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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Hosting fight gives Memphis a black eye

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Well it seems that Memphis has "won" the heavyweight boxing lottery by landing the much-rejected Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis title fight in June. I'm disappointed however that my adopted second-home has chosen this ugly spectacle to boost gambling revenues. Everywhere Mike Tyson fights always seems to receive more black eyes than the fight itself will provide. I fear Memphis will be no exception.

Washington, D. C., should have landed the title bout because it's about the only city where the crime rate can match Tyson's rap sheet. Memphis unfortunately has decided to risk its vastly improved image for a $100 million payday. And in so many ways, that's sad.

It's easy to recite Mike Tyson's history of ignoring authority and the law. It does little good however for those who defend his right to make a living. They ignore all arguments that Tyson's ongoing participation in this sport goes far beyond the sport itself. If Tyson is permitted by society to continue his lunacy in or out of the ring, we all take a step backward, in my opinion.

By sanctioning Tyson to fight in Memphis, that beautiful city on the Mississippi lowers itself to his level. We can only hope that the result is limited to the fight. But history says otherwise.

Here's the sad commentary on society to me. Interest in this sporting event is enormous among some. Contacts for tickets have increased 100 fold since the fight was announced. In short, a number of people are passionate about this match-up. That's true, I believe, because of the potential for chaos and not just that limited within the ropes of the boxing ring.

I hope Memphis enjoys its upcoming payday. And I hope its worth it. I fear otherwise however.

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