M. Bison
March 27, 2014 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Fucking MAME, always making the clock speed way too fast.
posted by benzenedream at 9:16 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ha. Funny.

I'm not even a boxing fan, but I love watching Mike Tyson in his prime. He was astonishing. It's like watching boxers getting mauled by a tiger. It doesn't matter how well you trained. It doesn't matter what you think you can take. He is faster than you and he is stronger than you and he is fighting you like you've just robbed him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:37 PM on March 27, 2014 [24 favorites]

I am slightly ashamed to say this made me enjoy the boxing considerably more.
posted by jaduncan at 9:44 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Somehow the epic 8-bit music makes it even more mesmerizing.
posted by the_royal_we at 9:46 PM on March 27, 2014

Holy crap, Mike Tyson was freaking brutal. I see why he was the champion. He could put down 5 punches in the time I could do one, and I'm sure he hit five times as hard with each of them, too.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:48 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tyson was devastating.
His power and attack was often called animalistic, primal - commentators would always hone in on that aspect of his style, so brutal and fierce and unrelenting. But that never game him enough credit for his skill, his timing, his ability to spot the weakness and the opening and penetrate it fast and powerful as a locomotive made of mercury.

But I always saw him more like a robot - a terminator machine programmed to perform the single deadliest knock out blow and then walk stiff gaited back to a corner - his corner, anyones, the nearest corner, robotically and wait impassive for the 10 count or the bell or if the program did not result in a knock out then to come out again advance in that menacing, single purpose way with square tower block shoulders up near his ears and seek to destroy again and again.

And immediatley the knock out occured though all that machine style evaporated, then he was no longer the robot, or the animal, and suddenly so very human, parading, dancing, and revelling in the win sometimes looking like he had suddenly come back into his human skin, surprised at where he was and what had just happened.

Just devastating
posted by Plutocratte at 10:12 PM on March 27, 2014 [11 favorites]

so very human, parading, dancing, and revelling in the win

He was also famous for helping his beaten opponent up, and showing genuine concern for his health.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:31 PM on March 27, 2014

That one move tyson always did, where he bounces the guys head between his two fists... sometimes even vertically. It always blows my mind.

It seriously looks like a normal person, not knowing what to expect fighting fucking superman or some ridiculously powerful anime character. It'll just be a stream of videogamey exaggeratedly fast hits and then the guy falls down completely dazed or ktfo.
posted by emptythought at 3:22 AM on March 28, 2014

Over time I've come to internalize Tyson's strength and his speed. It's taken me longer, however, to see the importance of his "reads".

When someone is coming at you with a jab or a hook one is not prone to, like a fucking video game, duck those maneuvers. This takes an extreme combination of athleticism, intuition, and great training.

(Hey, anyone wanna give a link to that longform piece on Tyson from about a year ago? It was pretty good.)
posted by coolxcool=rad at 3:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was hoping it was going to be Mike Tyson's Punch Out...
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:37 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

coolxcool=rad, Esquire has done several excellent pieces on Tyson over the years. Here's one from 2009.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:38 AM on March 28, 2014

Pimping Mike Tyson by Dave Zirin

Granted, it’s tough to find the humanity in a sport like boxing, that so relentlessly dehumanizes its subjects. But Mike Tyson is the scarred reflection of this ugly corner in the SportsWorld. Instead of stopping to sneak a peek, and cop a thrill, we should force ourselves to stare and think. Instead of laughing at Mike Tyson, we should take time to weep.

The tragedy is that Tyson is no animal. Trained by the legendary Cus D’Amato, the young Tyson was a student of the game. He watched grainy films for hours on end. He possessed beautiful lateral movement, and thunderous blows to the body. Only an intelligent boxer understands the demoralizing nature of body shots, and Tyson went to the torso like no fighter this century. He was also a scholar of the psychology of the sport. In the mid ’80s when fighters routinely came to the ring in flowing sequined robes like they were extras on George Clinton’s Mothership, Tyson would walk to the ring clad only in black trunks. While other fighters walked down the aisle to cheesy party songs, Tyson’s tune was "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. I saw Tyson live when he was 20 years old, and trust me: Phil Collins was never so badass.

But the young Tyson, despite all the menace, also showed a real compassion for the people he knocked out. He exhibited smarts, charisma, and concern. Now he is just an exhibit.

posted by jammy at 5:54 AM on March 28, 2014

Love! But why is it not Punch Out!!?
posted by robstercraw at 7:06 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wish boxing would have ended with Tyson's reign. It's a beautiful, terrible sport that no one should watch or participate in. I'm glad we can watch tapes of the great fights and I'm glad that boxing gave us the opportunity to experience personalities like Ali and Tyson. But I don't want to see any new fights.
posted by mullacc at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Everyone has plan... until they get hit" - Tyson
posted by judson at 8:05 AM on March 28, 2014

But I don't want to see any new fights

You can always just not watch it.

