COLUMN:Stepping in the ring with a cannibal

Tim Paluch

Tuesday afternoon I was watching a boxing match, when out of nowhere, a news conference broke out.

Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis were at the Hudson Theater in New York to promote their blockbuster bout, scheduled for April 6. As Lewis approached the stage Tyson engaged him, and soon after, a ten-minute melee ensued.

It may be hard to believe that Mike Tyson would be involved in any shenanigans of a controversial nature, but we must remember, bad things sometimes happen to good people. And bad things always happen to people suffering from advanced psychosis. A brief history of Tyson’s life reads like a sad, and tragic – and poorly written – TV movie:

Boy meets Cus D’Amato, boxing trainer extraordinare. Boy becomes undisputed boxing champion of the world. Boy meets Don King, boxing promoter extraordinare. Boy rapes woman. Boy serves jail time. Boy pummels two motorists. Boy serves more jail time. Boy allegedly rapes again. Charges pending.

Oh, and the cannibalism. Can’t forget the cannibalism.

Tyson bit the ear off Evander Holyfield during a match and after a 2000 fight, said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children – “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.”

Tyson, after later learning that the eating of children is strictly forbidden in Islam, retracted the statement, saying that he never said he would eat Lewis’ children. “I said I would eat with Lewis’ children,” he said. “I would cook them a delectable and delicious dish. And then I would have sex with Lewis’ wife and mother. Praise be to Allah.”

On Tuesday, the voice in Tyson’s head that says “Screw `em all, let’s fight now” seemed to have knocked out the one that says “Remember Mike, you don’t get your money unless you fight in a ring,” prompting an attack on Lewis.

After listening to what was actually said between Lewis and Tyson, however, it comes as no surprise that emotions got the best of Tyson:

Mike Tyson: You can’t stop me, Lennox. I am indomitable, inexpugnable and impenetrable.

Lennox Lewis: Oh, I disagree Michael. And your imperviousness is impermissible. It is imperative that you halt your insidious remarks before an impending strife becomes implacable.

Mike Tyson: Dearest Lennox, I am growing ever so impatient with your impious diatribe.

Lennox Lewis: Is that so? I’d have you know my impeccable physique would impede any impingement you may be thinking of implementing.

The understandably maniacal Tyson then attacked Lewis, allegedly bit his leg and then proceeded to challenge anyone in the audience who made eye contact with him.

Oh, and the crotch-grabbing. Can’t forget the crotch-grabbing.

Tyson looked like a drunken third base coach, shouting obscenities while simultaneously signaling for the squeeze play.

If the Lewis-Tyson title fight doesn’t happen, blame no one but Mike Tyson. I know I will. Which is why, here today, after literally hours of intense thought, I am issuing a formal challenge to Mike Tyson. In deciding whether or not to challenge this beast, a psychotic and violent convicted rapist with cannibalistic tendencies, I weighed the pros – a hefty sum of money, and the cons – almost certain death, and came to the conclusion that the little things in life, like fame and wealth, are just more important.

If I stand any chance of beating the former champ, the training process will undoubtedly be the most strenuous task ahead of me. Which means, goodbye beer, pizza and spending countless hours watching ESPN Classic; hello powerbars, Gatorade and “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” for the NES. I’ve beaten him once – that fateful September morn’ in 1993 – and I’ll do it again. However – assuming Little Mac and I are roughly the same height – I will have to find a way to bring down Tyson, apparently a 13-foot-tall giant with fists the size of beach balls.

Tyson would come into the Paluch-Tyson fight with a record of 49 wins and three losses, with 43 knockouts. I would come in with a modest record of zero wins, three years of elementary school in losses. Technically, however, the hundreds of defeats I suffered in my youth weren’t “boxing matches,” considering that:

1. I never got around to throwing a punch.

2. The sport was actually dubbed “The Crying Game.” (They hit. I cried. Game over.)

The odds seem very highly in Tyson’s favor. Prefight Vegas odds had him a 15-to-zero favorite. And while Paluch-Tyson may not have the marketing power of Lewis-Tyson, I assure you of one thing – regardless of the outcome, I will be very, very rich.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.