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Company pays Tyson to be boxing ambassador to China


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Just call him Ambassador Iron Mike.

 

Mike Tyson was once the baddest man on the planet. Now he'll be circling that planet as a self-titled ambassador to spread the gospel of boxing to the Chinese.

 

"I didn't even know what an ambassador really was," the former heavyweight champion said Thursday. "When I think of ambassadors, I think of living off government money and jet-setting with girlfriends."

 

No government money just yet, though a Chinese company is paying Tyson to visit in December. No girlfriends, either, especially since his wife is due with a baby boy early next year.

 

And no formal agenda just yet for his trip to China in December, either.

 

"I know he wants to see Chairman Mao's body," said Gary Yang, an executive with Tianjin International Sports Development in China.

 

The Chinese want to see Tyson, too, if Yang and his partner, Qing Yu, are correct. They had a news conference Thursday at the DonBest Sports office to announce a deal for Tyson to visit the country and scout boxers for a series of matches in the city of Tianjin.

 

The news seemed to be news to Tyson, too.

 

"Mike hasn't been brought up to speed, really," promoter Sterling McPherson said. "But if Mike likes what he sees, there can be many, many more trips to China."

 

Apparently Tyson hadn't brought the Chinese up to speed, either, because he already saw Mao's tomb on a visit to China in 2006. Tyson has spoken fondly of Mao in the past and has a tattoo of the former Chinese leader on his right arm.

 

Reborn over the past few years as an actor, a dancer and a pitchman, the 44-year-old Tyson got a chance to show off his new comedic side at the news conference.

 

"Can we talk about what will take place on the trip?" someone asked.

 

"Yeah, tell me," Tyson replied. "I'm pretty interested."

 

Just what Tyson will be doing in China other than visiting Mao's tomb in Tiananmen Square wasn't clear. What was clear was that he was being paid good money to do it.

 

"I'm just as clueless as you," Tyson said. "But I'm an ambassador, so I should have some say."

 

Yang talked vaguely about having Tyson looking for talent for boxing shows in China, where amateur boxing is thriving, and perhaps helping to sell tickets to shows the company plans to put on.

 

"Chinese people just love Mr. Tyson," he said. "He's above (Muhammad) Ali there, though I shouldn't say that."

 

Tyson probably shouldn't have said so much either, but the news conference was faltering and in need of rescue. In answer to a question, he said he liked Thai food better than Chinese cuisine and remembered from his earlier trip how to say hello in Chinese.

 

When it came to the state of boxing in China, he had some ways to make it better, too.

 

"Didn't you guys have an altercation with the Japanese people at one time?" he asked Yang. "Here's what you do: You go looking for a Chinese fighter who will beat the evil Japanese guy and get revenge. That will sell."

http://www.lvrj.com/sports/company-pays-tyson-to-be-boxing-ambassador-to-china-105015294.html?

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Ah its a bit of a joke but I'm just happy to see that the guy is at peace. He has mellowed and is turning into quite a success away from boxing and. It keeps him away from the hangers on. I think this is good for him too. Its nice to see a complte lunatic like Tyson was turning it around a bit and finding a life away from the ring. Nothing has really ever come easy for him.
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Re: Company pays Tyson to be boxing ambassador to China

 

"Didn't you guys have an altercation with the Japanese people at one time?" he asked Yang. "Here's what you do: You go looking for a Chinese fighter who will beat the evil Japanese guy and get revenge. That will sell."

 

There just aren't the words.

 

On a related point though, with China set to take a lead in world affairs, I wonder if that will stretch to sports such as boxing?

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