COLUMN: Iron Mike back in the ring

Apr. 17—Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the arena, Tyson is being served.

Not Tyson as in chicken tenders, but Tyson as in Iron Mike Tyson, he of ear-biting fame and brute power.

Sometime, presumably this summer, Iron Mike will step into the ring against a 27-year-old dude named Jake Paul in what is being promoted as an "exhibition" bout. The match, or mismatch, will be carried live on Netflix, with the key promotion words "pay-per-view" in bold. Texas billionaire Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T stadium where the bout is scheduled to be held will no doubt be on hand in the owner's box with a group of suit and tie yes-sir men.

Does this young upstart have a chance against 57 year-old Tyson, who dominated the heavyweight ranks several years ago with his thundering power, Michael Jackson-esque voice and penchant for chomping off opponent's ears?

Evander Holyfield was the only known victim of Tyson when it comes to the whole ear snack thing. During a sanctioned heavyweight title bout many moons ago, Tyson actually bit off a piece of Holyfield's ear and spit it onto the canvas floor of the ring.

It was perhaps the crowning moment of Iron Mike's bad-boy image career in the squared circle.

It was also the last time Holyfield could wear regular earmuffs.

It was savagery at its finest.

Now, perhaps this Paul dude can handle it. Apparently he has had success against some mid-profile mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors.

But this is "mixed up" martial "arts" at its finest.

There will be a winner, as long as the fight takes place. At last word, the Texas boxing commission has not yet issued a clearance for Tyson to fight, pending medical and other (mental?) examinations Tyson will be required to pass.

Yeah, right. Require a guy who thinks earlobes are a tasty treat to pass a test? I'm betting he does based on the amount of green this fight and its high-dollar promotion will make. That's a no-brainer.

And speaking of no-brainer...what is the deal with this young guy? The deal is, he stands to make a life-securing chunk of change, even if he loses a chunk of ear.

Stocking cap city for Jake?

The young fellow needs to stay away from BBQ foods for several weeks if not months prior to the fight. No telling what a whiff of BBQ sauce might do to Iron Mike when he moves in for a hug, or as they call it in boxing, a clutch.

Hey, whatever floats the boat, eh? I'm guessing if you asked a pair of Roman gladiators if it was okay to chomp off ear parts, they would have objected.

But you never know. Maybe Iron Mike, who in a recent workout video I saw, looks like he is a solid, mean 57-year-old, will put on a good show. He was beating the ear wax out of a training partner the other day.

The training partner was wisely wearing a padded helmet with ear flaps.

I will not be shelling out a dime, or even a nickel, to watch this "fight". I like boxing, real boxing.

Give me the Thrilla in Manilla between Mohamed Ali and Smokin Joe Frazer. It was the third fight between the two heavyweight greats, the rubber match, and ended with Ali being awarded a 14-round decision after Frazier's corner folks asked the referee to stop the fight, figuring Smokin Joe was done.

That fight, in the Philippines, was legendary.

This coming fight will, I think, be forgettable.

But hey, for several tens of millions of dollars, Paul can no doubt these days buy a new, plastic-surgery installed ear.

Unless Tyson is hungry for something else.