Despite several delays, Mike Tyson's Traveling Circus finally made it's stop in Glasgow, Scotland. The Shortest Show on Earth consisted of 38 seconds of Tyson on a rampage, a dazed Lou Savarese, and the amazing invisible referee. Not much can be gleaned from the quick contest, but plenty was said about the ever-deteriorating mental state of Mike Tyson.

Tyson and Savarese strode towards center ring after the opening bell sounded. Savarese pawed with a jab four times. The first three were a foot short of Tyson's head. Iron Mike slipped the fourth and countered with a sweeping left hook that landed high on Savarese's head. Big Lou was immediately discombobulated. He flopped to the canvas like a marionette whose strings had suddenly been cut. Taking his time to rise, Savarese eventually beat the count, but was on rubber legs when the mandatory eight was complete. Tyson charged.

Tyson came in low, dug a right to the body and a right uppercut to the chest. He missed with another uppercut attempt and a sloppy left hook. A followup hook hit a covered-up Savarese on the side of the head. A third hook tore across Savarese's face, and again he was flopping his arms in place. The stunning hooks had him out on his feet at that moment, and the referee threw his arm over Tyson's chest to stop the fight. He probably should have waved his hands above his head, the universal signal for the end of a fight, but it wouldn't have mattered.

Tyson ignored the foreign arm between him and his opponent, and kept throwing. A right hand landed while two other punches missed. The referee tried to squeeze in between the fighters, but Tyson was still unloading bombs. After several long seconds, the referee finally made his way completely between the fighters. But Mike still didn't stop. He tried to throw a right, missed, then took a half step left so that he could throw a hook around the other side of the referee. The punch missed Savarese, but Tyson's swinging bicep hit the ref in the head, leading to the second knockdown of the fight.

With the referee on his knees, Tyson continued to throw punches. The official quickly jumped to his feet and screamed at Tyson that it was all over, just as handlers from both corners stormed the ring to separate the fighters. During the fracas, Savarese regained his senses, and seemed baffled that the fight was stopped. In fact, no one really knew what was going on. Tyson KO1.

After the fight, Tyson glowed like a man overflowing with rage. His eyes wide and his body pumped with adrenaline, he made his way to Showtime's Jim Gray. Asked if this was his shortest fight ever, Tyson screamed his best professional wrestling rant:

"I was gonna rip his heart out. I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious, the most ruthless champion there has ever been. No one can stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No! He's no Alexander! I'm Alexander! I'm the best ever. I'm Sonny Liston. I'm jack Dempsey. There's never been anyone like me. I'm from their cloth. There is no one who can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart! I want to eat his children! Praise to Allah."

And with that, Tyson (now 48-3-1NC/42) turned away and stormed out of the ring. As he made the long walk through a mostly-empty soccer stadium, he gesticulated and ranted to himself. In a week when he admitted to being taken off the mood-altering (or in this case mood-controlling) prescription drug Zoloft, Tyson has been acting like a man out of his mind. Earlier in the week he was accused of putting his hands on promoter Frank Warren. (Only months after being accused of the same behavior with promoter Dan Goosen). He was, for the fourth time in five fights, out of control in the ring. He bit Holyfield, tried to break Botha's arm, hit Norris well after the bell, and now couldn't stop himself from punching even after the referee was standing completely between him and his opponent. If Tyson does get his shot at Lewis, will he be able to control himself?

And if he gets that shot at Lennox, will he be able to win? Once again, Tyson proved that his punching power is on another level. His backers will also point out that he landed the knockdown punch in a fluid motion of head movement. Certainly he has improved his technique since his miserable showing against Botha. Then again, he has only fought quick blow-out fights. How will Tyson react to the power of Lennox Lewis? Will his conditioning allow him to survive multiple rounds against the champion? Does he truly have the motivation to be champion again? Will his extracurricular activities send him back to the big house? Only time will tell...but the forecast is not good. A tragic end to the Tyson soap opera seems imminent. The real question is whether his demise will happen in the ring with another embarrassing outburst or out of the ring with his thug lifestyle. Rest assured, this story does not have a happy ending.

.....Chris Bushnell




















© 2001 Chris Bushnell. All rights reserved.

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