It's farce not force as Tyson triumphs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 August, 1995, 12:00am

SO the rapist won. And got paid US$25 million for 89 seconds work. Funny? Actually, it was hilarious. Mike Tyson v Peter McNeeley (Wharf Cineplex) was billed as high drama but ended up as low comedy.

The 'He's Back' posters of Tyson's glaring expression hinted at brutality unchained. What we got was Laurel & Hardy. First there was McNeeley's whirling dervish strategy of attack. Then there was the way he sprang to his feet from the first knockdown and started jogging almost nonchalantly as if he was the naughty boy who just farted.

Next came the chaotic scenes as his trainer leapt into the ring incurring disqualification.

McNeeley leapt on the ropes to take kisses from a woman as if he had won. While the commentators, acting like PR men for Don King, tried to whitewash the fight, McNeeley hugged Tyson and spoke in his ear.

Minutes later in the locker room, when asked what his opponent's words had been Tyson said, deadpan: 'I'm not sure. It was some kind of gibberish' before going on to thank God and Allah a thousand times. Over in his locker room McNeeley, asked if he would continue to fight, replied: 'F***ing right I am!' At which point the interviewer did the classic hand to earphone gesture and 'back to you, Jack' bail out. The last laugh may be on McNeeley - his purse is in doubt because he was disqualified. If so, the clash between him and his trainer could be a better contest.

It was a funny end to a generally good show, though, because Cineplex carried three other fights, all for titles, from the same card - lasting nearly four hours.

The lightweight clash won by Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez on a decision ended on another hilarious note. The verdict was so badly received by opponent Lamar Murphy's corner men that they resumed hostilities with their opposite numbers in a brawl that also included security staff.

Such a noble art, boxing. COMING: Tomorrow at 2.55 am live English Premier League soccer is back - Leeds v Liverpool on ESPN.