It was way back in July 1997 that Mike Tyson’s already wayward career reached a new nadir as he chomped into Evander Holyfield’s ear.

You’d think by now, all these years later, both men would be relaxing somewhere, enjoying the riches of their hard labours and laughing about how crazy the boxing world can get.

Nope. Evander Holyfield is still chasing titles, despite all evidence suggesting that’s not a great road for him to be on, and will fight that giant of the boxing game, Fres Oquendo in the “Alamodome” in San Antonio, on 10 November. To be fair to Holyfield, he is only 43 years old, which, in the post-George Foreman world of heavyweight comeback contenders, makes him a puppy.

In the real world, which is often quite a long way from boxing reality, stepping into a heavyweight ring at 43 would appear to be a dangerous activity. Even Muhammad Ali was 39 when he quit for good, and look at his health.

Then again, Ali’s last two fights were against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, not Oquendo.

Holyfield, who has won the heavyweight title four times during a 22-year career, has won only three of his past ten fights. This comeback is being dubbed: “Holyfield: The Final Chapter Continued.” Whatever that means.

But you know what? If Holyfield is in a murky stage of his over-stretched career, spare a thought for Rusty Iron Mike. Guess what Tyson is doing now. Yep, he’s taken over from the white tigers as a Vegas sideshow attraction. Reportedly carrying weight and struggling to pay off endless debts, Tyson is lumbering through half-hearted sparring sessions in a Las Vegas casino foyer.

Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech is even part of the show, but as straight man, holding the pads and ordering the moves as Mike shuffles around, throwing the occasional slow punch.

If ever you want to read a sad story about boxing, read this one about what’s going on just near the reception desk of the Aladdin hotel and casino.

Peter Fray

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