He'll be back.
He'll "fight" again, even if it's against a chimpanzee on roller skates.
Mike Tyson will come up with some almost believable sob story about how he was on the wrong depression medication when he quit against Kevin McBride and the boxing media will begin making a case for the chimp. On those skates, he'll be hard for Tyson to corner, and remember, Tyson won't be the only animal in the ring that can bite. Chimps can be vicious, you know.
Tyson will say of Champ the chimp: "That monkey will hear evil and see evil because I'm going to do evil to him."
You'll buy it on pay per view, and so will I.
At least I can hide behind an excuse: It's my job.
No, Tyson won't stay retired for long. Like Ricky "Football Isn't Me" Williams, Tyson will realize that finding his out-of-the-spotlight bliss isn't too lucrative. In Tyson's case, when you're something like $20 million in debt, it's sort of hard to find a job that pays $5 million a night.
The desire he expressed late Saturday night to do missionary work in Africa sounded good at the moment. But how will it feel when his pride heals from the beating it took from a guy who's capable of losing to a chimp on skates?
Then again, for all we know, the entire night might have been as choreographed as pro wrestling.
Yet, even if it was, Saturday night's fight will go down as one of Tyson's all-time most entertaining performances. Even though Tyson immediately said he wished there was some way for customers to get their money back, I didn't feel at all ripped off. My $44.95 was good to the last drop of McBride's blood.
|Why is the public so fascinated with a boxer who hasn't won a significant fight since 1990? Where does Mike Tyson fit among the all-time greats? Tune in to "Outside The Lines" tonight at 12:40 a.m. ET on ESPN.|
One moment, Tyson was trying to break McBride's arm in a clinch, then blatantly head-butting McBride with a sideways shot that opened a gash over the poor pug's eye. Gutless punk! The next, Tyson refused to answer the bell for the seventh round, then openheartedly apologized in his lisping falsetto to interviewer Jim Gray for no longer having the "fighting guts" to continue. Poor guy.
The interview alone was worth $44.95. Tyson was so stunningly and disarmingly honest about the joke he has become as a fighter "I'm just doing this for the money" that you couldn't help feeling sorry for the same guy who was admitting he had just conned millions of us out of millions. Innately brilliant!
I was on the edge of my seat. Once again, Tyson proved he's capable of doing and saying things that no other boxer or athlete can even imagine. That's entertainment.
At one point in his postfight interview, Tyson admitted as much, saying, "Hey, I'm just an entertainer." Not a boxer. Not even an athlete. Just a guy who's still highly capable of taking us away from our problems for a couple of thrilling hours.