Vaught's Views: Tyson doesn't deserve another chance

July 01, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

As much as it hurts to even type the words Mike Tyson, some things cannot be ignored.

Louisville has tried to promote itself as a big-time sports city. The U.S. women's soccer team recently played an exhibition game in Louisville. The Kentucky Derby is annually one of the nation's premier sports events. Louisville's football and basketball programs are both successful. Valhalla Golf Club has hosted the PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship.

But Tyson? Get real.

Tyson is going to fight someone named Danny Williams July 30 in Freedom Hall. Personally, I would rather watch paint dry or grass grow than go to a Tyson fight.

Perhaps Tyson once was a great fighter when he was heavyweight champion (even though I prefer to believe he was just an ordinary boxer competing at a time when the heavyweight division lacked a true champion). Still, how can you ignore all the problems he's had?


Don't tell me about the hard life Tyson had as a youngster or the bad advice he's received from people like promoter Don King. It's hard to feel sorry for anyone who has wasted money the way Tyson has and now is hoping to fight enough to pay off a $30 million debt so people won't think he's a "dishonest person."

Guess what, Mike? Dishonest is one of the nicer words most people use to describe you.

Decide what words fit him

Decide for yourself what words fit Tyson.

He's a convicted rapist and has spent time in jail for that offense for which he's shown almost no remorse.

He's the one who thought he was losing to Evander Holyfield and decided to take a bite out of his ear - during the fight. Again, he has shown no remorse, and he once even said he wouldn't mind eating Holyfield's children.

He's tested positive for marijuana after a fight and threw a punch at another boxer after the bell.

He attacked a boxing promoter before a bout in England and tried to hit the referee during the fight.

The normal big-time boxing venues want no part of Tyson. Can you blame them? Still, he proclaims he's the biggest name in boxing. If he is, that only tells what a sorry state the boxing industry is now in.

Easy to argue he should not be fighting

It's easy to argue that Tyson should not even be fighting. Major league baseball banned Pete Rose from being on the field for betting on the Cincinnati Reds when he was the manager, and he has been kept out of the Hall of Fame. Paul Hornung recently lost his job with the Notre Dame radio football network for a racist remark. Several college coaches have lost their jobs because of academic fraud.

He's not had a fight in 18 months. During that time he's apparently found a new peace and made himself a new person. Or that's what he wants everyone to believe as they put down money to watch him perform in Louisville.

He basically sees nothing wrong with what he's done.

"I may have had a checkered past, but ... I deserve another chance to prove my checkered past can be swept away," Tyson said during his press conference in Louisville Tuesday to promote his upcoming fight.

Another chance? Please.

Tyson has already had way too many chances - and blown them all.

That's why there's no reason to think the July 30 fight will be anything but another fiasco and why Louisville may well regret opening its city to a man who has done nothing but take pride in his checkered past.

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