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Friday, 4 February, 2000, 15:11 GMT
What next for Tyson?
Mike Tyson's two-round demolition of Julius Francis marks the latest stage in the controversial American fighter's comeback.
What is next for boxing's most infamous figure?
Tyson's career has been stalled by prison terms, but the former world heavyweight champion is determined for another shot at the title.
Lennox Lewis stands in the way of Tyson's return to the very top of the sport. Who would win a showdown between Britain's undisputed world champion and Iron Mike?
The Tyson-Lewis bout may not even take place due to contractual wrangles. But is it right that US TV companies are allowed control the destiny of the world crown?
Tyson wants another fight in the UK, but should he be allowed to return to the country, following the immigration row over his rape conviction?
It's a shame that Tyson has spent his prime boxing years in prison. Whilst it's easy to be appalled at his past behaviour, remember he's a product of his environment, and you cannot discount his achievement of being the youngest world heavyweight ever. It would be great to see him work his way back up to a shot at the title with Lewis, and HBO and Showtime should work together to make that opportunity happen - it could only be a win-win situation for both of them at the end of the day.
Mike Tyson seems to symbolise all the things about 'boxing' that make it a brutal and unmerciless sport. If, one wants to consider it a sport, - which is highly questionable in the first place. Tyson represents a violent man who has a lot more enemies than any other boxer today. But, he has been exploited by some of the 'seedy' characters in the sports world who are making money hand over fist due to this man's mental weaknesses. Which centre around violence for people to observe at a price that is far too high for anyone with a sense of civility.
Dave Adams, USA
Even though, I will never condone rape or any other kind of crime, I still can't understand why Mike Tyson had such a bad publicity. Remember that Tyson did not invite himself to England. He was rather invited by prominent British businessmen and therefore if we have any grievances, we should be confronting the likes of Frank Warren and leave Tyson who is still being exploited alone. Please confront the source of the problem and don't use Tyson as a 'scapegoat' once again.
Stephen Mensah, England
Tyson had his day. There are many more exciting boxers who should be shown some light. Lewis would beat him anyway. About American T.V companies; the sport in America is in my view made so much worse by adverts. I am currently in America and watched the Superbowl. I bet the coverage of the game was 50% American football and 50% adverts. Sport in America is based around advertising where as advertising should be based around sport. This is the same for boxing and something should be done.
Nicholas Bradley, England
With a bit of luck, he'll disappear to Mecca and never be seen again.
Thomas Brown, Scotland
I think that Tyson has only thought of the money he can get from the extra fights when he knows he could take Lewis right now.
Robert Evans, England
All of you who have put negative comments about Tyson should be ashamed of yourselves. Are any of you judges? Passed you bar exams overnight? Have any of you lived the life Tyson has had to live. He has done his time for his crime. I love Lennox to death, but Tyson will always be my man.
Tyson gets allowed to box, despite his despicable record, because it brings in big bucks. It turns boxing into a sham. People are only interested in Tyson because they want to hear about the next big scandal. That isn't sport that's just voyeurism.
Mike Tyson is a stupid animal. Just look at him. He looks like he just crawled out of the jungle. He beats women, rapes women, has been incarcerated, and he has cannibalistic tendencies. Enough said.
I do not really care what's next for this convicted rapist. Boxing is barbaric and is symptomatic of Western society's persistent devaluation of human life. Mr. Tyson is a poor example for us to hold forth for any human being, old or young. Let us teach our children - by example - that the way to celebrate life and experience pleasure is through music, dance, art, conversation, and song: never by assaulting another being.
Reverend James Lovette-Black, USA
I do not know what's next. But I do know what follows next to... next. He will challenge Lewis, because he was humiliated when he ducked him before. He will lose. Who can wait for this day?
Ulysses Christodoulou, USA
All other issues aside. It will take more than one fight for Tyson to be ready to take on Lewis. At his prime he could probably have handled Lewis with no problem. That was then, now Tyson is not the same boxer. There is more to being champion than having been great once.
In my own opinion I think that Mike stands out to be one of the greatest fighters that ever lived. Mike made an honest mistake and did his time. Please give that guy a chance to be a loving father and a good citizen.
