SNIDER: Welcome Mike Tyson back to the ring

Rick Snider
May 12, 2020 - 12:37 pm

Mike Tyson unleashed the fury with a training video that looked like the old "Iron Mike." Just a wicked series of blows that makes you believe he could kill someone in the ring.

Who says Tyson is too old to return to the ring? Didn't anyone watch the last couple Rocky movies? This is Tyson's script in the making. Some four-round exhibitions for charity after turning 54 on June 30. It's straight out of Rocky plots.

And that's OK.

"The gods of war have reawakened me," Tyson told Facebook Gaming. "They've ignited my ego and want me to go to war again."

Admit it, you want Tyson on that wall. You need Tyson on that wall.

Naysayers think it's nuts for Tyson to return after 15 years. Well, they said the same thing about George Foreman, who returned from 10 years of preaching the gospel to pummeling opponents into purgatory.

Foreman was one of the giants in the age of heavyweight champions in the 1960s-70s before retiring in 1977. He returned in 1987 and won the title in 1994 at age 45. After boxing three more years, Foreman retired again in 1997, only to work on another comeback in 2005 before family stopped him. Still, nobody looks at Foreman today at age 71 as some punch-drunk boxer.

Tyson's possible comeback coincides with retired champion Evander Holyfield's planned return at age 57. Come on – you know you want another bite at the apple, to see if Tyson chews on "The Real Deal's" other ear. Holyfield beat Tyson with an 11th-round TKO in 1996 before the 1997 rematch, when Tyson was disqualified after biting Holyfield's ear.

Third time's the charm? Promoter Don King probably already has that trademarked.

Tyson is a complicated character. The things he went through in life would have broken most people. I spent an afternoon with him in 1991 while he gave turkeys to the poor in Washington. Seven stops on a bus with King giving an "Only in America" speech at each while Tyson hung out with a couple reporters. My impression was surprise that he wasn't more imposing physically, that there must be some inner rage that fueled such a ferocious person in the ring.

In recent years, Tyson seemed to finally quiet those demons. His one-man show over his life is inspiring. Then again, there was his recent admission of spending $40,000 monthly on pot. That has to take the edge off, though he couldn't pass a drug test to fight unless stopping.

Watching that ring session shown on Monday was impressive. He was quick and powerful, though against someone holding pads. But, it showed a motivated person whose last fight was at MCI Center in 2005, when losing to Kevin McBride.

Tyson could still knock down the average person in one punch, so don't think he's not to be respected. Clem Florio, the late Washington Post horse racing handicapper, fought under different names as a club fighter in New York as a youth. Even made it onto a Madison Square Garden card once. One day in the press box, he showed me some punches and just tapped me on the chin. It was like being hit by a brick, and Florio was in his 60s then. Imagine what top pros can unleash?

If Tyson wants to fight exhibitions, there's no reason to deny him or the public, as long as it doesn't become a dangerous act.

Anything is possible when you are smart about it. Train Smart. Recover Smarter. @smartcups #SmartCups #baddestmanontheplanet #stillthebaddestmanontheplanet @tysonranchofficial @coppergel #tysonranch

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Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks