Mar. 22, 2017

"Iron" Mike Tyson

I love Mike Tyson. He’s one of my favorite personalities. I love the inspirational stories that surround him and despise the negative propaganda that seems to follow him. I vaguely remember his first fight and I cannot tell you when his name even surfaced as a celebrity status. What I do remember though is when I first actually took notice of him. He was married to an actress from the sit-com, Head of the Class.

I knew he was a boxer, heavyweight division. I used to say, “Tyson might be the champ now but he’ll never be Mohammad Ali.” I was right. He will not ever be Mohammad Ali; he’ll always be Mike Tyson. I could tell how he handled his marriage, and later his divorce, that The Champ was a force to be reckoned with.

When it hit the media he had married the actress, I just shook my head. I hate to sound mean, but through his speech and dialect, I felt she had married him as a publicity stunt and predicted it would backfire on her once she finished riding his coat tails. She seemed too uppity for Mike and often presented herself as though she were too good for the likes of a Brooklyn thug, even if he were the world’s heavyweight champion.

When she claimed he physically abused her and punched her in the face, the media ate it up. I screamed at the TV, “She’s a liar!”

“How do you know he didn’t physically abuse her?” Reese, my husband, asked laughing at my up close and personal confrontation with the TV.

“He’s called ‘Iron-Mike’ for a reason,” I answered with a smirk. “I’m sure it’s not because he has lead in his feet. I’m betting his fists are like iron!”

“Yeah, but how do you know?” He pressed teasingly.

“She doesn’t have any broken bones, not her nose, her cheeks, her teeth are still intact. No way you will ever, in this lifetime, convince me, that man punched that scrawny, toothpick of a woman in the face!” I was livid.

Afterwards whenever the media showed pictures of Mike, he had a kind of sadness in his eyes. Not loneliness, but sadness. It was as if he knew he’d been used, abused, and put back on the shelf with a black eye. Slowly, the media lost interest in Mike and I thought that best. I hated seeing that sadness within him.

He came back with a vengeance though showing the world he’d only gone away to lick his wounds; she didn’t break him. There was a new fire in his eye and a viciousness about his bite (no pun intended Evander). I was online and in a chatroom called “Physicians Online” the night his fight with Holyfield took place. Some of the room members were watching the fight and giving play-by-play accounts. When Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, I was cracking up. When he did it a second time, I was still laughing but, at the same time, I felt that maybe Mike hadn’t hashed out his inner demons yet?

Several men had typed into the lobby chat, “You see what a man will do when a woman lies on him? He goes on the attack.”

I respected and appreciated the fact he had these personal struggles going on and yet, he kept plunging through with those iron fists of his. Tyson didn’t seem to be jumping his proverbial hurdles as much as he seemed to be punching them down as he went along.

The one that angered me the most was that beauty pageant contestant, the one who accused him of rape. I was so mad; I could have punched the TV. Again, my husband, enjoying my confrontation with the lying reporter on the screen says, “How do you know she’s lying and Tyson isn’t just using his celebrity status to hide behind?”

“Then she’s stupid!” I yelled. “He called her at two in the morning and asked her to come back. For what, late night poker? They had oral sex. You’d think at some point if she didn’t want to participate she could have bit him or clocked him over the head with the telephone!”

I was even more angry when they found him guilty. I can only surmise after the OJ Simpson fiasco, the courts wanted to show the world they will convict a high profile celebrity after all. I honestly felt like Mike was used to set a precedence; an example so to speak because truly, I feel deep in my soul Mike Tyson was as innocent of raping that girl as I am. I will not ever be convinced otherwise.

I was even more convinced of my convictions after watching Undisputed Truth, which was nominated as an NAACP Award. It should have won hands down, if you ask me.

As I said, I love Mike Tyson and I am a huge fan because of the inner strength this man has shown. He’s a true boxer from the inside out and I really feel the justice system used him as an example; just as they did with Rick James. But, that’s another story.