Dr. Patrick Ibe, USA
I personally saw Tyson in the Mosque, now God knows best his true actions, but what I observed in him was a brother who is trying, slowly but surely, trying to change himself. We're all human, and all must realise his faults.
As George Foreman famously predicted after Tyson's loss to James Buster Douglas he's like "Humpty-Dumpty" and will "never be put back together again." Mike Tyson is a disturbed individual. His once great skills and reflexes have been eroded by age and years of incarceration. What quality opponent has he defeated in the last ten years? I believe Lewis would wipe the floor with him.
Arka De, United Kingdom
Black people are being made to look very stupid when Tyson visited Brixton recently, I truly do not think that they were hero worshipping him, but to many people he is a big name. I watched the fight on TV and the stadium looked almost full to capacity, the main race of the people I saw were white, what does that tell you, these people paid to see a convicted rapist and don't tell me they were all there to cheer on Julius Francis, who incidentally is also a convicted felon but he unlike Tyson, has done his time and so is the hypocrisy of this country. As I said bad is bad, don't make out that one bad is worse than another!
What is next for Mike Tyson? Who cares? He is the tackiest, dumbest, ugliest, talentless man ever to reach such great fame. He has done it by beating his wife, by raping women, by being jailed more than once, and then saying he has found religion. Yet another one who hides behind a religion to say he is a better person. He blows this cover, though, with his sarcastic nasty comments about the women's groups who were against him coming to the UK. Mike should never have been allowed into the UK, and I wish he would not be allowed back in to the US either. Put him on some island with other mindless animals, so he can feel at home. What is it you do with your trash? You throw it out!
Rob, Las Vegas, USA
Over the last few weeks I have witnessed media figures repeatedly attributing Tyson's criminal activities to the fact that he is a young black man living in an essentially racist society and has therefore been disadvantaged, victimised and alienated. What about Desiree Washington? Is she not a young black woman who is, presumably, doubly disadvantaged because she lives in an essentially racist AND misogynistic society. Being victimised does not give anyone the right to victimise others.
It's a shame really that Mike Tyson is manipulated by his promoters, and picks second-rate opponents just to earn an easy buck. He thus diminishes his posture, as one of the greatest fighters ever.
Fidel Pavlenko, UK, originally from Ukraine
They just can't get enough of Iron Mike. Personally, I think he is the greatest, most ferocious fighter around and I feel sorry for Lewis. The media attention, wow, I guess everybody benefits especially the media. The fact that he is a convicted rapist has nothing to do with the attention he gets. The British, love scandal and quite frankly, this wets the appetite. He paid his debt for the crime committed. Does he really need to be reminded of the crime every 20 seconds.
Roland, Dubai - UAE
Mike Tyson is, after Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all times. The media and the general public should consider this before asking him to leave the ring.
Ed Vaper., Canada
Well what I want to say is why the so-called women's group or community leaders or any of the other critics of Tyson make such a noise as if they were angels or without fault. The case about the alleged rape no one knows if he really did it even though he was convicted (not that I believe he is a role model or an angel, I'm sure he has his dark personality as we have seen or heard, so does others). But the point is he is there as boxer and we should give him a last chance at least in the ring.
After reading the comments from so many thoughtful and caring individuals, I thought I should make a couple of points. 1. Tyson is certainly no angel and has reaped the rewards of his own volatile nature and being subject to the influence of people like Don King. However, he has paid his dues for the wrongs he has done and deserves to be allowed to try and get on with his life. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone! 2. While I'm on religion, all these statements about Mike Tyson being a poor downtrodden Muslim miss the issue. He may say he is a Muslim, but I'm sure his past actions would put many of his faith to shame. Actions speak louder than words. Remember that everybody loves Ali, who is also a Muslim, so all this talk to anti-Muslim bias doesn't hold water either. Its up to Mike to start acting like a decent human being, but to do that, the media and the public need to give him a chance.
Tyson is a good boxer but that shouldn't cloud the fact that he is a convicted rapist. But the worst thing is we let Pinochet in, who killed thousands and Customs couldn't give a monkeys. The media yet again has a go at a public figure they can use on their front page...
