Monday, 18 May 2009

Mike Tyson: The Saddest Man on the Planet. Part 1

As one of the Manflet founders, I have been coming under increasing pressure to contribute to the blog in recent weeks (now months). I won’t lie; I’ve been struggling for inspiration. Then recently, the free London papers were filled with advertisements and glowing reviews for James Toback’s docu-film, TYSON.

One of my earliest memories is being about six years old and watching a young Mike Tyson beat Trevor Birbick to win the WBC (World Boxing Council) belt. At the time, I didn’t really understand the significance of this or why my dad got so excited. But as my fascination with Mike Tyson, a.k.a. Iron Mike/the Baddest Man on the Planet and Kid Dynamite grew, I soon realised that I had witnessed something special that early Sunday morning on November 22, 1986. To this day, Mike Tyson still remains the youngest heavyweight (aged 20) to become champion of the world. When I think back, it seemed like every Sunday morning there was a Mike Tyson fight on television that I would watch with my dad, obviously that was not the case, although he was a prolific boxer – In 1986, he had 13 fights, something which would be unheard of today.

At an age before I could really understand violence, I think Mike Tyson was my first hero/icon. Even when my dad would get annoyed at how quick his fights would end (11 of his first 15 fights ending by way of knockout in the first round), I was just happy that he won; plus the quicker he won the sooner I could go and watch cartoons.

Despite the remarkable public decline of my one time hero, I found myself excited about film’s release. However this soon changed. Just as I was crushed and left down-hearted by Tyson’s shock defeat to Buster Douglas in 1990, I was left deflated by the news that the film would go straight to DVD, which I discovered by adverts for the DVD in the paper on the same day it was meant to hit theatres. It would seem that the British public did not share my love for Mike Tyson. Sulking and refusing to buy the DVD, I console myself with articles, videos and documentaries on the Internet, thus reigniting my fascination with Mike Tyson.

Read Part 2.

1 comment:

John said...

Oh there they go. There they go, every time I start talkin 'bout boxing, a black man got to pull Mike Tyson out their ass. That's their one, that's their one. Mike Tyson. Kid Dynamite. Let me tell you something once and for all. Tyson was good, but compared to Rocky Marciano, Iron Mike ain't shit.

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