How Flying w/ "The Montoya Card" got me seated next to Mike Tyson
Doghouse Boxing
Doghouse Boxing's Home Page On The Ropes Radio - Home Page Dog Pound Message Boards Boxing Interviews Today's Boxing Press Archives by Chee Team Contact & Advertising Info
How Flying w/ "The Montoya Card" got me seated next to Mike Tyson
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing on Doghouse Boxing (Oct 21, 2013)

Mike Tyson poses with Fan at airport.
No, this Asian guy isn't me, but Tyson took a few of these as we landed.
(Photo © K9 Photos)
Visit MaxBoxing - The Main Event with Steve Kim.
I had an eventful travel day on Sunday. First I missed my nonstop flight from Denver back to Los Angeles (somehow I misread my itinerary and arrived late) so I was rebooked on a flight to Las Vegas, then given the option of going on standby for the final leg of the journey.

So I land in Las Vegas and I get something to eat. Then as I sit down at gate C7, I see none other than “Iron” Mike Tyson sitting down waiting for the same flight that took off at around 1:15. I thought the chances of me getting on this flight were slim-to-none (Sundays are the worst days to miss a flight back to L.A.), so I said to myself, “Ah, what the hell. I might as well get something out of this,” and walked over to Mike, who was hidden behind the Southwest partition.

I introduce myself and - get this - I dropped the name of our very own Gabriel Montoya, who recently did this story on Tyson (/mike-tyson-vs-usa-boxing---exclusive-to-maxboxing) and he immediately opened up and we chatted for a bit (so yeah, if you're ever around Tyson, bring out the Montoya card). After about 10 minutes, I thanked him for his time and went back to my seat with the realization I might be stuck in this airport for much of the day.

A few minutes later, Tyson actually calls me back over and asks me a few more questions. This guy really likes to talk about boxing and he really loves to laugh. He really does seem to be in a good place right now. As time went on, more and more people began to realize the former heavyweight champion of the world was at this gate and you could feel the eyeballs gaze upon him. He was gracious to those who came over and asked to take a picture.

I feel as though I won the lottery when I was told I was added onto this flight and as I get on the plane, take the quick right turn toward the aisle, there's Tyson with his friend, Rick (both on their way to pay a short visit to WBC President Jose Sulaiman) looking right at me. Tyson goes, “Hey, right here; we got you!” They had actually saved the middle seat for me. “We didn't know if you were going to make it,” he said, laughing. The rest of the passengers seemed very amused by this.

On the flight, we talked some more boxing: about how Roberto Duran's first effort against Sugar Ray Leonard was the inspiration for him wanting to become a boxer, how he actually carried the bucket into the ring and worked the corner when Edwin Rosario faced Julio Cesar Chavez in 1987 (“Hey, man, I'd do anything for a fighter. I wasn't too good for that.”) and his admiration for Alexis Arguello.

As the plane landed and we walked through LAX, people certainly weren't shy about greeting Tyson or asking to take a picture. This guy is still incredibly popular and iconic. I don't think that will ever change. We shook hands and said our goodbyes as he went toward the restroom and I went to baggage claim.

But seriously, what was more unlikely: Tyson actually flying Southwest or that I was able to get on as a standby on a Sunday afternoon back to Los Angeles?


Here's the ticket info for the card at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, which has Devon Alexander defending his IBF welterweight title against Shawn Porter and WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz facing Cesar Seda:

Tickets priced at $175, $150, $45, $25 and $15, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, go on sale on Monday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. CT and are available for purchase at the AT&T Center box office (walk up sales only), or through Leija*Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing or online at and all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 745-3000.

Here’s the latest episode of “The Next Round” featuring Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:


Pelullo didn't want to comment on a rematch clause for Ruslan Provodnikov - Mike Alvarado but he did state that Top Rank has an option on the Russian for one fight...Over 7,000 fans showed up to this fight and “standing room only” tickets were being sold the night of the event...Denver is a great sports city. I hope they host more big boxing events in the future. But will they involve Alvarado? And who's the next Alvarado?...While Miami got lucky, admittedly, in defeating the Tar Heels, it was another big day for them at the polls with top 10 teams going down in defeat...Right now, Florida State might be the best team in the country...Is there any question that when it comes to punt returning, Devin Hester is the GOAT?...R.I.P. to Don James...

I can be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2013