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[Yahoo] Kimbo/Tyson fight?

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by countingcrow, May 17, 2008.

  1. countingcrow

    countingcrow Contributing Member

    May 7, 2000
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    Tyson fight or no, Kimbo is no freakshow

    By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports May 16, 6:18 pm EDT

    It’s hardly a stretch to suggest that Kimbo Slice is the Mike Tyson of the 21st century. Tyson became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s with his intimidating visage, powerful punches and almost weekly appearances on ESPN.

    Slice shares the same intimidating look and powerful punching, but his vehicle to stardom was the Internet video-sharing site, YouTube.

    And while Slice struggles to be taken seriously as a mixed martial artist, calls are increasing for the pulverizing punchers of past and present to meet in a cage. Slice’s promoter, Gary Shaw, said he’s not encouraging such talk, given that Tyson is retired and hasn’t fought in three years.

    But Shaw said he owes it to Slice to consider the bout if Tyson, who appears to weigh nearly 300 pounds and hasn’t had a win in more than five years, would agree to it.

    “Call it a freak show or a circus or whatever you want, but it would be the most-watched pay-per-view event ever,” Shaw said.

    There’s little doubt of Slice’s importance to Elite XC, the mixed martial arts promotional company that Shaw runs.

    On the most important card in mixed martial arts history, it’s almost irrelevant what middleweight champion Robbie Lawler does. Or his challenger, Scott Smith. Or what all but one of the other athletes who will compete in the Elite XC show on May 31 at the Prudential Center may do.

    The success or failure of that show, and, perhaps with it, the company, will depend upon the performance of Slice. He is in the main event of the live first MMA show to be broadcast on network television for a reason.

    He’s there, fighting James Thompson, because of the 2,065,443 views the nine-minute video, “The Best of Kimbo Slice,” got on YouTube.

    He’s there because of the 2,163,315 who went to the site to watch his bare knuckles street fight with a guy known only as Adryan.

    He’s there because of the 2,313,241 who saw him lose his only one of these types of bouts to a Boston policeman, Sean Gannon.

    If only those people who have watched Slice’s backyard fights on the Internet tune in to watch him tear apart Thompson on CBS on May 31, it will go a long way toward stabilizing Elite XC and establishing it as a viable alternative to the UFC.

    Elite XC has been bleeding money and conceded in a recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that it has lost in excess of $27 million in little more than a year. It may not, it admits in the filing, have the money to make it through the year.

    Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, is the one person who can reverse that. If he brings the more than 10 million sets of eyeballs who viewed his street fights on YouTube to CBS, it could change the landscape on the MMA scene.

    Both Slice and Elite XC are in awkward positions, though. He’s an extraordinarily powerful puncher, but he is only in the infancy of his days as a mixed martial artist. It takes years to become a competent and well-rounded mixed martial artist and Slice still has much work to do.

    That’s why he’s been fed a series of tomato cans since turning professional. In his first bout with Elite XC, he fought Bo Cantrell, who was so intimidated he was tapping, it seemed, when Slice gave him a dirty look. He was then matched with early UFC brawling legend Tank Abbott, who had won exactly one fight in 10 years and had been routinely knocked out early.

    Most matchmakers have the luxury of developing their quality prospects slowly and exposing them to a variety of styles. But Slice was a headliner from his first day in MMA, which changes the way he has to be matched.

    “There is an ‘it’ factor that some guys have and some don’t, and Kimbo has it,” promoter Gary Shaw said. “Oscar De La Hoya has it. He is still a superstar, even though he doesn’t have superstar skills any more. Tyson has it. When Tyson walks into an arena, the place still erupts. I’ve been to a high-class steakhouse with Kimbo and I’ve seen it.

    People, not just the young kids, all stand up and say, ‘Kimbo! Hey, there’s Kimbo!’

    “You could take most of the best fighters in the world and have them walk into a place like that and the maître d would say, ‘OK, we’ll have a table for you in 40 minutes.’ Kimbo is a superstar right now, and he’s only going to get bigger.”

    The problem is that Slice is being treated like a curiosity more than a developing athlete. Shaw spent much of the last few days answering questions about whether he’d pair Slice with Tyson and Eric “Butterbean” Esch, a 400-pounder whose shtick was being billed as “The King of the Four-Rounders,” rather than about whether he’d pair him with a competent and trained MMA fighter.

    Tyson has never trained in MMA, hasn’t boxed since June 22, 2005, and hasn’t won a fight in more than five years. He looks like he weighs close to 300 pounds and only recently got out of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

    Asking a promoter if he’d want his fighter to face Tyson is like asking a 20-something male if he’d like to date Scarlett Johansson. Well, duh!

    A fight with Tyson would mean huge money, but it would be more carnival act than serious competition.

    And Elite XC needs to steer Slice away from the carnival act side of the business and convince a skeptical public that he’s a real fighter.

    His highly regarded trainer, former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten, believes that he is. Rutten said he hopes Thompson can push Slice in the May 31 bout so he can gauge where he is.

    But Rutten said he believes Slice could be ready for top 10-type fighters as soon as perhaps two or three more bouts.

    “We’re building a fighter here, and we’re building a fighter who is going to be very formidable before not too long,” Rutten said. “He’s worked extremely hard. He was a hard puncher when I first saw him, but he’s improved his striking greatly. His footwork, his reach and his torque are all greatly improved.

    “He’s working on his submissions. That’s the area he’s most green, but he’s learning. People said I was just a striker, but more than half of my wins were by submission. It can be learned. He’s already very good with his takedown defenses and his escapes and reversals are surprisingly good.”

