Imagine if that had carried over into the late 00s. Imagine the politically correct world of 05-15 with a second Mike Tyson running around. In a world were the medical industry hound our sport to the extent they will fabricate or twist evidence to suit their agenda to get it banned. Now imagine this same world with the Mike Tyson you always wanted. It would have been a field day for them. The second coming of Mike Tyson in this soft stroking climate would have seen the sport banned. You think Tyson was controversial in the 90s? Boxing would have been stripped down completely if stuff like happened in this period of time. We live in the land of the Diaz blurred middle fingers, a land where boxers have their mikes taken from them because they mention race on TV.
Following the death of Kim Duk-koo boxing was trimmed, it was shunned by media and medicine alike, but it was never taken away completely. It remained in the limelight but just reduced. It was trimmed, our tent was cut down to size. They were waiting, oh yes they were waiting for a Tyson to come along just so they could have an excuse to rip our tent limb from limb.
This is what they got. They got a dangerous man so they could point and prove to the world that this is a dangerous sport. And almost everyone lapped it up. The casuals got a freak show of knockouts and the promoters got a freak show of promotion. They knew with the death of Kim their options were becoming limited, so they embraced the freak show. This is when boxing changed. This is when boxing went on the freak show life support. It's a little known secret that the hardcore fans of the Tyson era didn't care for him. This is because they knew what was coming, the promoters were turning him into the honey boo boo of their beloved sport, while the gathering wolves who hunt for hurt sheep on our pasture twisted him into fresh meat ripe for the taking, Tyson became the messiah for those wanting to kill our sport.
You think Tyson acted odd? The dude was young, ambitious and had no clue the wolves were hunting him. Statistically Tyson didn't have a chance. He thought everyone around him was there to help him. We joke "and then Cus died" as if to say Cus was his one true mentor, his one true helper. Cus picked Tyson from a young age to be a destroyer, his protege, his project. Cus used Tyson just as much as anyone, from day ****ing one. Tyson was used by everyone from day ****ing one. Of course he was going to be a little strange. This is what they wanted. They wanted this strange guy to show up on the scene and wreak havoc, then the promoters could point their finger and say "hey, look at this strange guy - this freak show, come see grab a ticket." And the detractors of this sport could point their fingers and say "hey, look at this strange guy - this freak show, come see, cancel your ticket." This is what wolves do when they want to feast on you.
You're always strange to wolves, because wolves don't feast on their own, that's why they need to point their finger and tell you you're different. You are different, you're better than them. You're not a wolf, you're a human. You proved it by becoming the Tyson 2.0 you are today. The dude who sits in news rooms cracking a joke, the dude who appears in comedy and voice acts in cartoons posting fun at yourself. You're the Tyson 2.0 the boxing gods wanted, the Tyson 2.0 they knew we needed. You proved it long ago when you punched the lights out on a man who hurt your pet pigeon. This is why you started fighting. To protect your flock.
Tyson was used by everyone around him. Everyone used him because there was so much at stake in him, boxing hardcores shunned him because they knew there was so much at stake in him. Tyson was a young guy on the road to stardom. He had no clue so many people were judging him. He didn't understand that the medical industry needed to destroy him, the promoters needed to control him. He didn't understand that those die hard fans who shunned him didn't do so because they hated him, they did it because they knew he represented them. They knew he represented the future of their sport. The wolves got their wish. They got their villain, but they never succeeded in their goal. They should hsve, but they didn't. This is because boxing is a tough sport, boxing is strong. It doesn't give a **** what you think. Those hardcore fans who shunned Tyson, they just kept going in spite of it all, because hardcore boxing fans don't give a **** what you think. They keep walking. They keep moving forward. They spread their seed wherever they go, because that's how living is done.
The promoter does not grow boxing, he grows a fighter, the fan grows boxing. We're the fanatics, the original fanatics, the original sport fans, those guys who gathered around two drunk ****ers fighting in the street just to see who'd win. Humans started fighting with each other, the fight fans came to watch, and the others wondered what was so interesting about watching two people compete that they decided to start little competitions of their own. Where the hell do you think sport came from? It came from us. Those ****ing dim witted zombie brained cave men who got a kick out of seeing two dudes punch each other in the face. It's man's oldest tradition. We're the inheritors of the founding father of sports.
As the Lewis era came to a close many fans begged for Tyson 2.0 to show up. They wanted another destroyer because they thought the well was drying up. They thought this was the last golden era we would ever see. Tyson two never came, at least not back then. Boxing fans called for it, casuals wanted to see it. The casuals wanted to see the spectacle of boxing being torn limb from limb by their own champion. But the second Tyson never came. This is because he was never meant to come. The second Tyson would have killed boxing then and there. We didn't need fire, we needed ice to take the heat off, and that's what we got, we got the ice man. We didn't need a savage though we wanted one, we didn't want a savior but we got one, in this skinny unassuming Clarke Kent of a guy we got a super man. People laugh at Clarke Kent's glasses, they say they would never hide Superman's face. Well I'm telling you now, it's true. Weak glasses are the best mask for the Superman.
