Tysons Future Unclear After Savage Bout


With another quick and controversial fight behind him, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's boxing future is once again in jeopardy.

But most industry observers believe Tyson-despite heavy baggage inside and outside of the ring-will continue his quest to regain the heavyweight-championship title, which could lead to some lucrative pay-per-view events in the foreseeable future.

Tyson manager Shelly Finkel said the fighter could be in the ring as early as August or September. But it was unclear whether he would fight on Showtime, which has televised Tyson's last two fights, or on a PPV card.

Finkel also wouldn't reveal the names of potential opponents, but sources close to the situation said Andrew Golota could be next for Tyson.

Showtime Sports and Event Programming vice president of communications Marina Capurro said there's "nothing to discuss concerning future Tyson fights at this time."

Tyson made short work of his June 24 opponent, Lou Savarese, knocking the heavyweight contender out within 40 seconds of the first round.

Yet in what has become an all-too-common occurrence in recent Tyson fights, the fighter ignited controversy by continuing to punch Savarese after the referee stepped in between the two to stop the fight.

Tyson further made headlines after the fight by explicitly taunting current heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Both incidents are being investigated by the British Boxing Board of Control, which could lead to disciplinary action against the fighter, including a countrywide ban on future fights.

Tyson, meanwhile, is a virtual outcast in the United States, where he is still suffering the fallout from a six-month jail term stemming from a road-rage assault, as well as his ear-biting incident against Evander Holyfield in 1997.

Despite the latest Tyson controversy, industry observers believe the fighter still has appeal among boxing fans. Tyson is the biggest draw in PPV history, although his last PPV event-a 1999 bout against Frans Botha-only drew 700,000 buys.

"He's always been outrageous, but he continues to win in the ring," Finkel said.

Timothy Smith, boxing columnist for the New York Daily News, said Tyson is still a viable PPV draw, especially against some of the bigger names in the division.

"People know he's crazy, but he's like the bogeyman in the closet," Smith said. "They'll tune in because they don't know what he's going to do. What makes him viable as a boxer is that he can still knock people out, and if you match him up against a Golota, Lewis or Holyfield, people will pay to see it."