On Saturday night, the Showtime PPV showcased its latest pay-per-view offering. It was a far cry from the days of the great “Iron” Mike Tyson.
In January 1999, Tyson entered the ring with bad intentions in a fight 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 a rematch in 1997.
Mike Tyson in the ring against Frans Botha
Tyson entered the ring to the late rapper DMX’s “Intro” from the album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” as the MGM crowd fell into stunned silence.
You could have heard a pin drop as Showtime bosses tried to comment without even knowing who DMX was.
“Tyson enters to some scary and impressive music,” they said. “Will he be able to intimidate his opponent tonight?
“Will it matter?”
It was a moment for sports as they welcomed the return of the biggest salary at the time. Even after 23 years, it still resonates to this day.
Dressed as a minion
That being said, seeing a boxer enter the PPV spotlight dressed as a minion when the man who headlined the event brought a Transformer fight week leaves something to be desired as to where the sport we love is headed.
This is certainly not the direction it should be. Who is to blame for this is another argument.
Promoter Lou DiBella believes that those involved in the sport are to blame.
“Boxing has created its own list of challenges. It’s a product of what we’ve done to diminish our own sport by capitalizing on the void we’ve created.”
Back in 1999, boxing seemed a little simpler, even with the controversy that Tyson and the rest brought with them.
Eventually we’ll get the best against the best, if not right away. After Tyson’s crushing submission A botit was another two years before he fought Lennox Lewis.
The era of Mike Tyson
At the time, and due to time out while serving his ban, Tyson admitted he was still not ready.
“I’m a little embarrassed. I wanted to shine tonight. It takes time. It takes time. Rome was not built in a day. I still have a lot to improve. I have a long way to go.
“I wasn’t worried. I knew I was going to knock him out. It was only a matter of time,” said the youngest heavyweight champion.
We long for the days to come back, when we were stuck with dull events that showcased talentless people acting as boxers.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Phil Jay.
WBN editor Phil Jay has over a decade of experience in boxing news. Follow WBN on Facebook @officialworldboxingnews, Instagram and Twitter @world boxing news.