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Old 04-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
Joe.Boxer
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Default Mike Tyson in Slough

Detailed Daily Mail review;

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This is the moment everyone at the Spirit Conference Centre in Slough has been waiting for.

The lights in the main hall are dimmed. The satin tented ceiling is glowing.


The 600 dinner guests have finally stopped moaning about the revolting purple ‘welcome ****tail’ and are gathered round the double doors, all of a jitter.


‘He’s about to make his grand entrance, guys. Don’t miss it — the entrance is brilliant!’ shouts a man called Carl in a ruffled shirt undone almost to his waist. ‘Mike Tyson, ladies and gentleman — the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world!’

And with that, O Fortuna from Carmina Burana (the rousing music from the Old Spice adverts) blasts so loudly the plastic beer glasses start bobbing about on the bar and everyone starts screaming.


'Oh my God, he really is coming! We’re finally going to meet The Fury. Iron Mike. MIKE TYSON!’


And then the music stops, there’s an awkward silence and Mike Tyson come crashing through the double doors. He is very short, very wide, has a brilliantly high-pitched voice (‘I’m here!’) and looks shell-shocked.


It’s not surprising. He has just finished a sell-out run at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas — Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth.


He has performed his one-man show to audiences of celebrities and fellow boxers, wowing them with tales of his rape conviction, ear-biting, his abusive mother and penchant for Japanese prostitutes.


Here in Britain, it’s all a bit more, well, local. Last night he was in Ayr. The night before was Stoke. Tomorrow it’s Leeds and then the finale of his British tour — Pontefract.


There was a date in Mayfair, London, but it was cancelled. Tonight it’s Slough — in a hall on the edge of the Slough Trading Estate between Topps Tiles and a household storage depot.


It may not be Vegas, but no one here cares.


The hundreds of guests — mostly men, tattooed and drenched in aftershave (plus the mayor of Windsor, who is swanning about in his mayoral chains) — have happily paid between 75 and 250 for this ‘amazing black-tie Mike Tyson charity event with four-course gala dinner and Q&A’.


‘He’s been my hero since I was a kid. He’s a living legend,’ says Jon Pitman, 38, who runs a gym in Gloucester and shows me an enormous tattoo of Tyson’s face glowering from his right shoulder.


‘Isn’t he beautiful? It took six-and-a-half hours and was quite scabby afterwards — but it was worth every minute of pain.


He’s a legend. He’s THE legend.’


Equally, no one seems remotely bothered about Tyson’s sordid past — the rape, the countless assaults, the drugs, the prostitutes (just last week he admitted to beating up seven prostitutes because he’d done a lot of coke and was feeling ‘a bit paranoid’), the prison sentences, the psychotic episodes, the psychiatric hospitals and, of course, the chunk of boxing champ Evander Holyfield’s ear he bit off during a fight and spat out into the ring.


'Who cares about any of that!’ says Chris, 32, from Cheltenham. 'My missus said: "The guy’s a rapist — how can you pay all that money to see him?" But he’s Iron Mike! He’s a legend.


'I don’t care about the rest of it. All I want is to get my photo taken with him.’


There aren’t many women here. Just a handful — dressed to the nines and whooping and whistling when (much, much) later and via a rambling Q&A session and a lot of digression and hand-waving, Tyson, 45, shares his life philosophy.

'Life is great. It’s the greatest gift. We get it for free.

'We all get to know each other. I had a great life. My mother was an alcoholic and my father was just a really, really bad guy.


'And I was bad, too. I robbed people, I shot people, I did a lot of bad things I’m not proud of.


'And then I found fighting and went on this magnificent journey . . . All I cared about was hurting big, strong men.


'That’s all I wanted. I had no life outside boxing. I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 19 but, God damn, I’ve made up for it now — the lawsuits, the diseases . . . 


'Oh, I’m sorry. I’m not supposed to talk about that. I forgot. Sorry. I’ll get in trouble again. Oh s***.’


Oh dear. But then nothing’s been going very smoothly all evening here in Slough.


To start with, Tyson is two hours late.