    There are critics, to be sure. UFC president Dana White bemoaned the fact that Slice will headline on CBS during a conference call on Thursday. White said he wanted to make certain that when MMA first appeared on network television, it was with fighters who upheld the sport’s image and traditions.

    He said his worst fears are being imagined as Elite XC parades Slice out front and center.

    “To have CBS, a big network like that, move forward with a guy like Kimbo Slice headlining it, there’s no secret that’s what I tried to stay away from,” White said. “Kimbo Slice isn’t a mixed martial artist. This guy was fighting in your backyard three months ago and now he’s going to be headlining on CBS. Personally, I think it sucks.”

    Slice eschews the notion he doesn’t belong in the national spotlight. He’s been cast in some corners as a hoodlum, but shrugs off the portrayals as inaccurate.

    He is, he insists, serious about becoming a complete MMA fighter and not just a guy who can capitalize on a gangster image.

    “I don’t live a thug life,” Slice told the Ventura County Star. “We go to church on Sundays … spend family time together. I don’t portray a thug image.”

    And he shouldn’t be portrayed as a sideshow fighter, which is how fights with men such as Tyson and Butterbean, would cast him.

    He’ll have a short shelf life if that’s how he’s matched. The hard-core fans will always be captivated, but the general public who, as Rutten says, have no idea who Fedor Emelianenko is, will soon move to other things.

    But if Rutten is correct and Slice can become one of the world’s elite heavyweights, he’ll not only save Elite XC, but he also can play a pivotal role in legitimizing MMA to the masses.

    Matchmaking for Slice is critical.

    “We don’t want him to be treated like a circus act, because he’s not,” Rutten said. “He’s a legitimate fighter who is working extremely hard – I mean as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen – and who is getting better so quickly. Kimbo is a nice, respectful person to everyone he meets and he’s taking the sport super seriously.
    He deserves that same kind of respect in return.”
  2. lpbman

    lpbman Member

    Dec 12, 2001
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    Call me crazy, but I don't want to see Tyson fight anymore. His heart isn't in it, he's old. Please, just smoke weed and don't kill yourself Mike.
  3. Asian Sensation

    Oct 29, 1999
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    I think Tyson mellowed out a lot and is a family man now. Kimbo would probably work Tyson if they were to fight now. However, if this was 15 years or so ago before Tyson went to prison he would probably literally kill Kimbo with 1 punch.
  4. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Contributing Member

    Aug 25, 2001
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    Old or no, I think Kimbo will get put on his ass by Iron Mike.
  5. farrisdabis

    farrisdabis Member

    Apr 3, 2006
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    Kimbo is not worthy of all this hype yet. He would get trounced in the UFC.
  6. King1

    King1 Contributing Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Some lucky fan will get a nice souvenier as Kinbo's head lands in the 4th row
  7. dntrwl

    dntrwl Member

    Mar 14, 2007
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    In the back of my mind I always wanted to see Tyson bounce back and change his life, maybe shock a few boxers in the ring, but now I think he should just grow old and be happy.
  8. coolweather

    coolweather Contributing Member

    Jul 20, 2005
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    Go Tyson, bite another ear. :D
  9. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

    May 31, 2003
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    Tyson tells all in film at Cannes Story Highlights
    Former heavyweight champion spares no detail in documentary

    CANNES, France (AP) -- Mike Tyson considers it a miracle that he lived to tell his tale. And he's telling it -- in graphic detail -- in a new documentary at the Cannes Film Festival.

    "I lived a wild and extreme life," the former heavyweight champion told reporters Saturday. "I used drugs. I had altercations with dangerous people. I slept with guys' wives that wanted to kill me. I'm just happy to be here, you know. It's just a miracle."

    The 41-year-old former boxer got a prolonged ovation at the Cannes screening for Tyson, directed by his old friend James Toback (Fingers).

    In the movie, which blends old video footage and TV interviews, Tyson talks about getting beaten up and stolen from when he was an overweight kid. He chokes up when reminiscing about his late trainer, Cus D'Amato, who transformed the troubled teenager into a world-class champion.

    Tyson spares no details in describing his sex life, and covers his career's low points, like biting Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997. He admits to many, many bad decisions.

    But on one issue, he still refuses to take responsibility. He insists he is innocent of the 1991 rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen for which he served three years in prison.

    "I've been abusive to women before in my life," he acknowledged. But in this case, "I thought [the conviction] was wrong, I thought it was unfair."

    Toback, who has known Tyson for 23 years and gave him small parts in Black and White and When Will I Be Loved, said he talked to Tyson in a soothing, hypnotic voice to get him to open up for the film.
  10. krnxsnoopy

    krnxsnoopy Contributing Member

    May 16, 2005
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    I like Tyson.. He just wants to live his life.
  11. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Jun 18, 2002
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    I didnt know Mike had gotten that big.
  12. kikimama

    kikimama Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    Being a father is all about putting a huge tattoo on your face.
  13. Kyakko

    Kyakko Contributing Member

    Aug 15, 2002
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    Kimbo keeps on fighting these has beens. He needs to challenge someone in their prime if he wants respect from the MMA community.
  14. Asian Sensation

    Oct 29, 1999
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    Kimbo vs. Brock Lesnar

    Two huge guys with no ground or submission skills. Now that I'd love to see.
  15. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

    Jun 14, 2007
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    Iron Mike would still whoop that ass.
  16. Royals Ego

    Royals Ego Member

    Oct 17, 2007
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    iron mike is still a great entertainer, but kimbo will waste mike... i don't want to see mike embarrass himself again :(

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