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The Mike Tyson Derby: Who Is In The Running For July 30th
By Stephen Jones (June 28, 2004) 
Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson's July 30 return to the prize ring in Louisville is pretty well publicized news, yet the actual solid announcement of an opponent is not.

Until recently Kevin McBride was to be the sacrificial lamb, but in the last twenty four hours it has been brought to my attention that it is 70% not McBride for one reason or another, but Britain's Danny Williams.

Danny has lost one too many fights in the last four years to be considered serious competition. Firstly to another Tyson victim Julius Francis, before being dismantled savagely by Turkish born Sinan Samil Sam and more recently Mike Sprott on points in a very curious third meeting that saw Danny winning the first two by stoppage.

The people who are around Danny full time are convinced that the best of Danny Williams is often seen in the gym where they say he looks unbeatable.

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In my opinion, at this point in Mike's career, it isn't about who he fights or beats. It's more about how he behaves in the weeks leading up to a ring return, how his body looks physically and how he handles the press at public events, etc.

The fight itself -win, lose or draw- is a money spinning event. It can use Mike's popularity to clamber back much needed revenue to reinvest in the rejuvenation of Mike's serious run at today's wide open world scene.

Danny may or may not be the man in the opposite corner come July 30th but if he is, it may be a great opportunity for both men to show exactly what they bring to 2004.

Williams, 250 lbs., of Brixton England, has appeared on the very brink of showing great things before bad luck has often struck. He has, however, impressed twice before on U.S. shows; once against Derrick Amos in New York and more recently stopping Shawn Robinson at Foxwoods, showcasing himself to the very valuable U.S. marketplace quite successfully.

Mike Tyson's career for the last ten years has really been one long comeback trail. Firstly he came back after the KO loss to James Douglas to beat Henry Tillman. Came back following his jail term to face McNeeley; he then came back from damaging losses to Evander Holyfield to face Botha and Norris before tripping across the pond to face Julius Francis, Lou Savarese and Brian Nielsen.

The historical loss to Lennox Lewis provided Mike -once again- with an excuse to come back. Since then Mike has stopped Cliff Etienne in a quickie almost twelve months ago to set up next month's cash finding exercise that will show us how motivated Tyson is going to get now that he has a dry run at an open house heavyweight division that is without direction or director.

Mike v Anyone is simply a media analysis of how good Mike is in terms of mental capacity and physical drive. Danny himself is somewhat a bit of a puzzle mentally. He has shown shades of quality that may have a select community of loyal followers running to the bookmakers given the fight actually comes to fruition.

Either way, Danny Williams v Mike Tyson is a study of two very complex fighters who have threatened to do great things in the recent state of play. Sadly for Williams, the Brooklyn born ex-champ may only need half his past form to take care of business in Kentucky on the 30th.

Until you see any names on contracts, the Tyson return could feature anyone from Wayne Newton to Bob Sapp. Until any ring walks begin don't discount anything...
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