Mike Tyson was once the greatest Heavyweight boxer in the world. He hasn't had a good fight in 11 years. If Don King hadn't ripped him off so badly then maybe he could afford to retire. Mike Tyson is only a draw to those rubberneck's who want to see him get angry, not box. Mike will never be a great boxer again, let it go.
Peter Bradley, NewZealand
I don't believe that Tyson is as good as some say or as bad as the media makes him out to be. There is doubt over his rape conviction and he has served his time. But in his visit to England in the entire two weeks he behaved impeccably and gave up a lot of time for his fans. I believe that the majority of the time it is just the media that use negative headlines about him and never focus on anything positive he does.
Humza Tahir, England
To Shahid Bhatti who said everybody hates him because he is a black Muslim - I don't like Mike Tyson because he is a rapist and a thug, that does not make me a racist! The attitude of whenever a black person like Mike Tyson or OJ Simpson is in trouble people always say its because their black, ignoring the fact if they really are guilty! Tyson's victim was a black girl, and Evander Holyfield is black, I wonder if they think people who hate Tyson are racists!
He's done his time so leave the guy alone. I think the boxing bureaucrats should give the Lewis-Tyson fight the go ahead.
Dan Leprevost, England
Tyson is a changed man, and should be allowed some respect which not many people are giving him. There are known rapists walking the streets all over the world, who have spent their time, and are now allowed to live their lives, why can't that happen to Tyson. Give the man a break! As for Lewis, Tyson needs more time to be up to that level. However a Tyson in his prime would knock-out a Lewis in his prime.
Khalid Mumtaz, United Kingdom
Mike is a man with courage. He's strong and he's fast. Mike is the true champion and like other famous sportsmen he is under constant attack by people with cruel intentions who want to get something out of him. He has been betrayed and used by Don King and unfairly treated by the press and some so-called paranoid human-rights activists who just like to criticise anybody they can get their hands to. Mike is a man of dignity and great achievements and he proved it by his recent victory. He didn't give up despite all the criticism about his convictions. He should be respected and given credit like every other successful person in this society.
Adoration for a convicted rapist, black, white or green is not the issue. What are we teaching our children?
After reading the comments from which I presume are from the Minority and Muslim communities in Europe and America, I feel sorry for you, that you must laud such a pathetic human being as Mike Tyson. Is Mike Tyson the role model for the Black/Muslim Communities? If so, you have bigger problems than the establishment media.
Tyson is another media manipulator doing his rounds to earn his dollars. Our boy Lewis will send him back to the USA, for him never to return (hopefully).
Bruce Maclaren, UK
I must admit I found it rather amusing the excitement caused by Iron Mike's British debut. It only goes to show what a sorry place this country must be. The comment was made that there hasn't been such an interest in a celeb of this magnitude since lady Di. What's up with you people? I mean this guy can't even sell out in Atlantic City anymore! Is it any wonder he says he wants to fight in Europe again? So anyway go ahead and worship another yank cast-off, I guess something's will never change.
Sammy g, Canada
The British media has tried there best to brainwash all the British people in to their way of thinking. The headlines of the BBC news were Rapist Mike Tyson was in Brixton. I would not mime if every convicted person who appears on television, newspapers had their type of conviction mentioned before their name. We all know that this will not happen. All the information I received from the media was that Mike is the most evil man in the world and should not be in the country. I do not suppose it's anything to do with his colour? The headlines of the BBC news were NOT that Paedophile Gary Glitter was guilty.
Brian Clarke, UK
Mike Tyson should be left alone to pursue his legitimate career boxing. Tyson has served the sentence for the alleged 'rape'. Please leave Tyson alone to do what he does better than any other person in the world!
Tyson, regardless of his race or religion, is simply a common (and convicted) predator of the most foul stripe. It is for that reason that no one should pay attention to his activities in the ring. If he is a representative of any social paradigm, it is the paradigm of a selfish criminal.
Yes, OK, I think we've gathered the fact that Tyson is a good boxer, but that's not my point. My point is that about 50% of you lot are trying to justify his background, and in extreme cases trying to say that most of it is lies. SICK! The man's a freak and you know it!
Stuart Carris, England
I think that it has been good for the sport of boxing in the UK that the Tyson fight was held here. However aside from his criminal convictions Mike Tyson is a world-wide public figure and if his appearance leads to youngsters wanting to participate in boxing, it could lead to this country having another world champion like Lennox Lewis. I firmly believe that Lewis is by far the better boxer and will beat Tyson. After Tyson paid Lewis not to fight him 3 years ago!
