Monday, September 27, 2021

Limpag: Old Man Tyson

Fair Play

OLD Man Logan was one of my favorite comic book arcs about my favorite comic book character of all time—Logan, AKA Wolverine. In that story arc, the once mighty and ageless Wolverine was depicted as an old man was forced to drive across a changed America for a mission.

Old Man Tyson wasn’t forced to drive across America, though the country has changed in recent years, though not as drastic as portrayed in that comic book series. But like the Wolverine of that comic book series, Old Man Tyson surely did still have shades of his former self.

Iron Mike was the first sports figure I followed, even before Michael Jordan. I remember, one of the first books I bought was a collection of the biographies of a dozen great athletes, Iron Mike among them.

So, I was a fan, like millions of others. I remember waiting for what seemed like hours between the introduction and the first round of his comeback fight. The internet wasn’t widely available then, and when we finally saw the first-round knockout, we sort of understood why all the advertisements for a 12-round fight were crammed between the introduction and the first round.

But of course, we all know what happened to Iron Mike after that. From the baddest man on the planet to a butt of jokes. Then from that, to the saddest man on the planet. A few years after his final fight, which had him saying, “I’m a disgrace,” the Associated Press ran a story of how Iron Mike was reduced to taking on fans in Las Vegas for a few hundred bucks so they could brag that they got in the ring with Iron Mike.

Oh, how the mighty has fallen.

Then a clip of a 54-year-old Tyson went viral and all of a sudden, folks were talking about a fight against Roy Jones Jr. But what I liked most about the fight was what I learned and I hope it’s true. The former champ, who was once listed in Guiness as having earned and lost some $200 million in his career, has fought back to his feet, with a growing business. (Ask Google what it is. Just don’t post the results because Malacañang won’t like it.)

The Jones fight, though I’m sure he earned a lot, was something he could have done without, but he did it and he says he wants more of the over-50 fights.

Yeah, I’d like to see a couple, but I hope this won’t pave the way for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather in their 50s for nostalgia.


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