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‘Being Mike Tyson’ Episode 1 Rewind: The Real Deal



This past Sunday night Fox Sports 1 introduced their first installment of their original series ‘BEING’. According to their website they plan on doing others including Mariano Rivera. They started out with Mike Tyson who is one of the most fascinating figures of his lifetime. Over the years we have gotten glimpses of the complex man who is Mike Tyson. This series gives the viewer a chance to know a little bit more about him and some of the facets of his life. The first episode is centered around the ear biting incident with Evander Holyfield, the friendship that the two former foes have today, and the love Mike still has for amateur boxing.

The show started with clips and sound bites from the rematch fight between Holyfield and Tyson. It was the fight that in many ways defined the rest of their careers and lives. The episode then moves to him at a fan expo of sorts signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans. This is cut in with him talking to the camera about himself, his life and his life views. He is an individual who in many ways is the American Dream. He came from a poor and difficult background and literally fought his way out of that life to one where life is now good for him. He seems more at peace than any other point in his very public life. He is able to laugh and joke about biting Holyfield’s ear and pose for pictures with fans, acting like he is biting their ears.

Before we get to Holyfield they show Mike and his wife Kiki sitting down with Steve and Charissa Davidovici, owners of the “Sugar Factory.” They are discussing doing some sort of candy line based around Tyson and his life. They discuss gummy candy in the shape of his tattoo and boxing shoes. Mike suggests, “Holy Gummy Ears.” The Davidovici’s love the idea but they are worried that Holyfield might be offended. Both Kiki and Mike assure them that he would not be offended. This is the segue to discussing Holyfield and their relationship.

Tyson talks about how they support each other in their lives now and how people are surprised to learn that they are friends. Then Tyson surprises Holyfield at a Chicago grocery store where Holyfield is doing a promotion for his Real Deal barbecue sauce. After a little time there they move to the two of them in Holyfield’s home in Atlanta where the are just talking about their fights and the world of boxing. Holyfield mentions to Mike that he would like to do something like Golden Boy Promotions. Mike now has his own promotion company called Iron Mike Productions which had a very successful debut back in August as the final card of the season for ESPN 2’s Fright Night Fights.

This is a fight fan’s dream moment watching Mike and Holyfield interact. They both have stood at the top of the boxing world as The Heavyweight champion of the world. There are many organizations with championship belts but there are those times when everybody knows who is the man. Tyson and Holyfield have occupied that place at some point in their careers. They start out discussing details about the first fight. Tyson talked about how much he wanted to fight and beat Holyfield because as he said, “I knew if I beat you, that would cement that I was the greatest fighter of my generation, because you had accomplished so much.” To which Holyfield responded talking about his friends asking him, “That Tyson boy…you think you can actually beat him?” Then Holyfield briefly broke down why he thought he could beat him back when no one else really thought he could do it.

He went through one of the key changes that happened to Tyson when Kevin Rooney left his camp. He demonstrated this little move that Tyson had that no one could solve. It is almost like this real fast twist, shoulder shake move that would freeze people because they did not know what was coming next. He would do it once or maybe five or six times – there was never a discernible pattern. Then his new trainers got Tyson into a rhythm and Holyfield picked it up from watching and re-watching all of Tyson’s fights. You could tell by the look and expression on Tyson’s face that he knew exactly what Holyfield was talking about. That feeling that you have when you know what your opponent is going to do before you step into the ring. They also know what it is like to be on the other end of that kind of beating.

They also addressed the head butting issue and it was great to see Tyson acknowledge that he actually started head-butting first. Holyfield was not innocent in this matter, just better than Tyson was at it. It was also interesting to see them talk about the tactics that are outside of the rules like elbows and head-butts, as just a part of the fight. They acknowledge that at its core it is still a fight. I love that Holyfield’s instinct initial reaction is to get Tyson back and when he bites his other ear he wants to kick Tyson in the his nuts. This made Tyson laugh appreciatively.

From there they move on to watching Holyfield’s fifteen your old son in an amateur fight. Watching Tyson at the fights or talking about the amateurs you see him become like a little kid talking about his favorite thing in the world. When they get to the fights you see why Dana White said the following about Tyson, “He’s the Justin Bieber for grown men who like fighting.” People seeing the two fighters there together just could not stop smiling. Tyson himself is also grinning, he cannot sit down getting into all of the fights. He likes the purity of the sport at this level and how hard the fighters fight for just a trophy.

During Evan Holyfield’s fight Mike is on his feet. He’s Yelling encouragement and offering advice between rounds. He is like the proud Uncle rushing over between rounds, telling him to throw his jab and then demonstrating by jabbing two or three times followed by the right hand. Only it is Mike Tyson and not some Uncle who has never been in the ring. Mike does know boxing. He has always been a student of the sport studying all of the greats. Evan gets the win and Mike has words of encouragement for him and his opponent after the fight. During these moments he is at his most child like and innocent.

When the voice asks him if he misses it he paused, narrowed his eyes for a beat, shook his head and closed his eyes as he said, “Naw, not really,” but there was a crack in his voice and another longer pause. He took a sudden deep inhalation and uttered, “Too crazy,” as a tear fell from his right eye. He then put up his hands, smiled and said, “Stop.” His answer and face showed some of the conflict of someone who missed the purity of the fight, just you and your opponent, but knew just what it costs to attain those few moments of peace inside the chaos of the fight.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny