Tyson Makes a Mint in 38 Seconds in Latest Heavyweight Farce

Published June 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Mike Tyson stopped fellow American Lou Savarese after just 38 seconds to win a farcical non-title heavyweight match at Hampden Park, on Saturday. 

Tyson floored Savarese with a powerful left hook and then followed up with a cascade of punches before referee John Coyle stepped in and almost took a punch from Tyson himself. 

With Tyson apparently unaware Coyle had stopped the fight, the referee found himself sandwiched between the two fighters as Tyson continued to throw punches. Finally the corner-men of each of fighters stepped in to separate the two boxers and the unfortunate official. 

Coyle then raised Tyson's hand to dispel any doubt as to the verdict only to be greeted by a chorus of boos from the rain-soaked crowd. 

The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world thus kept alive his hopes of a much bigger payday against current champion, Britain's Lennox Lewis, possibly early next year. 

Tyson, 34 next week, fighting 13 months to the day since he was last released from prison, was supposedly in a fragile mental state following the sudden death of close friend Darryl Baum. 

He dedicated his victory to Baum and then speaking at ringside told Lewis: "I'm coming for you. Lennox is a conqueror but I'm Alexander." 

But he did admit: "I'm not ready for him (Lewis) now. I'm rusty. But when I'm ready I'm going to rip out his heart and feed it to him. 

"I'm Sonny Liston. I'm Jack Dempsey, there's no one like me - I'm from their cloth. There's no one that can match me. 

"My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children. Praise be to Allah," said Tyson, who is a Muslim. 

Baum's death led to Tyson delaying his entry to Britain so he could attend the funeral. 

Savarese came into this fight as a reasonable contender after a brave, albeit losing performance, against the highly-regarded Michael Grant, who earlier this year lost a title fight to Lewis. 

Savarese also beat James 'Buster' Douglas - the first man to beat Tyson when, as a rank outsider, he sensationally knocked him out in the 10th round in Tokyo in 1989 when many had believed Tyson to be invincible. 

But when Savarese beat Douglas in 1998, the man from Columbus, Ohio was 39 and way past his best. 

Tyson's only other conqueror was Evander Holyfield, who beat him twice in world-title fights, once with an infamous disqualification after Tyson bit off chunks of Holyfield's ear. 

Earlier in the evening promoter Frank Warren created a little drama of his own by appearing at ringside. 

Warren's arrival, after being absent from the big fight build-up following his much reported bust-up with Tyson in earlier this week, coincided with a downpour at Hampden. 

Warren, flanked by minders and swamped by camera crews, edged his way towards ringside. 

The promoter had a swollen eye. And his appearance did nothing to end the speculation over the row - some reports say it was more than a row he supposedly had with Tyson over an unpaid jewelry bill. The dispute stems from the boxer's first appearance in Britain last January. 

Tyson and Warren briefly stood side-by-side during the preliminaries, but there was no attempt at communication by either man. 

At the same time reports were emerging that the Bond Street jewelers had won a High Court injunction freezing Tyson's estimated 8 million pounds (12.8 million dollars) purse until the bill had been settled in full. 

But none of that seemed to be preying on Tyson's mind when it came to the main event. 

At the weigh-in Savarese was all confident bravado. "I'm not worried. He's a man. I don't consider Mike Tyson to be the greatest." 

That may well be true but he was far, far too good for Savarese - (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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