MIKE TYSON PART 5: FROM JAIL TO THE EVANDER HOLYFIELD FIGHTS!

February 23rd, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez

Malik Abdul Aziz AKA Mike Tyson

MIKE TYSON BECOMES MALIK ABDUL AZIZ

San Francisco, CA- It is March 1995, Mike Tyson has just been released from an Indiana prison for what this writer (with a law enforcement background) thought was a bogus rape conviction concocted by Desiree Washington in 1992. During his incarceration, Tyson had converted to Islam and his name was now Malik Abdul Aziz. Complete with skull cap and Don King by his side, Mike Tyson looked a little soft from the s*it food they feed you in the joint. Even with an abundance of cash, the selection of prison grub was limited, thus the Cup of Noodles and Hostess Cup Cake diet turned the one time “Baddest Man on The Planet” into human Silly Putty.

FIVE MONTHS LATER TYSON CONTINUED NEVER COMPLETED COMEBACK!

This would be Mike Tyson’s second comeback, with the first being after he got drilled in Tokyo, Japan by 37-1 underdog Buster Douglas. What many of you didn’t know was that the man who captivated the sports world until Douglas, was through! In August 1995, I was doing radio for Showtime PPV as Tyson’s first fight since losing to Desiree Washington was with “ham & egger” Peter McNeeley. The son of Tom McNeeley, Peter was less of a fighter than his journeyman father. Daddy McNelley’s, then 23-0, claim to fame was a 1961 World heavyweight title shot with Floyd Patterson that ended inside of four fistic stanzas.

PETER MCNEELY WAS RIGHT, BUT NOT SO BRIGHT!

Peter was 36-1, losing only to a stiff Stanley Wright (8-5) and entered the Tyson fight a 15-1 underdog. Tyson opened up on McNeeley in a mismatch of unparallelled of proportions, causing McMeeley trainer Vinnie Vecchione to save his fighter by stepping into the ring and prompted retired referee Mills Lane to disqualify McNeeley at the 1:29 mark of round one. McNeeley became a bit of a semi-celebrity doing commercials for Pizza Hut in which he was KO’d by, you guessed it, a pizza! But soon thereafter, his TV career was KO’d by a DUI.

TYSON SEEMED SEMI-EMBARRASSED FIGHTING PETER

At the post fight press conference, Tyson talked about fighting a champion in the near future, but not after just 1:29 of ring time in three and a half years. Next up the boxing media, myself included traveled to Philadelphia, PA as Tyson was matched with another son whose father was better than his offspring, Buster Mathis Jr. At the weigh in, I went nose to nose with the banned trainer Panama Lewis, the man that removed padding from the boxing gloves of Luis Resto which resulted in Resto pounding unbeaten prospect Billy Collins into retirement by ruining his vision in 1983. Lewis, banned everywhere but Pennsylvania, tried bluffing me until I shoved him out of my face. Security was not needed as Lewis, caught off guard didn’t take another step towards me.

FIGHT WAS AT THE NOW RAZED PHILLY SPECTRUM

Mathis Jr. was 20-0, still Tyson was a 10-1 favorite. It took a little less than four rounds, but Mathis Jr. was pounded like salt on December 16, 1995. Seeing I was doing a West Coast radio show which aired from 11 PM to 1 AM ET, Don King Productions and Showtime set me up with a broadcast position ringside. About 25 minutes into the show, the lights went out! Not mine, every light in the empty Spectrum. With no lighting, I ad libbed and took phone calls for the duration of the two-hour program. It would take me almost 30 minutes to break my broadcast equipment down in the dark and then another 20 turns of the clock to find my way out of the pitch-black Spectrum. I fell a couple of times and by the time I got outside, there was no taxi, shuttle, nothing, not a single soul in the parking lot and it was December and it was cold!

LONE SECURITY GUARD SAVED ME!

As I roamed around the parking lot, I encountered a Security Guard who got on his walkie talkie and called me a cab. Returning to the hotel, Don King was in the lobby holding court. Tyson, who thought I was “Flash Gordon,” a legendary writer from New York because I was the face of an entirely different publication dubbed FLASH Magazine, Mike gave me his room number and upon my return to the hotel told me I could get an exclusive interview. When I got off the elevator and headed down the hall towards Tyson’s suite, two big Black guys got up off chairs placed in front of Tyson’s door. “I’m Flash, Mike told me to come up after the fight.” One of the behemoths told me that Tyson was, “Taking care of business,” AKA laying pipe with a female.

