By S. PAUL BRYAN
Mike Tyson is undoubtedly the most famous boxer alive, but I think a lot of people have forgotten about the things that made him famous, respected and feared.
The youth of today know Iron Mike Tyson as the guy with a dumb face tattoo from the “Hangover” movies.
They might know him from the one-man show he’s been doing for a couple of years now, titled “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Maybe they follow him on Twitter or Facebook and know his inspirational, grateful and mostly uplifting posts.
Tyson is my favorite boxer and one of my favorite athletes of all time, but it’s not at all for the things that he is now. It’s for what he used to be: a literal monster.
I’m a fan of Mike Tyson the psychopath, the convicted rapist, the cannibal, the unhinged lunatic and the super-villain of the sweet science.
I like Tyson for the simple reason that he is extremely dangerous.
Now, I’m not condoning rape, biting a man’s ear off or any of Tyson’s criminal behavior, but if I had a time machine and could go back to 1990, I wouldn’t be in a room alone with that man—especially if I were a woman.
Remember, he told a female reporter that he only speaks to females who fornicate with him and that she should probably shut up.
I wouldn’t go into a room alone with Tyson for the same reason I wouldn’t get into a cage with a grizzly bear or into a tank with a crocodile—because it’s dangerous and stupid.
One of his best (or worst) tirades was against freelance reporter Mark “Scoop” Malinowski during a press conference promoting Tyson’s fight against Lennox Lewis.
When Malinowski called for Tyson to be put in a strait jacket, the boxer threatened to rape him and repeatedly used homophobic slurs.
Please, watch the video here: youtube.com/watch?v=Kqny6e_YSrA.
What gets me about the altercation is the raw emotion and intensity in Tyson’s voice.
I believe in my heart of hearts if that reporter had stepped up, Tyson really would have raped him in front of everyone, on camera. No one would have been able to stop it, short of using lethal force.
Then again, Tyson is a lethal force all by himself.
His internal pain is audibly and visually real when you hear his voice crack, and look into that wounded animal’s eyes.
This is more than just prison talk and empty threats. This is a lion snarling at you. This is a 400-pound gorilla beating his chest before he rips you limb from limb. This is the last time you hear the rattle before the snake strikes.
Tyson is so sure of himself, he doesn’t stutter or slip up once.
This is his house, and he wants you to know that you are sitting at his table. He’s the alpha, and he will eat first. His are the words of a man who at any given moment can become someone with nothing to lose.
The kind of danger that Tyson is just doesn’t go away.
Sure, it might have been awhile since he’s raped a woman or ripped another man’s body part off with his own teeth, but the capacity within a man to do such a thing is ingrained. It doesn’t simply disappear.
Most people don’t have that capacity in the first place. It’s a primal instinct, not something learned. It’s part of Tyson’s DNA—a part of his reptilian brain, if you will. I like Mike Tyson because of his capacity to just snap, and I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen him do it for the last time.
Bryan fears, loathes, feels empathy for and loves Iron Mike Tyson.