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Tyson/Holyfield 3?? More Truth Than Fiction.....

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Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

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The easiest bar-stool debate to have amongst a group of friends is ranking which sport is more popular than another.  In fact in Chicago we have this debate  a lot with the recent "Red Rising" of the Chicago Blackhawks, and we compare their popularity to the other teams in town.  Hockey for years was considered a dying sport, and some still to this day insist it is.  That however can be debunked by the recent success of the television ratings in this past month's Olympics.  Baseball for some was considered a dying sport because it was geared more towards older people who grew up with the game rather than the kids today who are more raised on football and extreme sports.
 
Professional boxing is the one sport that  its popularity is hanging by a thread in the United States.  Could you name the last PPV you bought or the last fight you saw?   
 
The rise of UFC/MMA has even made the blow worse by attracting the eyes of many younger viewers which boxing needs to survive.  The biggest problem for boxing is how do they market an old dying sport and make it attractive to the UFC/MMA crowd?
 
Answer = "Iron Mike" Tyson

Tyson is the still one of the more popular faces of a sport where the greats of it has come and gone so quickly. I've always heard stories of Ali, Forman, Louis, Marciano and Sugar Ray Leonard but the greats of the sport have never been around during my generation.  Mike Tyson was the unstoppable force, the man you could not stand but you always admired how he went about his business in the ring.  You want to know how you get boxing back on the map and attract some eyes back to a sport that needs them?   
 
Bring back Mike Tyson for one bout versus his greatest advisory......Evander Holyfield

TYSON/HOLYFIELD III
 
NESN.COM today had a report saying:
 
A source close to Iron Mike has told ringsidereport.com's Geno McGahee that promoter Don King has a tentative deal to get Tyson back in the ring. The initial plan is to have Tyson square off with Evander Holyfield.  If  Holyfield declines, McGahee lists Connecticut heavyweight Tony Grano, among others, as a potential backup plan for Tyson's return.
 
This is just what boxing needs.  A bout where two well known enemies of the past give it one more shot in the ring.  "The Baddest Man On The Planet" against "The Real Deal."  Would not you rather see a match up of over 40 washed up fighters go blow for blow rather than a bout that actually mattered to the sport itself?  
 
The fight that every boxing enthusiast wants to see is Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. which would determine who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  This however will not draw nearly as much interest as UFC 111 or even the NBA Finals.  If the WBC (World Boxing Council) truly wants to attract some new (and some old) eyes to their sport and want to get their pay per view numbers up, they need a bout Tyson and Holyfield one more time.   
 
Mike Tyson has had his own video game, made cameo appearances with the WWE and even had a role in the hit movie "The Hangover"Evander Holyfield was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars and had his own video game back in the day as well.  Both fighters are both well known in pop culture also because of their second bout back in 1997 where Holyfield had a piece of his ear bit off by Tyson in the match.  That fight set PPV buy records (1.9 million households) and was the highest boxing purse ever (till 2007) where Tyson earned 30 million and Holyfield earning 35 million dollars.   
 
Simply put, when these two hooked up for a fight, people bought....people watched....people remember.  Has boxing provided anything as memorable since that June, 1997 evening in Las Vegas?  The bout was so highly watched that it also created a judge show on television for Mills Lane who was the referee of Tyson-Holyfield II.   
 
We talked last week that the NHL would be idiots not to capitalize on the great Olympic competition in Vancouver.  Boxing should try everything they have to do to make this fight become reality because this fight could single handedly save their sport from extinction.  The WBC has been looking for ways to cut into the momentum that UFC/MMA has garnered with their recent rise in popularity......this is their chance.   
 
I am not a boxing fan by any means, but the possibilities are endless on how you can present this bout of living legends.  You could tape both fighters as they train and make it a reality show.  The interviews alone would get the sport endless face time on the major television networks.  Merchandise, ticket sales, PPV buys....it's practically the sport of boxing's bail-out plan.  I know i'd watch and I am sure you would too just for the shear entertainment of the fight itself.
 
Tyson/Holyfield III is indeed must-watch TV.  This is one case where if the sport doesn't revive the past, the sport will simply fade away.
 
-RoCk
 
Rock Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and co-host of The Joe O And Rock Show on WSCR 670AM The Score.
 
You can follow The Mully And Hanley Morning Show at twitter.com/mullyhanley
 
You can follow The Joe O And Rock Show at twitter.com/joeoandrockshow

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2 Comments

patrick said:

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rock,

i don't know that i would pay for this fight. both are not the fighters they used to be. if it were on cable or a network, then i might tune in. however, if this is the best boxing has then maybe it is a dying sport.

Rock Mamola said:

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What you do with this if your Don King is put a bunch of BIG BILL fights before Tyson/Holyfield to promote the best fighters currently....that way you give the audience the best of the best, and then you conclude it with the bout people bought the PPV for.

Easy way to promote your sport to new (and some old) eyes. I'd buy it in a heartbeat to see these old dudes duke it out.

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