FRANK BRUNO’S HEAD WAS NEXT ON THE BLOCK!

Having already beaten Frank Bruno (40-4) once prior, the Brit was the perfect foil/victim for Tyson. With the Tyson circus returning to Las Vegas on March 16, 1996, all I can say is that Tyson was not kind to Mr. Bruno as he dispatched the Brit in less than nine minutes of ring play. And while the general public was getting the impression that Tyson was back, I knew that was not the case, yet I kept milking the cash cow that was Tyson as the coinage emanating from Showtime was bountiful.

THE FIRST & LAST TITLE BELT TYSON WOULD EVER WEAR

Tyson’s next gig at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas would be against WBA titleholder Bruce Seldon (30-4). Once a guy with unlimited potential, so some thought, Bruce may have had a heart of gold, but it was so small it resembled that of a squirrel. On September 7, 1996, Tyson went after the WBA trinket, a waist ornament that Seldon obtained by capturing the vacant title by besting Tony Tucker (52-2) and then defending against “Indian Joe” Hipp (30-3).

SELDON SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PAID!

To say Bruce was afraid of Tyson would have been the understatement of the year. As the opening bell rang, Tyson launched himself at Seldon in a lust for blood. Bruce freaked out and fearing for his safety took a punch on the shoulder and went down. Now retired referee Richard Steele could still be counting as Seldon had no intention of continuing. In the process, Tyson garnered the WBA title belt and was now 45-1.

NEXT WEEK PART 6: FROM THE HOLYFIELD FIGHTS UNTIL THE END!

In the middle of next week, I will take you from the first Evander Holyfield fight in 1996 to his last in ring encounter with Kevin McBride some nine years later. Remember, this is RingTalk.com

Pedro Fernandez

COMMENTS

  1. Good stuff,,thank you.

    kit on February 23rd, 2012 at 6:24 AM
  2. Great Stuff Pedro. Can’t wait for the rest of the story. I remember when Tyson was being released, it was broadcast on every channel live (kind of like the OJ Bronco chase). Say what you want about Tyson, but good or bad he generated interest in the sport. Can’t see that happeneing today. Put it this way, I don’t think Floyd’s upcoming ‘incarceration’ and release will be covered so broadly. Peace.

    Pete the Sneak on February 23rd, 2012 at 6:33 AM
  3. People loved to watch Mike because he blew everyone out of the water, but there’s no reason to think he would have ever been able to beat Holyfield, Lewis or Vitali Klitschko.

    Jon on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:03 PM
  4. He was too fst in his prime for either Klitschko. Likely would have Ko’d both….so say me and Johnny Bos.

    Pedro Fernandez on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:18 PM
  5. Pete the Sneak: So true about Tyson. He generated so much interesest and none of todays stars will likely leave that kind of impression once they’re gone, and that includes the”nameless” characters that wont fight each other.) Just this Saturday at my little brothers wrestling meet, same day as the campillo robbery, I met an ex mma ameture fighter. We started talking about 90s boxing and he shared with me that he hasn’t been interested in boxing since Tyson. The way our conversation came up, I told hima heavyweight fight just got more interesting as there was a little melee at the prefight weigh in. He then shared with me that is why he hates boxing. He felt to much of it was choreographed and it lacked with excitement. I had to chime in and correct him of course that’s only true in the heavierweightclasses. Cruiser and below has had some decent scraps I said. I had to tell him how he mustve missed the classic fights then with gotti ward, corrales castillo, barerra morales, pac marquez etc…He seemed interested and would refer to 90smuch classics like bowe vs holyfield, chavez taylor, and pretty much Tyson. I knew he was ones suffering tysonitis because at this point, he still held that at his prime, tyson would’ve beat everybody! even when I asked him what about holyfield, lewis, or ali? he said “everybody.”I then said, “so who’s your son on the team?” when I decided time to change subjects….

