, he doesn't list Larry as World champ until he beat Ali.
So it made me wonder if there was indeed an Issue.
With all the writers who have voted themselves and their cronies into these "Hall of Fames."
the idea that it is being discussed whether Mike Tyson belongs is rich indeed.
AJ Liebling and Bud Schulberg getting voted into the Boxing HOF by thier peers is something to compare or contrast with whether Mike Tyson should be voted into the IBHOF because of his MORE than sketchy out of the ring behaviour as well as his Boorish inside the ring behaviour (examples previously provided by other posters here)?
How do we get from "there" to "here"?
And I thought the comment of "if you vote Tyson in you HAVE to vote Bowe in" was confusing.
The Boxing Hall of Fame has a NON COMBATANT section.
Writers have done quite a bit for fighters and fans of the sport.
Without Writers covering the Sport, what would ANY of us know about Harry Greb? Or Sugar Ray Robinson at 147? Or Tunney at 175? Or a pre-title Jack Dempsey?
Writers brought fighters to life for those at the time who could not see them and for US today, who have no hope of seeing fighters who were never filmed.
Can anyone who follow the sport during the times of Jimmy Cannon or Nat Fleischer or Damon Runyon, have imagined what it would have been like to NOT have been able to pick up a magazine or paper to read about a fight or fighter?
In more Modern times, there have been many great writers who while not having to fill the void that their predecessors had to fill, certainly provided a great service in the coverage they did and the articles they wrote.
Pat Putnam, Bert Sugar, Dave Anderson, Larry Merchant, George Kimball, Mike Katz, Randy Gordon, Phil Berger, and so many others. Again, can anyone here imagine NOT being able to pick up Sports Illustrated or the Ring or a NY Times or Post or News or Boston Herald and NOT being able to read about boxing?
WHen our own Mike Casey Pens a piece for this site, does ANYONE here not feel or understand just how invaluable he is to have put together the pieces he did that have helped educate us at least a hundred times over about the sport?
Where would this sport be WITHOUT the Hype Igoe's, the WC Heinz's, the AJ Leiblings and the Harry Mullans?
These guys don't matter or count?
There is a reason for a Non Combatant section in the Hall. It is becuase those who served the sport OUTSIDE the ropes, deserve our respect and recognition.
Re Tyson and Bowe.....I don't really care that Riddick Bowe never Lost to a Kevin McBride or that Tyson did or that Ezzard Charles lost George Logan or that Marciano didn't.
I would vote a fighter into the Hall based on their Best, not their worst. Especially if their worst is SO far beyond their prime as in the case of a Mcbride or a Logan Loss.
imo, you make very valid points in regards to mike's out of ring infractions.Originally Posted by Ron Lipton
the rape case was shaky. regardless, if he indeed was guilty or he got railroaded... either way he did do hard time. his debt was paid, or he's owed. it's what one takes from the trial itself as far as subjective guilt.
I also concur w/ your comparisons to other fighters & promoters. boxing of all the pro sports is the most closely connected to the streets. for many boxers its there only ticket away from jail. the latitude parameters inturn must be compared to the people in the sport, not other sports. Again, Mike did some crazy things outside of the ring, but in comparison to some of the others in the hall, its not outside the ledger of comparison.
mike was indeed a unique combination of carnivore & self cannibalizer. the peculiar yin & yang psychological boundary lines that make boxing its own singular art seem to have drove mike thru each side of that perimeter. thus considering where he grew up & the ferocity he brought into the ring, his outside the ring infractions at least have a basis for understanding.
but inside the ring, in his own element where the rules were clear & his ability to dominate paramount... I just dont get why you can give a pass to the bush league, high profile & barbaric action he took in the holy2 fight.
wasnt it mike who used to speak so earnestly about the past greats... wasnt it mike who came of age under one of the elder respected sages of the sport who dated back to the louis era... & wasnt it mike who relished being compared in his prime to the upper echelon of past hvywt greats.
at 31 mike knew the game.
to this day watching the replay, esp the 2nd time he bit him... it's cringe inducing. he ridiculed & brought shame & disgrace to the sport inside its own roped sanctuary. He clearly knew he was going over the line & if he didnt then he shouldve literally been put away in a hospital for the mentally disturbed.
the bottomline is, mike didnt care about any of that... it was about me getting mines & screw the sport since I cant live up to MY past accolades.
how can such blantant disregard w/in the ring & w/o any tangible contrition be red carpeted into a hall under 1st year contention?
explain how doing so doesnt sully & dilute the institution itself.
by doing so you concurrently minimalize his action & inturn marginalize the integrity of the sport. In sum in crowning him you dishonor past greats who held respect of the sport & honored the lines w/in the ropes.
Last edited by HandToMouth; 05-22-2008 at 09:30 AM.
Of course some boxing writers did a GOOD deal for the sport of boxing.
Not sure how they became a part of the 'elite' . . .most sports-writers make crackers in terms of salary.
Without the writers all we'd know of most boxing pre-1915 is tall tales and some photographs
Has a category for Combatants and a category for Non Combatants.