Peter Curtis, England
Tyson is no angel or role model, but he's never professed to being either. What do people honestly expect from a man who, by his own admission, is uneducated, from a humble background and has the fighting instincts of a wild beast. If his past convictions are valid then let him be damned, but I for one have no faith in the US justice system and it's treatment of African Americans and other minorities and am willing to at least hear his side of the story.
Idris Ahmad, UK
This is not a matter of black or white, much less his religion. This is about a man who raped a young lady, punched a man in the chest (an every day man NOT a pro fighter) and bit the top of a mans ear off. When asked why he did the all of above, he blamed others for his problems. This man needs to stop blaming others for what he has done and stand up for his own actions, good or bad. When he starts doing this I think people will once again respect him for the fighter and man he once was.
Matt Peak, United States
Mike Tyson is a not too intelligent guy whose one great talent is for thumping people. He's a fine role model, if you're a not too intelligent guy who aspires to thumping people. Let's face it, he's no Ali, as a boxer or as a man, but don't tell him I said so!
It is very strange how a lot of Muslims believe Tyson is right/good. Let us ignore the religious factor and concentrate on his boxing ability which is very good. However, his track record for being a "good citizen" is very poor. I can say that if Tyson were not Muslim a lot of comments would have not been made.
Tyson is a big fool. A rapist and not a role model. I thought the British had more intelligence, guess not. Alan Iverson is a better role model than Tyson. At least he admits to his past troubles. What about poor Miss Washington or other rape victims. Should we view their attackers as heroes?
Marcus Henry, England
To everybody who doesn't like boxing or the sight of Mike Tyson, I have one suggestion: the channel changer. This will both remove the offensive vision in front of your eyes and allow extra time for your indignation to be vented on a wide range of other subjects.
John Davey, UK
Tyson proved despite all the protests that he is still a big name draw in boxing circles. With Holyfield on his way down and other emerging contenders not quite household names yet, boxing and Lewis need him a part of the sport. As for whether he should be allowed back in Britain, well we have let far worse in and he did nothing wrong whilst here.
Stuart Field, Britain
The people hero worshipping Tyson in the above comments are totally sick morons. Tyson should not be a role model for anyone. I hope Lennox punches his lights out.
People see Mike for what he is, the biggest name in Boxing since Ali. People should see what he REALLY is, a convicted rapist. This has nothing to do with colour or religion. Black, White, Muslim or Christian, rape is rape and he should never have been allowed in the Country.
This discussion seems to have degenerated into an ethnic and religious conflict instead of remaining on the sports level where it duly belongs. I personally believe that Tyson is an excellent boxer and a brilliant sportsman, but he has lost my respect by proving himself to be a rapist and an unfair opponent. Besides, despite what some of the contributions here seem to imply, Islam does NOT preach or advocate violence like this and should not be used as a pretext for this discussion.
Luc Dockendorf, Scotland
Tyson is disliked because he's a wife-beating rapist, not because he's black or Muslim or a boxer. Let's stop giving him media coverage. Please.
Mike Tyson is a black Muslim. The Western World will do everything in their Power to make the public hate him. Any famous black or Muslim person with links and a massive following in the world is denounced. THIS IS THE ONLY REASON why everyone hates him. Long live Mike Tyson the greatest!!!!
Shahid Bhatti, Germany
Who cares that he's black, a Muslim and from a poor background. These are not the reasons that he is slammed by the press. He is a convicted rapist and that, coupled with his other violent tendencies e.g. biting, should have been reason enough to keep him out of the country.
The poor black communities of London and Manchester think they have something in common with him because of similar backgrounds. This is not true. There may have once been a connection but that disappeared when he became successful. He probably couldn't care less about these people. It reflects badly on their communities that they should choose such a man as their idol. I'm sure they can do better.
The saddest thing is that the British media/press has been out of order. Each time it referred to Mike Tyson as a convicted rapist, and yet they did not and do not write the same things about other people.
