Skip to content
Home » Showtime PPV ring walks changed dramatically since Mike Tyson

Showtime PPV ring walks changed dramatically since Mike Tyson

Showtime PPV has changed a lot since the days of Mike Tyson bounced into the MGM in a dark tribute to DMX.

The network showcased its latest Pay Per View offering on October 29. It was a far cry from the day of the great “Iron” Mike.

In January 1999, Tyson walked to the ring with bad intentions for his clash with Frans Botha at the world-famous MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The Baddest Man on the Planet” returned for the first time since facing a suspension for biting Evander Holyfield in their 1997 rematch.

Mike Tyson ring walk vs Frans Botha

Tyson walked into the ring to ‘Intro’ by late rapper DMX from the album, ‘It’s Dark and Hell is Hot’ as the MGM crowd eeked a stunned silence.

You could hear a pin drop as Showtime bosses attempted to commentate when not even knowing who DMX was at all.

“Tyson entering to some scary and imposing music,” they said. “Will he be able to intimidate his opponent tonight?

“Will it even matter?”

It was a chill down the spine moment for the sport as they welcomed back the biggest earner of that time. Even 23 years on, it still resonates to this day.

Dressed as a minion

So that being said, to see a boxer walking into his PPV spotlight dressed as a minion when the man headlining the event brought a Transformer to fight week leaves a lot to be desired as to where the sport we love is heading.

It’s certainly not the direction it should be. Who’s at fault for that is another argument.

Promoter Lou DiBella believes those handling the sport are to blame.

“Boxing has created its own laundry list of problems. It is a product of what we’ve done to diminish our own sport, capitalizing on the void we have created.”

Back in 1999, boxing seemed a little more straightforward, even with the controversy Tyson and the rest brought with them.

We’d eventually get the best against the best, if not immediately. After Tyson devastatingly dispatched Botha, it was another two years before he fought Lennox Lewis.

Mike Tyson era

At the time, and due to his time out serving a ban, Tyson admitted he still wasn’t ready.

“I’m a little embarrassed. I wanted to shine tonight. It takes time. It takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’ve got to improve a lot more. I’ve got a long way to go.

“I wasn’t worried. I knew I was going to knock him out. It was just a matter of time,” said the youngest heavyweight champion.

We long for days like that to return as we get stuck with lackluster events that showcase untalented individuals parading as boxers.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.

WBN Editor Phil Jay has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Facebook @officialworldboxingnews, Instagram, and Twitter @worldboxingnews.