    1200 Techs on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:48 PM
  6. Vitali has never even tasted the canvas. Dream on. He is too mentally strong for Tyson. He would have beaten Mike until he quit.

    Jon on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:09 PM
  7. Don’t forget to include how Vander is and was a straight roider!!!!!!! If he was clean he still wouldn’t have beat that shity version of Tyson. It still trips ms out to see how many people act like Vander is a top 10 heavy when he roided the whole time!!!!!????? He doesn’t rank I. The top 30 for the simple fact of his roiding. He was even training with lee Haney for the bowe rematch. A pro bodybuilder

    Roberto Rios on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:18 PM
  8. RR, well put.
    Signed,
    Evan Fields

    Pedro Fernandez on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:22 PM
  9. That is a good point about Holyfield. Sometimes I forget about that. Mosely, Vargas and Holyfield are all proven cheaters. Disgraceful.

    Jon on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:54 PM
  10. If we start removing all the steroid and test users from the all time lists then you’re list would get shrunk so much it would shock you. Tyson himself has used steroids. Not to mention a plethora of other fighters.

    Martin on February 23rd, 2012 at 2:09 PM
  11. RR,

    Do you think Mike WASN’T on ROIDS?!!!

    I don’t know if you have seen Mike today but the guy deflated just like everyone else magically does following retirement. Brian Bosworth, Mark McGwire and everyone else AND to similar proportion. Mike is in excellent shape today, fighting shape if I can be so bold… He weighs 185 lbs.

    Jack Dunne on February 24th, 2012 at 6:48 PM
  12. Thanks, Mike!

    Pedro Fernandez on February 24th, 2012 at 6:50 PM
  13. Jon,

    Vitali Klitschko was DQ’d from the 1996 the Olympics for steroids, James Toney has been caught twice, the $hit is everywhere and so easy to get, it is STUPID!

    Jack Dunne on February 24th, 2012 at 6:54 PM
  14. good story, thanks.

    jaydawg on February 25th, 2012 at 5:07 PM
  15. Not at all. Mike in shape pretty much weight between 215 to 225. And his body always looked consistent. So no I don’t think he roided and he never failed a test or got mailed roids!! Also for his 2nd Holyfield fight he came in at 218 so when a big man roids trust ms he’s gonna put some weight. Also let’s remember that he is advanced in his forties and probably doesn’t even powerwalk now Jackie!!! It’s scientifically proven u can take the best conditioned athlete and put him on the shelf for a year and he’ll look like Joe shmo.

    Roberto Rios on February 25th, 2012 at 5:09 PM
  16. Robert… Men don’t lose weight when the age, they gain weight up to about age 60-65, then the trend goes the other way.

    Furthermore, Mike in fighting shape was an extremely fit man whom for the most part fought in the neighborhood of 220-225 lbs. (your numbers are correct). During this time, he always carried very little body fat and for obvious reasons, he was an athlete who relied on having a freakish level of stamina… Like every other elite boxer.

    The man weighs 185 lbs today. That is a difference of 35-40 lbs. … And it is all in Muscle. If anything, Mike, in the shape he is in today, would probably be somewhere around 235-240 if he was naturally the size he was in his early 30s. He wouldn’t be the weight he is today, especially after his numerous and decades long boughts with obesity.

    I don’t know what science you are making reference to but, looking like ‘Joe Schmo’ to me implies that you put on weight, or at least lose muscle definition… This isn’t what happened here. We are talking about loss of muscle mass and a truck load of it!

    For perspective on this, I wish I was with you right now. I’d do the same thing to you that a guy I lived with (who was using PEDs) did to me when I was giving Mark McGwire the same (he hasn’t tested positive) pass you are giving Tyson today… We were in the supermarket and he frog-marched me to the meat department and said see that 10 lbs bag of ground beef, pick it up and hold onto it (which I did). He then handed me two more in order to show me what 30 .lbs of muscle looked like and when I said “OK, I get your point” he looked at me and said “No you don’t! That’s 76%, its not 30 lbs of muscle yet but the mis is pretty close to normal body fat content” and then he threw ANOTHER 10.lbs bag onto the titanic load I was already holding.

