Previous: Mike Tyson's return: Eight rounds, bigger gloves and a rival of excellent pedigree
That boy from a corner of Brooklyn became the most fearsome of boxers,
, the one with the iron fists, and the tornado of success swept him away: he became addicted to all addictions, he went through jail for a rape and squandered a $ 300 million fortune on parties, mansions, divorces and nefarious deals with promoter
At dawn from this Saturday to this Sunday, at age 54, he fought again, against
at the Staples Center in Los
Angeles, and those who do not know his recent history can fall into the wrong conclusion: poor devil, he will need the money, but no, he did not return out of necessity.
He did it out of ambition, pure ambition A few years ago, his only motivation was money.
After his last serious fight, against Lennox Lewis, in 2002, he wandered the ring drowning in debt and lost injured against small-time rivals such as
Those were shameful times, but in 2009 he took another path.
The death of one of his daughters,
, and his third wedding two weeks later took him on an inner search and he came out changed.
"I'm not better than anyone for surviving, I could have ended up with an overdose or suicide, but I had great support. I wanted to improve and I found someone to do it," he explained to
When he was already showing his rebirth, because after winning it and losing everything, Tyson looked for a place to hold on and hit the spot.
Boxing could no longer elevate him so he began to accept offers from the culture and so popularity returned, the dollars returned.
His role in the blockbuster Hangover regained him for public life and then came an autobiographical monologue on Broadway directed by
, a national tour, a documentary miniseries, two authorized biographies ... Without so much excess, the show business returned its investment capacity and took advantage of it.First it created Tyson Ranch, a company that earns half a million dollars a month thanks to the legalization of cannabis in several states of the United States and the fever for CBD, the so-called legal marijuana.
Then he focused on regaining his place in the rings.When the numbers began to add up, in 2013, the youngest heavyweight champion had already tried unsuccessfully to create a promoter, Iron Mike Promotions, so this time he looked for a return with his best asset: himself.
While he continued to feed his figure - "the toad poison exploded my head and made me go back to boxing," he declared this week - he founded the company Legends Only League, which proposes confrontations between sports legends such as boxing, athletics or basketball, and with nostalgia as an argument he launched himself for the box office and television audiences that one day were his.
His exhibition match against Roy Jone, without the possibility of a knockout and wearing large gloves, was met with skepticism, but in the end he even disrupted the return of
, which had to change the date, and earned him 10 million dollars in profits. According to him, he will donate everything to NGOs because his objective is long-term.
He dreams of gathering, for example,
He wants to organize combats between veterans like himself,
He wants to return to sports as one of those suits that one day squeezed him and pushed him into the abyss.
"I want to help all those athletes who want to relive their glory years. Let no one tell them that they are too old to compete," he announced before the fight.
He no longer needs the money, but he has plenty of ambition.
The returns do not stain
Mike Tyson yesterday put his legend at the service of the business conscious of a maxim: failed returns do not matter, they do not stain.
Many great athletes in history returned from retirement without pain or glory, or directly with a resounding failure, and almost no one remembers it. In Muhammad Ali's career there is hardly any trace of that return to 38 years in which he suffered his first knockout and another humiliating loss.
In Michael Jordan's career, his two seasons outside the playoffs with the Washington Wizards are nothing more than an anecdote.
In Mark Spitz's career, it is not mentioned that he tried to qualify at the age of 42 for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and did not succeed. Above the age of 35 or 40, very few athletes have managed to rejoin the competition with brilliance and those who did so. They have been after a very short rest period.
Ali or Jordan also serve as examples of how successful a comeback can be if done on time, although there are many others: Michael Phelps, who returned after two years of hiatus, to become the athlete with the most Olympic medals in history.
Niki Lauda, champion of Formula 1 in 1984 after retiring and, among other things, founding and sinking his airline.
Or Tiger Woods, winner of the 2019 Augusta Masters after several years sidelined by injuries and personal problems. Win or lose in this adventure, Tyson will remain that young fierce heavyweight champion.
To continue reading for free
Sign inSign up
subscribe to Premium
and you will have access to all the web content of El Mundo
According to the criteria of The Trust Project