"I don't know if I like Mike Tyson." - Mike Tyson.
October 14, 2013 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Mike Tyson - Beyond the Glory SLYT Documentary. Beyond the Glory is a documentary series that takes a look at the lives of athletes. Mike Tyson on the Wiki.
posted by vapidave (22 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
"I don't know if I like Mike Tyson." - Mike Tyson.

That makes... a lot of us.
posted by crossoverman at 6:09 PM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

I love Mike Tyson. His whole life he is treated as an anomaly, if not for his rare talent in the ring, then because of his massive personal problems and run-ins with the law. He is so human. More transparent than most. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. The beast inside the coliseum has a brain and a heart, he is a philosopher, a person like you and me. Makes me wonder what Ali could be saying today if he was doing better. I'm glad Tyson is still alive.

Here is Tyson talking about sobriety and making amends to Teddy Atlas. (two videos, ESPN)
posted by phaedon at 6:10 PM on October 14, 2013 [8 favorites]

I haven't watched this yet, but I'm interested because, for me, Mike Tyson will always be the kid I read about around 1985 in one of those mammoth Frank DeFord pieces in Sports Illustrated.

This was before he won the WBC title; it was mostly about Cus D'Amato and Tyson. There were a lot of people saying, D'Amata among them, that Tyson was the best natural-born fighter anyone had ever seen.

And Tyson's story was so affecting — from a broken home, into reform school, adopted by famed trainer Cus D'Amata when Tyson's mother died when he was sixteen. And D'Amato was the father figure that Tyson wanted and needed. And then for D'Amato to die before Tyson won the championship bout.

That single piece caused me to be quite invested in Tyson's career — and, indeed, he proved to be an incomparable boxer. But then he also proved to be such a terribly screwed-up human being who did awful things. It was a sort of a kindness that D'Amata didn't live to see Tyson become that person, that infamous celebrity. But I also wonder if Tyson lost his way after D'Amato died, that he lost the only stability he'd ever known. And then later I wondered if D'Amato's and Tyson's relationship hadn't been seen by everyone through rose-colored glasses.

I don't know. For me, someone who is old enough to have grown up watching and reading about Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard and the like, Tyson reflected the decay of professional boxing — that even though he was among the very best boxers we've ever seen, he ended playing a key role in the sport's decline. The rot that I'm sure was always there, worked its way into everything and became visible everywhere.

I do plan to watch this documentary, but I find as I'm typing this I'd much rather watch When We Were Kings again, instead.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:14 PM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]

When he said that his style is impetuous he wasn't kidding.
posted by mr. digits at 6:22 PM on October 14, 2013

Some day Mike Tyson will find his amanuensis and he will write something that will astonish us all.

Mike Tyson is a champion, a loon, a rapist, a broken man annealed, a boxing historian, a keen mind playing the brute, a man of insight and honesty and self-deception.

Mike Tyson should write the definitive biography of Jack Johnson. In a perfect world this would happen.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:54 PM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]

a boxing historian
I think that's when he's at his most interesting. There's a little of that in this Grantland interview.
posted by PHINC at 7:05 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Can the average casual boxing fan name one single world heavyweight champion after Tyson? I can't.
posted by bukvich at 7:07 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Evander Holyfield?
posted by symbioid at 7:39 PM on October 14, 2013

Off the top of my head: Foreman, Holyfield, Lewis. Come on, as much as Tyson was a part of pop culture while I was growing up, boxing isn't so obscure that people who don't even actively follow it don't know what happened after his crazy-ass reign.
posted by cog_nate at 7:45 PM on October 14, 2013

I look forward to this.

The 2008 documentary shed a lot of light on his early life. I had no idea he had endured so much before discovering boxing. Nor that he liked pigeons and that a kid ripped one of his pigeon's heads off.

He did horrible things and paid for them as he should have, but he basically lived a life entirely devoid of guidance, except in the gym. It's not surprising, given that.
posted by ignignokt at 8:26 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

The 2008 documentary shed a lot of light on his early life.

It is also interesting as it was directed by James Toback, a man with his own demons and subject of his own documentary.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:24 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tyson has always fascinated me.

To me, the quintessential story is that young Tyson, after demolishing an opponent, would go over and try to help them up, and be genuinely concerned for their well-being. Having come from such a horrific background, I imagine he couldn't help but empathize with his own victims.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:11 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

As seen here.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:18 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mike Tyson knockout highlight reel recently posted on Devour
posted by Didymium at 10:42 PM on October 14, 2013

I came to say pretty much what Ivan said, was blown away by BitterOldPunk's thoughts on a Tyson bio of Jack Johnson, and so now I'll just add this:

This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb - "Jack Johnson"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:04 AM on October 15, 2013

I'm on the Tyson love of the scale. Watching him move as a young guy was just -crazy- his extraordinary ability, he is so astoundingly deep in what he could do, yeah he was fast and strong but his agility and speed were what really creamed his opponents.

I would really like to hear what other fighters had/have to say about him, what their impression in the ring was. Re-watching the Spinks fight (it takes less than a round) you get the very real impression that Spinks is totally overwhelmed by Tyson's combinations - strong, too, but it was the way Tyson used his speed and strength that caught him off guard.

And Tyson totally should do the biography of Jack Johnson - that would be something.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:34 AM on October 15, 2013

I too love Mike Tyson 3.0. Funny, silly, introspective, apologetic and unapologetic at the same time. He is a person who appears to honestly be trying to be better, and that's a good thing.
posted by gjc at 4:59 AM on October 15, 2013

In my view, the difference was he threw every punch with "murderous intent."
posted by sfts2 at 7:01 AM on October 15, 2013

Watching heavyweight boxing in the post-Tyson era has been like watching a bunch of lousy cover bands come through the club where you saw Zeppelin play once. Pretenders one and all, like mice in the shadow of a lion.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:04 PM on October 15, 2013

Mike Tyson stands at the intersection of many aspects. This helps cast my certainty into doubt. Is he simply a poor black kid who can be excused his crimes? To what extent is his behavior the result of the abuse he suffered? To what extent are we comfortable allowing past abuse as an excuse for future abusive behavior? Is he a victim of old people wanting to live out their dreams vicariously? What responsibility is owed to victims of racism by their fellow victims of racism? How much responsibility does one have to overcome their culture? Is mental illness a diagnosis or an excuse? What do we, as a society, expect?

What I see in Mike Tyson is a person trying really hard to confront all the above and trying to be honest. I'm comfortable saying that very few of us would bear the level of scrutiny he has recieved with the honesty he has demonstrated.

I don't like some aspects of who he was but I admire his honesty and effort to understand himself and his circumstance.
posted by vapidave at 4:06 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

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