    THAT really put things in perspective for me. He assured me that this sort of growth was not obtainable without … help … and he left me standing there with the evidence of what I was defending right in my hands and I looked at it and felt pretty foolish afterward.

    Mike at 220-225 was not some fat guy who lost 40 lbs of spare-tire and is now in great shape. Mike at 220-225 was what we all saw for years and years and the dude was a hulking, muscle bound Adonis… He still is still muscle bound but he is by no means hulking or anything close today.

    And this is common when guys who once used PEDs in mass, stop. You mentioned Evander Holyfield. Evander has never failed a PED test either… I assume you get my drift.

    Jack Dunne on February 25th, 2012 at 11:15 PM
  17. Jackie mike is a vegan and that lack of caloric and protien intake can dramatically Reshape ur body. Also most the men on my dads side were pretty big guys weight between 3 brothers 210 to 230 now the all weight between 170 to 190. Mikes weight was very consistent. As a matter of fact for the second Holy fight he came in at 218 u have to factor alot of things he doesn’t workout anymore eats very different and drugs can ravage a body muscle wise. Now could he have done it yes. But everything I see says no. Also he wasn’t a weight lifter I saw him lifting and he is a lazy lifter for roids to work u need to implement a good weight regimen. I didn’t see any physical changes from kid dynamite at 218 to 1997 mike Tyson 218 to 225. Shit if he was roiding the best fight to have done it would’ve been Lewis. And he came in soft at about 230ish.

    Roberto Rios on February 27th, 2012 at 3:47 PM
  18. The fact of the matter is the current heavyweight champion, Vitali was busted for Roids before the Olympics, he took 4 years off of boxing to cure nagging injuries and came back and hasn’t missed a beat. My point is, all of this witch hunting and accusations don’t mean a thing. Many guys are using PED’s and the bottom line is only idiots get caught using. To think that all athletes aren’t looking for an advantage is just crazy. The only way to stop guys from using these drugs is to totally strip guys from their lively hoods when they use, like taking their entire purses or banning them permanently. Lets get real. Margarito was caught redhanded trying to cheat and after words got two huge paydays in a row. I think people need to accept that PEd’s are always going to exist in sports, and if people want to put an asterisk next to every athlete who’s ever used so bet it…however at the end of the day it doesn’t change the fact that these cheaters still made boatloads of money and benefited from cheating. If they can still cheat and make a living doing it why would they stop? It’s funny because they having better testing in amateur competition than in professonal sports. What a joke!

    KP on February 27th, 2012 at 10:43 PM
  19. I guarantee you if fighters knew there would be a mandatory 3 year ban if they were caught using PED’s many would stop….However without a national commission it’s impossible to enforce of implement that in professional prizefighting.

    KP on February 27th, 2012 at 10:48 PM
  20. Pedro, you missed a VERY BIG FACT!!!
    Tyson was supposed to fight Holyfield on the night Douglas beat Tyson.
    Remember people were salivating at the fact that Holyfield unified the very tough Cruiserweight Division and stepped up to Heavyweight to specifically target the “Unbeatable” Tyson.
    Don King & Tyson paid Holyfield some “step aside” money to quell the mandatory defense to the #1 contender even longer than the year and a half the Tyson camp evaded Evanders threat.
    No doubt Holyfield would have upset Tyson that night that Buster did and Holyfield would have been a Superstar way before that amazing performance in 1996 when everyone everyone thought Holyfield was washed up – but great legendary fighters have one more great fight in them when no one thinks they can do it anymore… Holyfield had several of those legendary moments…
    the rematch with Bowe, vs. Tyson 1 & 2 (made Tyson quit!) , the rematch with Moorer, and the adjustments he made and showed and rocked in the rematch with Lewis. That power jab to the chest was a great adjustment and led to him setting up a near KO of Lewis in the later rounds and that decision on the rematch should have gone to Holyfield and he would have reached his goal of unifying the heavyweight titles a 2nd time and would have retired back in 1999… but the wrong decision was made to appease the draw decision in the first fight…
    - JulianJaz

    JulianJaz on February 28th, 2012 at 3:18 AM
  21. WRONG YEAR MR. J. JAZZ…THIS WAS 1990, HOLYFIELD WAS SCHEDULED FOR LATE 1991.

