Slipped Right Through His Fingers

Mike Tyson, London, July 21, 1989, Courtesy: The Ring Magazine. (From Boxer)
“Bankrupt boxer Mike Tyson is financially down for the count, saying things have gotten so bad that he’s struggling just to put food on the table.”
BROKE TYSON: I’LL FIGHT FOR FOOD, by Adam Miller, The New York Post, Feb. 27, 2004
Whenever I read about Mike Tyson’s travails—rape convictions, ear-biting, arguments with reporters, acrimonious divorces, fist-fights in a Brooklyn hotel, facial tattoos, bankruptcy—I always think of the scene in Barbara Kopple‘s phenomenal, empathic 1993 documentary Fallen Champ in which Tyson, age 15, has a breakdown between bouts at the 1982 National Junior Olympics in Colorado and sobs to his trainer Teddy Atlas:

“It’s all right now… I’m Mike Tyson… everybody likes me, yes, everybody likes me… I’ve come a long way, I’m a fighter now, I’m Mike Tyson.”

Just beneath the tabloid spectacle of Tyson’s public decline is a very real tragedy. Unfortunately, Tyson is such an unsympathetic figure that it’s hard to feel bad for the guy. Sadly, his story’s gonna get a lot worse before it ends.

4 replies on “Slipped Right Through His Fingers”

“on Sunday, Shohreh Aghdashloo will take her free-verse name to the Academy Awards”
Does it seem sketchy to anybody else that the author refers to an Iranian actor who kept her Iranian name as if her name is somehow funny-soundin’? It seems somehow inappropriate (on a level beyond the general banality of an article about actors with funny names) to suggest there’s something weird about a name that clearly just originates in another country/culture.
Not to mention the fact that describing it as “free verse” isn’t even slightly clever.
Maybe Heffernan belongs over on the other side with Dennis Miller.

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