There’s a multitude of reasons why heavyweight boxing has become irrelevant in America. Of course with every failure, there’s plenty of blame to go around – a lack of top quality trainers, a poorly run amateur system, lack of media coverage of amateur boxing. Lennox Lewis’ early retirement before facing Vitali in a rematch, more than a few one-sided mismatches involving Wladimir and Vitali with inferior contenders who fought for survival, not to win the title, HBO’s poor promotion of the Klitschko Brothers. We can go on and on.
But now it appears there could be a partial solution to the big problem plaguing boxing. One of the mightiest names in boxing history is rumored to be itching to make a return to the ring. Mike Tyson at age 43 is said to be pondering giving it another go, like George Foreman did back in the 80s and 90s.
With all due respect to Eddie Chambers, Deontay Wilder, John Ruiz, Ray Austin, Tony Thompson, Chris Arreola, American heavyweight boxing is at or near an all-time low as far as popularity. A stimulus is desperately needed. Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield could provide that spark.
A Tyson comeback following the guidelines of George Foreman’s hugely successful run could not only work, it could possibly even exceed what Big George accomplished. And with Don King around, working in unison with Tyson, the show could be even more colorful and dynamic.
Don’t get me wrong, Tyson looked beyond shot against Kevin McBride and Danny Williams. It looked like his fire had burnt completely out. But if he’s matched carefully and patiently, against smaller opposition rather than those super-heavyweight behemoths, Tyson can rise from the ashes. After a couple of wins, the snowball effect, hey, you never know.
Though heavyweight boxing is thriving in Europe, it is in dire straits here in the U.S. Over 50,000 will attend Klitschko vs. Chambers later this month in Dusseldorf, but HBO opted not to even televise that world heavyweight title bout in America. Even if Chambers, the 8-1 underdog scores the upset of the decade, virtually no one in America will have witnessed it. In two weeks time Chambers could be the world heavyweight champion but thanks to HBO, he’d have the popularity presence of an NFL second string offensive lineman.
If that’s not a sign that desperate measures are needed by American heavyweight boxing, then what is?
The Return of Mike Tyson to the boxing ring? The new, rejuvenated Mike Tyson coming to a stadium near you. It’s not impossible to imagine starving boxing fans selling out Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium to see Mike Tyson, the most exciting heavyweight champion in history, try do his thing one more time. If this rumored comeback is done properly, it sounds pretty good to me. Hurry up Don. Make it happen.