The 'gala dinner' tables are still being set by staff. After that ghastly ‘welcome ****tail’, all other drinks are extra.


The sound system breaks down. The table numbers are scrawled in felt tip pen on bits of paper.


Dozens of bullying security guards bark orders and barge people about, and the 'have your photo taken with Tyson' session delays things another hour-and-a-half.

Even his grand entrance goes wrong.

At exactly the moment he should be smashing through the doors to the rousing finale of Carmina Burana, he’s involved in an unfortunate tussle with an old lady who’s wandered in from her ballroom dancing lesson next door and somehow made it past his four enormous security guards to embrace him.


By the time he disentangles himself, the music has finished.


Up close, one on one, Tyson is even smaller than he looks at a distance.


But he’s very amenable — politely answering my questions about his beloved pigeons ('I’ve got hundreds and hundreds'), Holyfield’s savaged ear ('He thinks it’s funny now — he came to see my show') and his long-held dream to become a missionary.

'I’d still like to be a missionary — but it’s hard when you’ve got kids and stuff. Everything’s harder. And I’m Muslim. And vegan . . . '

And sober?


'Yes. I last had a drink over three years ago, and we all have fearsome moments.


'I can’t imagine ever doing cocaine again.


'But booze? I hope I don’t. I don’t go to AA no more, but I still believe in the programme.'


And that famous temper — how does he control it?


'I try my best, but sometimes I don’t. I lose it loads, but as long as I don’t strike someone that’s a step forward.


'It’s been a while. There was a guy in the airport in Los Angeles — I punched him real hard.


'Of course I want to punch someone every day, but I’m not allowed to do it.'


So he’s focusing on other things. Like making money.


'I always need money. Even when I had money I needed more money. I’m terrible with money.'


But isn’t this for charity? I was told the gala night was in aid of muscular dystrophy.


He looks confused: 'You’ll have to talk to my agent. Maybe. I don’t know. I just do the photos and stuff, and what I’m told.'


Tyson’s money troubles are well documented. He earned 185 million (in his heyday he was paid 22 million a fight) and blew the lot.


He desperately needs money and everything about this evening is about making it.


He is happy to have his photograph taken with the guests — though even the most hardened fan is surprised to have to pay 30 a photo, plus 20 for a rubbish frame to put it in.


There’s an auction of memorabilia: boxing gloves fetch 400 each; shorts go for 2,000.


There’s even a raffle promising a ‘grand memorabilia prize’.


None of the above seems to be in aid of muscular dystrophy.


Though on the tables, among flyers for two lap-dancing clubs nearby, Beavers and Pandora’s, there are empty white envelopes just in case anyone has any money left to donate to charity.


Oh yes, and the local organiser tells me he’s going to donate 190 profit from tickets sales (which must be close to 60,000) to muscular dystrophy.


While money’s being gathered in at an alarming rate, the organisers haven’t exactly been splurging in Slough.


The 'lavish four-course dinner' (when it finally comes at nearly 10pm, accompanied by a very strong smell of rotten eggs and a grainy big-screen video of Tyson’s best fights), turns out to be a scary- looking curry served with a tower of cold, hard naan bread wrapped in cling film.


Continued...
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

On my (250-a-ticket) table, Alan and Paula Foster, who run a plant hire business and have driven down from Middlesbrough, are ploughing despondently through their second bottle of white.

Jonny and his friends from the Slough Boxing Club are fed up.


'We’ve been here five-and-a-half hours, and he hasn’t opened his mouth yet. Nothing! It’s 11.30pm and people are leaving. It’s all about making money. We’ve only got so much!'


Only Jon Pitman is still glowing with excitement. 'He signed my tattoo! And he kissed my arm. It cost a small fortune, but for me it’s priceless.


'Look at me. I’m shaking. I’m going to have the signature tattooed over tomorrow, so then I’ll have it for ever!'


Only when every last penny has been squeezed out of the wilting audience does the Q&A start — at 11.38pm.


It’s not quite what we’d expected. The questions are asked not by us, but by a very wide chap called Mark Peters, who is an old friend of Tyson.


