SI Vault
Edited by Steve Wulf
August 12, 1991
Coach of Coaches
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August 12, 1991


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The players were generally fond of Brown too, and they thought of him as a member of the team. Last Friday, before an exhibition game in Detroit, quarterback Boomer Esiason wrote PB between the stripes of his helmet, hoping Brown, at home, would see the tribute. "I do it for anybody who's hurt and can't be in the huddle with me," Esiason said.

The huddle. Brown probably invented that, too.

On the Ropes

Tyson may have knocked himself out

For about a week, it looked as if it would be this year's Fight of the Century: Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Nov. 8 for the heavyweight championship of the world. But on July 26, Indianapolis police revealed that an 18-year-old contestant in the Miss Black America pageant had charged that Tyson raped her in his hotel room on July 19. The investigation is continuing, and a grand jury is expected to either indict or clear Tyson by Labor Day.

In the meantime, the parties involved in the fight, which could gross $100 million, are scurrying to control the damage. Dan Duva, the promoter for Holyfield, who's supposed to get a guaranteed $30 million if the fight comes off, maintains that the bout is still full speed ahead. "We're not making any contingency plans," says Duva. "I'm an attorney, so I know Tyson is innocent until proven guilty." Tyson, who is to receive $15 million for the fight, has remained mum on the rape allegation, but one of his lawyers has said, "We hear the same kind of thing once a month."

An indictment would almost certainly scotch the fight. For one thing, Tyson would be virtually unpromotable. Seth Abraham, president of Time Warner Sports, which is paying more than $30 million for the bout's pay-TV rights, says, "I suppose it would add drama to the fight, but it's not the kind of drama we want. This fight doesn't need any more publicity."

The whole sordid mess raises the question, Does boxing need Tyson anymore? Tyson was an undeniable attraction, but his behavior has become so abominable that he is turning people off to boxing. The 1990 Miss Black America winner, Rosie Jones, said that during the opening ceremonies for this year's pageant, Tyson touched her suggestively and propositioned her.

Once a menacing boxer, Tyson has become a menace to boxing.

American Twist

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