Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2003 / 19 Adar I, 5763

Evan Weiner

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Consumer Reports

Tyson is living proof that both Mencken and Barnum were both right and Warhol was wrong | Mike Tyson is supposed to fight tomorrow night, but hasn't Tyson's time finally passed?

Mike Tyson hasn't done very much in the boxing ring in nearly 13 years, but for some reason he hangs on in the public eye.

Tyson is living proof that both H. L. Mencken and P. T. Barnum were both right and Andy Warhol was wrong.

Mencken once wrote that no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public and Barnum is credited with the quote there is a sucker born every minute.

Warhol once said everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. Tyson has outlived his 15 minutes. He is no longer "Iron "Mike, " he is a bad cartoon character whose role model seems to be more Wile E. Coyote than all of those old time boxers that he holds dear.

If there is a fight, and that's still a big if, there will be people willing to pay some money to be entertained but people aren't necessarily watching Tyson for his diminished boxing skills. With Tyson there is always a sideshow as well.

And that sideshow may be the real reason that people remain interested in buying into a Mike Tyson boxing promotion.

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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.


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© 2003, Evan Weiner