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The business of being Mike Tyson

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Most boxing fans and almost all boxing journalists are going to tell you that the Mike Tyson World Tour is another shameful and pathetic venture in the career of a man who once was on top of the game, a frightening heavyweight with the punching power of fifty lions and the killer instinct of seventy sharks. Oh but now to look at him! Disgraced and broke, a 40-year old man who hasn't won a fight in years! How could he do this?

God, who cares?

I figure there's roughly a 96% chance that this ends up either not happening at all or being aborted like the latest Guns N' Roses tour, but whatever. Mike Tyson doesn't have another way to make money other than being involved in boxing somehow. I take the same stance here that I do with the NBA allowing high school kids to be drafted into the league. College isn't for everybody, so they should be allowed to make their money while they can, if someone sees fit to give it to them. Mike Tyson is trying to make money, and beyond that, he's just trying to find something to do.

"The money I make here is not going to help any of my bills really from a tremendous standpoint. But I'm going to feel better about myself. I'm not going to be depressed."

Tyson himself understands the role he's in now. When the question, "Why would anyone want to pay to see you fight again?" was asked of him, Tyson responded, "That's what I said."

Now, is it a shady proposition overall? Sure. What the hell would you expect it to be? A promoter is going to take Mike Tyson to Youngstown, OH, to try to fill a 6,000-seat arena for an exhibition fight against Corey "T-Rex" Sanders, a 6-foot-6 heavyweight that used to spar with Tyson, and beat current heavyweight champ Oleg Maskaev in 2002. That was also Sanders' last win, and he hasn't fought since 2004, when he lost to Timo Hoffmann in Germany.

And not only is this promoter taking Tyson on the road, but he's trying to hook up with Paul Spadafora, who was released from prison earlier this year after shooting his fiancee.

But who can blame him? Promoters in all fields have a great tendency to be leeches simply looking to make a dime off the talented, the famous, or the infamous, and Tyson and Spadafora are both infamous enough to draw some interest. Hell, I'm interested. Tyson's Tyson, and Spadafora never lost a fight.

All I'm saying is that I hope Mike Tyson has some fun, makes a few bucks, and gets something out of this venture. It's been 20 years since Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick and became a superstar, and it's been a decade since the Holyfield debacles pretty much put the stamp on his professional career. Let both of those Mike Tysons go. This is a 40-year old man that needs something to do, and it's a different Mike Tyson than ever before.

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