Promoter defends bad bout
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mike Tyson didn't show up for his post-fight press conference early Saturday morning, after his four-round exhibition bout with former sparring partner Corey "T-Rex" Sanders that began after midnight and launched the "Mike Tyson World Tour."
It was after 1:30 a.m. when the big media contingent, which was waiting to hear what the former world heavyweight champion had to say about his overrated and glorified sparring session with Sanders, decided that if Tyson, who had been late for previous area engagements, didn't show up by 2 a.m., they were leaving without his words.
Then at about 1:45, Sterling McPherson, a native of Niles who promoted the Tyson show through his company, Sterling Productions, honored the gathering by finally coming in to serve as the interview, and informing all the media that "Iron Mike" simply wasn't coming.
Although Tyson's performance in the ring before more than 4,000 fans was unimpressive given the fact that Sanders barely threw any punches, McPherson defended the show as being only entertainment and not true competition.
McPherson said the show "wasn't about fighting" but was about "the average Joe" being able to see Tyson in the ring, and simply was an exhibition as announced that it would be.
"We didn't try to fake anyone out. This was an exhibition bout and they knew that coming in," said McPherson, who was pleased by the overall show.
"I thought things went well. It was Mike's first exhibition show. I was pleased how he looked in the ring. And certainly as we go, he will get better."
McPherson said they are looking at eight different locations throughout the world for Tyson's next show.
"We will decide within the next four weeks where we will go," he said, listing South Korea, China, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Los Angeles, San Diego and Super Bowl weekend in Miami as among the possible venues for the next show.
And McPherson said he was happy to bring the show to Youngstown to do something positive for his home area.
"I just wanted to do something good for the people. The [Chevrolet Centre] here will revitalize the downtown. The people knew that we could have gone anywhere [for our first show]."