Let's take for example George Michael, who was on the same flight to London as Mike, he has been convicted and yet the word convicted is never used before or after his name as Mike Tyson. The problem is not Mike Tyson but the press, the man has served time for something he says he did not do, ever heard of rough justice?
Luis Lawrence, Belgium
Tyson is a sickening life long criminal whose single "positive" contribution to society has been in his demonstrating his ability to beat other people up in a so called sport; hardly a enviable status. With any luck, he'll retire to back under the rock from which he came.
Steve Kenney, USA
Should he do this? Should he do that? What is everybody worried about? Give the man a break. He is a human being. He could easily have been in some subconscious state if he did perform the supposed rape. It very much seemed that he was not in reality when he was biting Holyfield's ear.
I think there may be deep psychological details that have been overlooked. I don't think Mr. Tyson really has any resentment. Though, we are all quite happy to feel resentment for and criticise him - when we don't even know him or his full story (despite his conviction(s)).
Well Tyson has demolished Francis as everyone (except Francis) predicted. He still has a long way to go to recapture the Championship though.
Of course it's typical that a couple of Yank TV Networks will now prevent that very fight from taking place at all!
Meanwhile if you don't want to let Tyson back into the country you could always send him to Australia like you used to do with your criminals.
I think Tyson is the best fighter in the world and every one knows that. No matter what people say to him, he is the greatest boxer of the world. If there is real fighter or Lewis they should fight Mike Tyson. Tyson, Allah is on your side and no one will stop you, just believe in your self and Pray to Allah.
Hassan Mohamed, USA
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tyson for his KO victory. I think, Tyson made a mistake as everybody else and deserves to be treated with dignity. He paid a heavy price for whatever he was alleged for and learned a lot since then. Therefore, let's give a chance to proof that he isn't a bad boy as the media portrayed him.
Mursal Kamas, USA
Seeing as so many think him so wonderful why not give him a senior position in the Metropolitan Police - surely he would thus be able to cure all its supposed ills - after all he is less of a villain than the police here and he was given such a rapturous welcome in those areas where policing is a controversial issue.
Until Saturday I truly believed Lennox Lewis was the Best Boxer in the world. However if Tyson were to attack Lennox with the same ferocity as he attacked Francis, there is no question, Lennox would be down for the count within 4 rounds. I am a Lennox Lewis Fan and would not like to see the two in the ring together.
AbdulKarim Sajid, UK
I am ashamed of this one particular American export - Mike Tyson...great boxer or not, it is truly sad and depressing how so many people worship such trash...I wonder what people would think if he were convicted of raping their sister or friend or mother...
Mike Tyson is a great fighter. In the face of a continuos media onslaught he has shown tremendous character and resilience. Well done Mike. Lennox ought to fight Mike sooner then later. Mike looks like he's getting better and better. Why can't the media accept him? It's OK for us to welcome leaders of countries with the blood of thousands on their hands. When it comes to Mike it's an issue despite the fact that he has always maintained his innocence. Was there any scientific proof that a rape had ever occurred? The lady was in his hotel room. She wasn't gagged and taken there. Is it also true that she failed to secure a rape conviction against someone else? I will never condone rape but, seriously we must all have our doubts about this one (incidentally, he has also served his time ). He's black and doesn't care about authority. He's got money . He's a Muslim. People love him. This is what eats at his critics.
Naveed Ahmed, UK
I believe Mike Tyson isn't rapist. He is the greatest sportman all over the world. He is iron mike. I believe no single boxer in the UK able to fight to Mike Tyson. Let him forward to one day he fights Mr. Lennox lewis. We'll see what happen. I'm sure he'll beat easly Mr.lewis if Mr.lewis wants to fight to Iron Mike. I hope one day I'll see Iron Mike'll be champ again. He is a very good fighter.
Abdirizak Osman, Boston,U.S.A
Tyson is a great fighter ,Tyson should not take as a compliment .Fighting and violence is not commendable ,it is degrading and inhumane.
Matthew Jackson, England
Mike Tyson may take down the eaiser fighter but when he comes up against the big boys his big hits will let him down. He should not be in the country any way people worshipping a rapeist!
Mike Tyson is too small and a liitle bit past his prime to defeat a fighter with the seed and size of Canadian, Lennox Lewis.