    Pedro Fernandez on February 28th, 2012 at 3:04 PM
  22. Pedro, YOU are WRONG (with all due respect) in that in 1991, it was HOLYFIELD as the then Unified Heavyweight Champ (after he KOd Douglas) who granted Tyson the 1991 Fight before Tyson (cough, cough – yes the pun is intended) allegedly hurt his ribs.

    JulianJaz on February 28th, 2012 at 4:09 PM
  23. Jillian is talking jazz!! That dude was roiding to the max!!! And I think that 203 pound Holyfield vs 225 pound Tyson at his best would’ve lost buy I could be wrong. How can u be a fan of a roider???? He is a cheat!!! Without the roids he doesn’t beat bowe hell even Moore gave him hell. That testosterone is a bitch. Makes u stronger faster and more aggressive all the things needed to be a fighter?? It’s ironic he had a heart condition??? Streroids harden the arteries therefore irregular heart beats and ect… Like I said b4 how can u admire a man that is a known cheat.

    Roberto Rios on February 28th, 2012 at 5:02 PM
  24. Julian, the fight was scheduled for late 1991. There was even a poster for the fight. Steve Wynn offered Buster $25 mill to fight Holyfield. You know, if I had a dime every time one of you Johnny Come Lately’s spouted wither disinformation and or were flat out wrong, I’d be rich. Do you research and STFU!

    Pedro Fernandez on February 28th, 2012 at 6:49 PM
  25. @Robert Rios, it has been alleged but never proven that Holyfield did roids.

    JulianJaz on February 28th, 2012 at 8:44 PM
  26. He had Steroids delivered to his house Mr. Jiz by Fed Ex. The driver signed an affidavit stating he gave a package addressed to Evan Fields to Evander Holyfield. I’m close to bouncing your dumb ass out of here because you are wasting the moderator’s time. Kepp with the non-sense, and you’ll be forced to take it elsewhere Mt. Jiz!

    Pedro Fernandez on February 28th, 2012 at 9:09 PM
  27. Mr. Jiz, your last post here son. I was at that press conference and the fight was discussed as both guys pointed fingers at one another in AC. But the fight was never negotiated until after Holyfield beat Buster. I was there, you had to look it up. Find another place to post son as you are one big waste of time! I have Spamed you which means I will never see, let alone have to endure your stupid rants anymore. There are plenty of websites, please take your LACK of knowledge to those sites.

    Pedro Fernandez on February 29th, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  28. Robbie… :)

    Tony Gonzalez of the NFL is also a Vegan as are other remarkably big dudes. While I was tempted to respond in a more analytical manner, I was at the supermarket last night and they had only three of those bags that Kevin frog-marched me to that night I mentioned before… So with respect to your thoughts… We will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

    … That and perhaps I am more jaded than you are here, but I’ve been lied to to often to give any of these “Steroids Era” guys a break. I truly do hold a position of you are guilty until proven innocent. Even though that goes against my basic beliefs in reguards to everything else.

    These guys have fought too hard, too long for the right to cheat while hiding behind bogus privacy concerns. This is playing out right now with Manny and May. it has been going on in every sport for decades now and I am not a stupid person.

    If it isn’t guys like Rafeal Palmero shaking their finger in front of Congress while lying, it is a dirt-bag like Shane Mosley causing REAL HARM to the career of Pedro Fernandez by doing the same thing… Namely; Lying his F-ing ass off! Or it is Mark McGwire or Brian Bosworth or any number of other lying athletes up to and including Sammy Sosa who stood in front of Congress and claimed that he couldn’t speak English.

    The use of PEDs is so rampant, guys like Holyfield don’t even try to hide it. Send the package to my house, paid for on my credit card and bill it to Evan Fields… And when it gets here, I’ll sign for it.

    I smell a rat when it comes to Mike and I’ve stated some pretty obvious facts… And like you, I too will admit that maybe I’m wrong… The saying goes “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me”

    … I just can’t give the benefit of doubt anymore. Not to Mike, not to anyone.

    Jack Dunne on February 29th, 2012 at 7:31 PM

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