Monday, June 13, 2005

Down and out

Paul Hayward writes in today's Daily Telegraph about the sorry demise of former world heavyweight boxing champion 'Iron' Mike Tyson, which culminated in his defeat at the weekend to journeyman Kevin McBride.

It's a sad tale. Hayward provides some very quotable material in the saga of power, wealth and fame, all gone very wrong:
"Boxing's cool, but I've got some serious, serious demons I'm fighting," Tyson said, when asked whether he would be chasing Lewis for revenge. "I don't know if I can love anyone. And I definitely don't believe anyone can love me. I've been doing this for probably 23 or 25 years. I haven't received any dignity from it. I've received a lot of pain from it. It's made me not like Mike Tyson very much."
"Who am I? What am I? I don't even know. I'm just a dumb child who's been abused and robbed by lawyers. I'm just a fool who thinks he's someone."

However, Hayward comments at the end:
"With his many outrages, Tyson forced on us an important distinction: between that which is barbaric, and he who is a barbarian. There is a difference. Much of his life has been a losing struggle to escape what the poet Philip Larkin called, in another context, "a wrong beginning" '.
This is the sad verdict of comparative moralism. In reality, we're all with Tyson on the ropes from the start, all born with a 'wrong beginning', and it really is a losing struggle to escape - on our own. 'For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous' (Romans 5:19).

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