Mike Tyson - Vegas’ Newest Attraction

It’s been 20 years since Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history…
18 years since his personal life and boxing career began to fall apart…
16 years since Tyson was knocked out by Buster Douglas…
15 years since his odd behavior began…
14 years since Tyson was sent to prison for rape
9 years since Tyson lost to Evander Holyfield for the second time and bit a chunk of his ear off in the process…
7 years since Tyson was sent to prison once again…
4 years since Tyson was knocked out by Lennox Lewis…
3 years since he declared for bankruptcy…
1 year since he was knocked for the second fight in a row and announced his retirement from boxing…

Even through all of this, Mike Tyson still manages to attract millions. His name is one of the most popular searches on the internet. Dozens of newspaper, magazine, and web articles are written about him every day, just like this one.

Tyson has been trying to piece his life back together during the last few months. He has become a mixed martial arts referee, even signing with Japanese-based Pride Fighting Championships earlier this month. He is even taking jobs as a commentator on boxing PPV’s.

Tyson is currently in Las Vegas, training for an exhibition fight that will take place during Pride’s first ever event in the US on October 21st, drawing a crowd as usual…

Some crowded around the ring with cell phone cameras in hand. Others sat at a bar not 20 feet away drinking beer. Still others ignored it all and smoked cigarettes and played slot machines.

Mike Tyson used to put on displays. On this day, he was just on display.

Down the street, tourists watched lions and dolphins between breaks at the slot machines. In the Aladdin hotel, they didn’t need to move from their seats at the bar to see another curiosity in a makeshift ring.

The former baddest man on the planet has been reduced to this - just another freak show on the Las Vegas Strip.

The signs said he was in training, and that was enough to lure a few hundred people to the makeshift ring set up just outside the casino’s buffet restaurant. Training for what was a question better left unanswered.

Tyson once made $35 million for one fight and more than $300 million in his career before blowing it all. Now he’s a casino sideshow, trying to make a few bucks the only way he knows how in a sport he no longer can stand.

“I truly hate fighting,” Tyson said. “I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth.”

Posted by John Chandler on Aug 31, 2006 at 06:34 PM
Heavyweight

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