And the answers are rambling, verging on the haywire — particularly when we get on to Mike’s 'special message' for Frank Bruno.


'I believe he’s in a mental hospital right now. Look, Frank — I’ve been in a mental ward like 15 times.

It’s not a bad thing — I checked my f****** self in. Fifteen times and I still have a one-man show sold out in Vegas every night.


'So don’t get caught up in these labels, Frank. They said to me: "You’re a psycho manic . . . you’re a *** addict . . . you’re a manic depressive."


'They’ve just labels doctors put on you, so doctors have to buy medicines.


'Look at me, Frank! I’m still capable of being a multi-multi-level superstar.


I’m still capable of coming to talk to real people. In Slough!’


The thinning crowd doesn’t know quite how to react.


There are a few  cheers and claps, but also quite a bit of muttering and some loud  ‘shushing’ from the awful Mark  Peters.


'Of all my fans in the world — and the Brazilians and Russians are big — the UK fans are the best,'


Tyson rambles on. ‘You’re always there for me. I’m trying to convey my gratitude . . . ’


And that’s it.


The raffle is done in ten seconds. It turns out there are no grand memorabilia prizes — just three cash prizes of 50.


Tyson’s henchmen wander round clutching envelopes bursting with cash, but sadly the muscular dystrophy collection makes just 94.


Out by the loos, Carl with the open shirt is locked in a screaming row with the local promoter, who has put more flyers on all the curry-stained tables promising Tyson will be partying later at Slough’s premier lap-dancing bar.


'He doesn’t do that any more! This is a shambles. You should see my functions — they’re superb. I brought over Muhammad Ali two years ago!'


Meanwhile, Tyson is led off. His performance is over. He looks knackered and rather confused. But at least we know he loves Slough.


'Slough is really cool,' he tells me.  'I’ve never been here before, but it’s just like Es*** or London, isn’t it? It’s basically the same thing, isn’t it?'


Er, well . . . It is home of The Office.


'No! I don’t believe you!' he squeaks. 'I love The Office. I know the star of the American show — Ed Helms. I filmed the movie The Hangover with him. I love it.


'But I never knew Slough was the home of The Office! Nobody told me. Wow! Slough!'
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Read it this morning. Absolutely farcical.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

And to think I was gutted it was nowhere near me ....
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Was the compere "A weapons grade bellend" like the Tyson show in Wolverhampton?
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Is this pretty much typical of Tyson's tours in the UK?
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

I was at the one at Ayr and it seems that it was alot better run, dearest tickets here were 100, we had the 85 tickets but only paid 65 as my mate was fighting on the white collar card. We had our meals (soup, then chicken in a sweet chilli gravy and then chocolate tart) which was quite nice, no envelopes on the tables for charity and we were in the car and on the way home for about 12ish.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

one i went to in peterborough 18months ago was brilliant not like this shit.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

what a ****ing shambles, and they raised just about fu8ck all for charity.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

I can well believe this shambles. It seems very similar to a Roberto Duran night last year in Halifax. ****ing shambles.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

The organiser sent us his flyers to put up in the club as we are only ten miles from slough. Seriously looked like a four year old had knocked it up using ms paint! Decided I would not be shelling hundreds of pounds out the second I saw that.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Baastard, anyone who is willing to pay money to see the psychotic ear biting twat got what they deserve the only thing that pisses me off is how little went to the charity.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuey View Post
The organiser sent us his flyers to put up in the club as we are only ten miles from slough. Seriously looked like a four year old had knocked it up using ms paint! Decided I would not be shelling hundreds of pounds out the second I saw that.
Baaastard, Tyson probably did the flyers himself?
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuey View Post
The organiser sent us his flyers to put up in the club as we are only ten miles from slough. Seriously looked like a four year old had knocked it up using ms paint!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murtagh's Dad View Post
Baaastard, Tyson probably did the flyers himself?
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mike Tyson in Slough

I went to the Ayr one was run fairly well(20 quid for a photo bargain) Would love it if they done one with Foreman but i highly doubt it.
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