Some of you compare Wlad's footwork to a skinny deer slipping on thin ice. Well it's true, he froze the lake and stopped our sport from falling through the water. The Tyson 2.0 you wish for would have smashed it. Thin ice, this is Wlad's playground, it's the land decimated by Tyson 1.0, the land he inherited from the former King, and the land he held up after one man fell down louder than any fighter in history. Tyson, Don King, Kim Duk-koo, Tyson two; this exact sequence of events would have meant the death knell of boxing. It would have ended then and there if that happened. Tyson two never came because the boxing god's came to protect us. They needed to protect our sport, and though no one appreciates the true champ until they look back on the past, people in the future will realize this was the guy we needed.
We needed Wlad. This is the guy who countered the plot. This is the guy who held steadfast in the face of aggression and didn't Bat an eye as his detractors tried to wear him down. Tyson one would have spat in someone's face, Wlad got spat in the face and didn't Bat an eye. He just looked ahead because he knew he had to. He needed to hold his composure because he knew the wolves were all waiting for him to flinch. That's when they would jump. But he didn't flinch so they could never jump. This is the boxing fan. The hardcore boxing fan doesn't give a **** what you think even when you spit right in his face, he's cold as the moment he needs to be, because he knows at the end of the day when all the promoters dry up he'll be the one carrying his sport, we pass the heart of our sport to our children. This is the way it's always been. This is what Wlad is doing, he's staying cool because he knows he needs to take the heat off for all our sakes, He's carrying the cross of calmness to counter Tyson 1.0 and all the damage done then and since.
For all the talk of brain damage, of boxing's thug culture Wlad flies in the face of it all. They bring it up, and no matter what we think of him we can point to our multi lingual, doctor, sports science, geeky, Hayden Panettiere loving champion. And those wolves don't have a clue how to deal with it. They can't come near us now because they know this nice guy is our champ. He's not the Tyson 2.0, he's the Tyson 2.0 we needed. Mike Tyson, upon defeating Trevor Berbick declared he would become the oldest champ in history. Well maybe you won't now but your spirit may yet. Wlad came here to undo the damage the harsh world did to Tyson and our sport. Wlad is Tyson 2.0. These days Tyson is just like Wlad - he's a nice guy, the Tyson 2.0 we needed, not the 2.0 we wanted. Tyson created the spirit that carries Wlad, and Wlad created the spirit that now caries Tyson - the nice guy spirit.
The boxing world doesn't need head smashers, it doesn't need their Tyson 2.0's to be brutal destroyers, it needs their Tyson 2.0 to be good guys. This is what Tyson is today and what Wlad is today, they're the good guys. Tyson 2.0 was always meant to be a good guy, and we got him, his name is Wlad 1.0. He's the unassuming guy no one knows about, but you can point to him when you need help. When someone calls your sport a brute sport, you can point at this guy to prove them wrong. He is, after all, the dude who gets spat at in the face and keeps going forward. That's his thing, that's what he's been doing for us this whole time. Boxing fans spit in his face, but the reality is they're all scared that when he leaves, they won't have anyone to spit at any more.
You want a destroyer to come and knock this guy out? You think he hasn't faced the toughest competition? Well I've news for you, he's been facing the toughest competition since the day he started - it's you, the internet.
Wlad is the firs HW champ in history to rise in the full fledged interenet age. He's been facing the full fledged judgement of every boxing fan from day one. You don't think the HW champ of the world doesn't read you internet comments? You're going to tell me you never googled your own name online? You don't think the HW champ of the world is going to come to boxing forums to find out what boxing fans think of him? Wlad's been fighting the toughest competition all right, he's been trying his hardest to hold up this sport while fighting the world of damn near every one of detractors combined. You know those fans who bashed Tyson back in the day? Well it was tough for him I'm sure but at least Tyson had the luxury of not knowing what EVERY single one of them thought of him. You say Tyson fought bums? Okay well maybe he did or maybe he didn't but at least he had the luxury of not knowing he did. Imagine being told EVERY time you fight, that no matter who you fight, you're always fighting bums, ALWAYS. You're the super man, the champion of your sport, and you're being told you're fighting nobodies by your own people?
It's going to hurt, man. You think it hurts not having the champ you think you deserve in your lifetime, imagine being the champ of an entire sport and thinking your own people don't want you here. Even though there's no one better in sight, they reject you, just because they hate you. He's the ****ing champ. He's our champ. He's there because he should be there. He's there because he earned it. He's there because destiny ****ing said so.
You want to see Wlad knocked out so bad because you want to see the lineage preserved? You want to see that fine line of successive HW champs being preserved? You want to see him knocked out because of that? This man has been standing up to the full force of the internet for a generation of fight fans now. So Ali took on Frazier? Well Wlad took on the entire internet and he's still ****ing going. For most, to be the first champ to take that on and do it in your stride you would have cracked long ago. The Tyson 2.0 you wished for would have fallen asunder within a week. You wanted a messiah, well you got one, he's the Ice King.