Unsavoury meal ticket for Tyson

Alan Hubbard reminds both fighters that eating people is wrong

No title is at stake, but boxing's reputation, or what's left of it, most certainly is. When Mike Tyson and Andrew Golota collide at Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Friday night, they could label the heavyweight encounter Glove at First Bite. Both are fully paid-up members of the fight game's Diners Club, Tyson having snacked on Evander Holyfield's ear and Golota leaving his teethmarks imprinted on the shoulder of one Samson Pou'ha in 1995.

No title is at stake, but boxing's reputation, or what's left of it, most certainly is. When Mike Tyson and Andrew Golota collide at Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Friday night, they could label the heavyweight encounter Glove at First Bite. Both are fully paid-up members of the fight game's Diners Club, Tyson having snacked on Evander Holyfield's ear and Golota leaving his teethmarks imprinted on the shoulder of one Samson Pou'ha in 1995.

Moreover, both subscribe to a philosophy that has more to do with the Marquis de Sade than the Marquess of Queensberry. Tyson's various misdemeanours have caused him to become unwelcome in Nevada, where his licence was suspended following his cannibalistic tendency, and Britain, where he has been relieved of £125,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for failing to stop after causing a ring pile-up in Glasgow.

The Polish-born Golota was twice disqualified for low blows against the former world champion Riddick Bowe and his trainer, Al Certo, admits that in preparing for this bout his sparring partners have been primed to twist his arm, stamp on his toes, thump him after the bell and practise choke-holds. "Andrew has responded very well," he says. "If Tyson steps out of line he'll just hit him in the balls."

Clearly it is not a match made in pugilistic heaven. But it is one which threatensto bring huge pay-per-viewfigures.

After the various ring atrocities it is hardly surprising that the Michigan Athletic Board of Control have issued storm warnings, making it plain that both men are under threat of expulsion, and the wrath of federal law, if they seriously misbehave. "In the event that such acts occur, the board will assess appropriate penalties that will be upheld nationally and could result in those disciplined individuals not participating in boxing in the United States for a very, very long time," says the chairman, David Sebastian. "We will not tolerate any circus acts of unsportsmanlike activity."

Whether the stricture will be heeded is questionable. The notoriety of both fighters is such that the only way to properly restrain them would be to have straitjackets at the ringside in readiness, while a couple of psychiatrists in the corner would not be amiss.

The portents are clearly not good. At a recent news conference an apparently heavily medicated Tyson suggested that the upcoming affair was "a freak show between two of the dirtiest fighters in the business". An edifying thought for those who will be subscribing to the BSkyB telecast.

As part of yet another distastefully bizarre performance Tyson cursed, stripped off his shirt and offered to put a bullet through the head of Lennox Lewis, whose heart and non-existent children he has already vowed to add to his personal menu. These days the 34-year-old Tyson seems to revel in his own madness while he awaits the pleasure of Lewis. He is reported to be picking up $12m for Friday's threatened misadventure, which promises to be both brutal and brief.

"Everyone wants to see something really bad happen because that's the attraction," says Certo. "Personally, I just hope it is a clean fight.

"Andrew will play by the rules as long as Tyson allows. But if it comes to the rough stuff he is well prepared. He wrote the book on it. People think he's a dumb Polak, but that's not true. He's a bright guy. OK, so he hits low now and again, but that's because he has a bad aim. But if Tyson tries to body-slam him, Andrew is likely to throw him out of the ring."

"Whatever he starts, I'll finish," vows the 32-year-old Golota. His record suggests otherwise. He was dumped in a round by Lewis and has a reputation for fading under fire. He was well ahead against Michael Grant before being stopped, and the odds are that Tyson will out-blast and out-bully him. Even better odds are on a disqualification or a no-contest. Just what the game needs at its lowest ebb.

However, less than 24 hours later dignity, if not sanity, should be restored when Britain's brightest young prospect, Ricky Hatton, the one-time Manchester City triallist, meets Norwich's Jon Thaxton for the vacant British light-welterweight title at Wembley, a fight which promises credibility not just crudeness.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing