Thank you everyone for your comments and support in regard to the Mike Tyson piece published last month. Some have asked about some other sections that didn’t make the cut or some other interactions with some fighters. Sometimes, to keep the narrative churning, you have make some tough cuts.
I spoke with Chuck Wepner and Ray Mercer. Unfortunately, I did not get to speak to Bernard Hopkins. I actually had no idea he was at the event until he got on the microphone.
So for those that didn’t get enough of Tyson in their diet…here some of the story that unfortunately I had to cut out.
Chuck Wepner is holding court in front of a dozen onlookers at the Venetian ballroom near the honored guest table. The 6’5 bruiser can’t take two steps without someone reaching for his paw and pleading for a photo. With every request, he offers a quick-witted compliment while the wives of his admirers struggle with the camera zoom.
A fan introduces himself and grabs the Bayonne Bleeder’s right hand, the same one that crunched Muhammed Ali’s ribs and forced him to canvas nearly 40 years ago. He whispers in his ear, “You sparred with my brother, Chuck.”
“Hell of a fighter, your brother,” Chuck answers quickly to the unidentifiable face. “I hope he didn’t hurt me too bad.”
I approach. He is huge. I have been around 6’5 athletes before, but I’m in awe of how imposing he is and how big his hands are.