One group does not steal votes from the other.
It's not as if a "writer" would take away a vote from or nudge out a fighter from being inducted in any particular year.
So I'm not seeing what the issue is.
Non Combatants=Non Fighters, whihc would include managers, writers, promoters, publicists, Referees, Broadcasters and Historians as well as "others" such as patrons. IE the Marquis of Queensbury.
No one is stealing anyone's lunch money.
Some good points made there Hand to Mouth on Mike's conduct in the Holyfield ear biting fight, truly was a wrong thing to do in public, not an alley maybe but in a big fight it was despicable.
We all have different tastes in writers and I respect that but to include one or two of those in the same breath as the other greats, is making Ted Sares' point of friends voting in friends who are so far off in another category its like a 5th grade essay author getting into the Pulitzer Prize category with a collection of stories written in crayon.
The voting process today is in the hands of some lads who really should not have a vote based on their limited experience in boxing. Some of those non participants should not be there at all.
Slam dunk first ballot HOFer. But does he really deserve it? I'm not talking about his non-ring criminal behavior, to me in every sport that is irrelevant.
For instance I don't care how much coke Lawrence Taylor snorted. What matters is the mayhem he caused on the field & that Taylor played his heart out, EVERY, single, down.
Can we say the same about Leg-Iron Mike Tyson?
He dogged quite a few fights & biting Evanders ears & the miserable way his career ended...
I take all of these things in account because they were crimes against BOXING. If Tyson hadn't been such a crazy son of a bitch the boxing world would be VERY different today.
He could have been to boxing what Jordan was to B Ball. He could have created a major resurgence of interest in boxing, instead it's slowly twisting in the wind because it has become a truly minor league sport in the eyes of the general sporting public.
But "could have beens" is ultimately a waste of time. He is what he is, total, fucking, detritus.
I would add that if Tyson were not voted in I would understand that very well for the damage he has done, also that some of those writers do serve a very great purpose and I respect them with all my heart for immortalizing the great fighters we all love.
Pat Putnam was great, and the love Mike Casey has for boxing is true dedication as with many others, a valuable asset to us all.
Heck, I could have just as well listed Mike Marley, Phil Pepe, Bill Gallo and Lester Bromberg, writers I don't or didn't particularly care for. But that wasn't the point here.
In fact, Many of the names I listed are NOT inducted in the IBHOF. Hell, Most that I listed Are NOT. Those Actually IN the IBHOF, as Non Combatants, I think you would be pleasantly surprised that there is far less "cronyism", than is being intimated here (see below).
The REAL point is WITHOUT the writers, where would we have gotten the articles and books and newspapers and magazines that I think I can safely state that EVERY boxing fan had as a part of their daily life as it pertained to the sport.
Today it's the internet. And we here at CBZ are blessed to have Mike Casey writing TOP NOTCH stuff that educates each and everyone of us who follow the sport.
If I had a vote and Mike was on the ballot, Non Combatants of course, He'd get mine.
Here is a list of Writers and Historians Currently inducted at the IBHOF:
Nathaniel S. Fleischer
Is there an "Ingemar Johansson" or two among this group? Sure there is. Gallo would get my vote. Are there writers missing that SHOULD be in? Absolutely.
But I think in looking at the list, pretty much it is solid and does NOT smack in the face of some of the cronyism that has been alluded to here.
Last edited by hawk5ins; 05-22-2008 at 11:28 AM.
crimes against BOXING. ... GorDoom, great line. it crystallizes my point about not what he did outside the ring (it doesnt help things, but shouldnt keep one out of the hall), but instead inside it.Originally Posted by GorDoom
unlike a ray leonard, what has mike done to try to help or revamp some of the carnage he left to the reputation inside the sports ropes.
tyson blew the sport up to heights not seen in some time, but his actions, imo esp holy2 sustained it about as good as a child's blown bubble.
too many good people left trying to put the pieces back together & put the sport back on the wall... 1st year hall w/o iron mike becoming part of the solution is only humpty dumpty appeasement.
Nathaniel S. Fleischer
Good and credible list of boxing writers, who deserve to be there, although I do not feel Nat Fleischer's writings or outlooks should automatically get him in there, just because he was the Editor of a boxing magazine. I read a lot of his stuff and his views at times were very questionable and judgment clouded.
Sometimes the "Editors" are not good writers themselves but are politically connected which in boxing gets things done like a seat at ringside or a commentator job, whether it is an appointment to a position which is undeserved, or a friend got them the job after much much buttering up, its not Hall of Fame stuff at least not the International one.
To be mentioned with the greats one has to be great, as if on a level with them. The voting has changed through the years and has fallen into some inexperienced hands, not so much Cronyism, but missing the mark.
Otherwise it will become so diluted it will be like pound per pound my favorite fighters are Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Harry Greb, Sam Langford, and
Chuck Wepner. Same thing with writers.
On the same page as far As Fleischer goes.
I'd vote him in for starting up the RIng, whihc was an important magazine for the sport if for no other reason than the ratings. But not necessarily his writing acumen. Whihc I have never really cared for to be honest.