Richard Forget, Canada
Tyson could easily have been one of the greatest sportsmen of the last century, unfortunately he has has surrounded himself with opportunitist who have no real interest in his welfare, career or future. It is well know fact that Tyson is no saint (then again who is?), however I do not think the press should have castigate him the way they did, afterall he has served his time (for something that he might not have even done). In order to resucitate his career properly (without going into any more pit holes) Tyson needs to detach himself from all the so called friends (Leeches I'd call them) and focus on the future ahead, afterall he does not have much time left age wise (though he seems to still have a lot of steam and power) so he needs to secure his future financially now (not spending 1/2 a million pounds on stupid watches) otherwise he will live his old age in poverty. NB I hope that Desiree Washington, realises that she will be answerable to supreme being when the time comes.
Tunde Akinyosoye, UK
I believe Mike Tyson is the greatest sportman all over the world. He isn't rapist.He is a good fighter. nobody can stop him.I'm sure Mr.Lennox Lewis can not stop Iron mike. Iron Mike is hero.He is real lion.Brother Iron Mike keep forward.I hope you'll be champ again soon.
Abdirizak Osman, Boston,U.S.A
The guy is a human being ...He made mistakes like we all do ..All he wants now is the MEDIA to leave him alone ...I personally think that a lot of the MEDIA members personally want Tyson in a BAD IMAGE ...MEDIA people are liers, bloodsuckers,and most of all AGAINST ISLAM, ...
Kunkaroon, Living in the State,originally Somalian
The last time Tyson was "back" people suggested he would wipe the floor with Holyfield. Instead he bit him. Tyson was the best but the rapist still has alot to prove.
Marc Harris, Kent, UK
yes, Lennox is one of the best boxers of this generation, but the fact remains that nobody so far was able of taking 3-4 real punches by Tyson and remining a serious threat to him in the ring. I don't think that Lennox could survive that either. What is needed against Tyson is not only the range for hitting him from a safe distance, but also the stamina to survive the times he does get his punches through. The only fighter I currently see who have the potential of beating Tyson is the older of the two Klitschko brothers, Vitali.
Mike Tyson is a great fighter. He would definitely beat Lennox. Tyson, however needs to take stock of his life and try to polish up his image off the ring. He is a good fighter. Give him a chance, and he will prove his enemies wrong.
Clement Chiwaya, Malawian living in the States.
Tyson deserves to fight anywhere, he is a force in boxing and nobody can take that away, he has a family to support and raise. Tyson needs to fight and if you don't allow him in UK he'll fight somewhere else. Congratulations mike on your KO victory!! He will be champ again Yall see. Long live Tyson!
Deez Wheeler, Australia
I would like Mike Tyson to be given more chances to carry on boxing because everybody does their best to be a professional in their field. He has spent all his life in this field and has no other profession.
I personally believe that the so-called Iron Mike will not, and can not beat Lewis. I also belive that Lewis is the greatest boxing legend ever. It is just the fact of him being a British boxer, which lowers his real status on the boxing table. If he were an American he would have been known as the best ever a very long time ago. The Tyson-Lewis match has to take place. It is not only a battle about who is the heavy-weight champion, but about who is a true boxing legend.
Steve Seven, Cyprus
Even though the fight was an obvious miss-match it was really good to see Mike Tyson here in the UK for the first time. As a UK national I'm just ashamed of the rough ride our gutter press gave him whilst he was here which I don?t think reflected the mood of the people one bit. I'd certainly like to see him back, even though he'd undoubtedly wipe the floor with our boy Lennox.
Mark Sunner, England
Mike Tyson is the greatest boxer of all time. I look forward to the day he fights Lennox Lewis.
len Tarivonda, Vanuatu
Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist. He should never have been allowed back into the ring after that. All these people who worship him would do well to remember that.
Kulvinder Singh Chadha, England
Tyson is obviously still a good boxer. However he is not as good as Lewis and would not stand a chance against Lewis' much greater reach with his powerful jab. At his best Tyson was one of the all time greats but is not of the same calibre these days. He hasn't fought a serious contender for years and this will show when (not if, when) he fights Lennox.It will definitely take place eventually though because these are the only two real Heavyweight superstars fighting at the moment.
Pete Gaskell, Oxford,UK
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