Ya know, I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but once upon a time I was quite a follower of professional boxing. I never was totally crazy about the sport, but I did appreciate and enjoy it quite a bit. However, as the years went by, it seemed as if boxing was steadily declining into a sea of stupidity and greediness, not much unlike professional wrestling. Of course the difference is that professional wrestling claims to be nothing more than entertainment, while boxing likes to tout itself as being an “art” contained within a legitimate sport.
To identify the problem with boxing these days, you don’t have to look any further than the limitless greed of promoters like Don King and the mind-boggling and idiotic behavior of today’s professional boxers. No boxer greater exemplifies that last point more than Mike Tyson, who seems to have totally lost his mind in recent years. From being convicted as a rapist, to biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off, to spouting off such maniacal threats as eating people’s children, this man truly represents the ugly side of the sport and its continuous decline.
Which is why Codemasters upcoming Mike Tyson’s Heavyweight Boxing for the Xbox is a total mystery. Why in the hell would you want to further glorify a shady character like Mike Tyson? It’s bad enough that he still gets to participate in the sport of boxing, but to have videogames featuring him seems ridiculous. Sure, this isn’t the first time he’s been featured in a game, but the Mike Tyson of the Mike Tyson’s Punch Out era is a whole different man than the Mike Tyson of today.
I know I don’t really follow boxing much anymore, but is there not somebody else in the boxing arena that is more deserving of being popularized in such a way? Why not Evander Holyfield or Oscar de la Hoya? They’ve got more class and sportsmanship in their little pinky than Tyson does in his whole body. Or why not jump on the upcoming Muhammed Ali craze (due to the upcoming Ali bio-pic featuring Will Smith) and feature Ali in the game? Even though it would be awfully trendy, at least Ali IS a true boxing hero.
Whatever the reasoning for Tyson getting his own game (I’m sure it’s just the controversy factor), the least Codemasters could do is make the game realistic. Hell, if you’re gonna do it, do it right and have Tyson just as insane in the game as he is in real life. Show him for what he really is, and not some fabricated, pixelated boxing hero. Have ear biting moves, ass-raping moves and such infamous Tyson quotes as “I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children”.