Talk about Mike Tyson having a world title shot at the time of his resurgence is a hefty reminder that boxing remains on the wrong path.
Tyson returned in November 2020, smashing the exhibition Pay Per View record against Roy Jones Jr.
But even before anyone threw a punch in anger, Tyson was taking up column inches in certain publications as a world title contender.
That fact, plus YouTubers taking places at the top PPV table above genuine contenders, means the sport remains broken.
Even when mentioned in the same breath as Tyson Fury or even a shot at the WBA secondary strap, Tyson himself was embarrassed. Boxing should be embarrassed too.
Having been put forward by his current coach Rafael Cordero, Tyson addressed the prospect of fighting for the world heavyweight title with a red face.
“Well, I don’t know anything about that. But I know (Rafael is) an extra special trainer,” Tyson told TMZ. “I can see him being that enthusiastic because of the work we put in.
“If it’s for charity, I am open to doing that. It’s entertainment. And it’s for charity. It’s for a good cause. But we are giving our best.”
Mike Tyson’s world title shot
Not as enthusiastic as Cordero by any stretch of the imagination, for Mike. The now 56-year-old amazingly still gets linked to fighting.
The Pay Per View encounter, selling 1.5m buys, spiked interest in Tyson across the board. The promotion was helped immensely by several social media videos of the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ smashing it in the gym.
Quick thirty-second bursts of ferocious punching had tongues firmly wagging about Tyson’s return to greatness.
However, on the night, two old fighters were just trying to do what they could no longer manage. Enthusiasm is one thing, but Cordero had the unfathomable notion that the veteran could eventually challenge world rulers.
Looking good in a short clip is one thing, but Tyson didn’t have it when he approached the end of his career at 38. How can he get that back sixteen years later?
It’s not apparent how the passing of time could amount to Tyson being able to face Fury when he couldn’t defeat Danny Williams or Kevin McBride back then.
The truth is he can’t. It’s all smokescreens and mirrors to make money. The real boxers suffer from the interest in them getting diverted.
It’s all good for that one Tyson vs Jones event, but throw in YouTubers and TikTokkers, and it’s getting out of hand.
Tyson wanted the spotlight one more time. That’s understandable, plus he wanted to do some good with his money.
“I am going to donate money absolutely one hundred percent. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for something bigger than myself.”
It’s a commendable act that some of today’s non-boxers should consider when organizing their next money grab.
Boxing has a hard enough task in putting together the best fights when promoters and TV won’t work together. Now we have non-boxers muddying the waters and taking exposure away from the real stars.
It’s a sad situation and one that needs to change soon for the better of the sport.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.