Boxing needs to KO Iron Mike Tyson

January 31, 2002 12:00 am

Boxing needs to KO

Iron Mike Tyson

Boxing needs to clean up its act. Mike Tyson should have been tossed out of the sport long ago, but because of the draw he brings to the sport, he keeps getting cleared to fight.

The Nevada Athletic Commission this week was faced with one of the toughest decisions that has ever been brought before it one worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Las Vegas economy. The commission had to decide whether to give Tyson a license to fight again in the state, namely against Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title in what would be one of the biggest fights of all time, or to reject his application based on his track record.

On a 4-1 vote the commission rejected Tysons Nevada boxing license, which would have cleared the way for an April 6 showdown with Lewis. The commission made the right decision, though it was surprising considering the financial impact the fight would have had on the Las Vegas economy.

Theres a chance the fight could go on in another state. But Tyson shouldnt be given that opportunity. He should have been booted from the sport in 1997, when he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfields ear in a title bout that should have been one of the best fights of all time. Tyson was on one of many comebacks even back then, considering the fact hed spent time in prison for a sexual assault. But Iron Mike hasnt bothered to clean up his act. In 1999 he was sanctioned for hitting Francois Botha after the bell, which is when Nevada officials told him to take his show on the road.

Tyson is a terrific and tough fighter but hes a troubled man. His brawn far exceeds his brainpower. Since the cheap shot against Botha, hes tested positive for marijuana in a fight with Andrew Golota. He threatened to eat Lewis children. And he went after Lou Sevarese after the fight was stopped.

Boxing has had its share of showmen over the years. But theres a big difference between bravado and being wacko. Tyson doesnt know when he crosses the line. The man is dangerous and hes proven it time and again.

Tyson might bring in bucks. But hes not doing boxings reputation any favors. He should be banned from the sport.

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