I like boxing. Even when there's no Ali or Tyson, I've enjoyed watching guys like Lennox Lewis and the Klitchko brothers. Tyson was something I've never seen before though. He was just this overwhelming force no one could compete with. It wasn't even close most of the time; we're talking a round or two, a couple of minutes. It was like he was playing in a league or two beneath his abilities, even though there were none higher. You felt bad for the guy across from him; I don't know how anyone could have convinced themselves to get in the ring after seeing what he was capable of.
posted by Hoopo at 8:56 AM on March 28, 2014

But I don't want to see any new fights

You can always just not watch it.

I don't watch it. That's how I avoid seeing it.
posted by mullacc at 9:10 AM on March 28, 2014

This would be common knowledge to any Street Fighter fan, but not to anyone else: there was a boxer character in Street Fighter which Americans know as Balrog, and the final boss was M. Bison, as it shows in the video there at the end. BUT in Japan, the original character-name mappings were switched around - so the character named "M. Bison" coincidentally looks a lot like "M. Tyson". They changed them for the American release to avoid a lawsuit. This is why in international tournaments you'll hear characters referred to by their descriptions - "Dictator, Boxer, and Claw" - rather than their names, so as to avoid confusion.

And why not the sounds to Punch Out? Because Street Fighter has some of the most iconic sounds in gaming history.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

And, for the fun of it, one of the great Street Fighter tourney moments, Daigo Umehara vs. Justin Wong.

What happens here is that Daigo is using the character in white, Ken, and is on the ropes. Justin Wong unleashes a "super" attack that strings together a ton of hits in quick succession. Even blocked special attacks do a small amount of damage, and there's enough of these quick hits to finish Daigo off.

So what Daigo does under pressure is not block but parry the attacks. It's a higher risk/higher reward version of blocking that requires precise timing, and he does it in a clinch moment. You can hear from the crowd's reaction what kind of accomplishment this is.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:26 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

From Joyce Carol Oates On Boxing
To the untrained eye most boxing matches appear not merely savage but mad. As the eye becomes trained, however, the spectator begins to see the complex patterns that underlie the "madness"; what seems to be merely confusing action is understood to be coherent and intelligent, frequently inspired. Even the spectator who dislikes violence in principle can come to admire highly skillful boxing—to admire it beyond all "sane" proportions. A brilliant boxing match, quicksilver in its motions, transpiring far more rapidly than the mind can absorb, can have the power that Emily Dickinson attributed to great poetry: you know it's great when it takes the top of your head off. (The physical imagery Dickinson employs is peculiarly apt in this context.)
Mike Tyson stands in the middle of a lot intersections. Sport, mental health, abused and abuser, poverty, fortune, race relations - both within and without and how they relate to religion in the US, and a life lived under a microscope.

Mike Tyson - Beyond the Glory (Documentary) does a decent job of examining these.
posted by vapidave at 9:48 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is a fantastic clip. But regarding the link, am I supposed to hear the words "great success" in a Borat voice or does that just mean there's something wrong with me?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2014

Another oft-overlooked facet of Tyson at his prime was his defense. He was astonishingly hard to hit. Head always moving, hands locked at his chin, elbows in tight to protect the body, feet always in the right place. So much of his punching power came not from strength but technique. I've seen replays of some of his earlier fights that went into later rounds. For all the talk of Tyson's brutality, it's much more like watching someone fight a boxing computer set to high difficulty.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:17 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I hadn't really watched any Tyson footage for a few years, and in between that time and watching this highlight reel just now, I've trained a bit in boxing and kickboxing. Not enough to be a danger to anybody other than myself, but enough to kind of, sort of, almost understand what I'm seeing when I watch Tyson box. Holy shit, that guy was a terror. What caught my eye most was how he creates his own angles through his punches. Some boxers, like Sugar Ray Leonard or Ali, create angles for punches through foot and body movement, stepping aside, moving back, moving their shoulders and head. Tyson does all that, plus when he lands a punch, it disrupts the other guy's posture so effectively that the opponent is lined up for the next one. One punch creates the opening for the next punch. It creates the "bouncing between two fists" that emptythought mentions above.

Tyson didn't always fight the very best fighters; all champions have their gimme bouts. But all the same, everybody who stepped into the ring against him was a trained professional who would dismantle me in seconds. Watching those reels reminds me of something my coach once said about fans who boo the guy who loses: "You have no notion how hard that guy worked just to go in there and lose." Tyson made some of those guys look like they'd never boxed a day in their life.
posted by ga$money at 2:12 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tyson not only had an incredible knockout punch, his evasive skills were amazing.
posted by funkiwan at 4:35 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Before Tyson's rise, I'd never really considered that boxing was a terribly painful and dangerous activity.

It was all about Ali when I was kid. To me, he seemed kind of smooth and child-like and was usually horsing around for the cameras. Sugar Ray was sort of the same. I enjoyed the spectacle of boxing until Tyson's run of knockouts.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:32 PM on March 28, 2014

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