- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The photographs were his main companions while he prepared for Tubbs. When training he lives like a hermit, and not even Tokyo, one of the world's liveliest cities, could lure him out. The champion's few excursions beyond his hotel were brief, and most came during the first week after he arrived—at the request of HBO, which paid $3.5 million for the right to telecast the fight back to the United States. When you're being given $10 million for less than six minutes of work, as Tyson ultimately was, there are some obligations.
Tyson and his new bride, actress Robin Givens, visited the zoo twice, lunched with sumo wrestlers and went to see the movie The Last Emperor, which put the champion to sleep. At a Tina Turner concert, Tyson was seated on the stage, which annoyed him, and after 20 minutes he went home.
Except for two trips downstairs in the hotel to eat sushi with Robin, Tyson dined in his room, where he loaded up on fruit that cost him $100 a day. In Tokyo, the most expensive city in the world, muskmelons are $60 apiece. A year ago the Japanese imported cherries for the first time, and they sold for $16. Each. Tyson's favorite fruit was a large Japanese pear, which set him back $7 every time he ate one.
To stave off boredom, the champion watched video movies: $5,000 worth, which he, Lott and trainer Kevin Rooney had brought from the States. Tyson is an action-film fan: Rambo, Platoon, Top Gun, Commando, James Bond and all of Clint Eastwood's movies. "But he fooled me," said Lott. "I brought along two for myself that I didn't think he'd be interested in, and he fell in love with both of them."
One was The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum as a back-country preacher who, searching for stolen money, terrorizes a family. The other was Of Human Bondage, about a crippled medical student's passion for a London waitress.
"I asked him to watch Of Human Bondage, because, I told him, I could identify with the man," said Lott. "Afterward, he said, I know how this man felt too. Women will do that to you.' He and Robin watched it over and over."
Prizefighting is a hard way to make a living, but somebody has to do it. For his dismantling of Tubbs, Tyson earned $1,666,666 per minute. Tubbs was paid $900,000 for the evening. That figures out to $3,781.51 a pound. In Tokyo, even losers are expensive.