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Mike Tyson In Glasgow: A Fake Penis, 38-Second Fight And Police Escort Home

Mike Tyson In Glasgow: A Fake Penis, 38-Second Fight And Police Escort Home

Mike Tyson fought in Glasgow 20 years ago today and caused chaos before and after his fight - which lasted only 38 seconds but still ended in carnage and confusion.

"He was out of control!" the fight's promoter Frank Warren tells SPORTbible. "There was so much stuff going on, even on the night behind the scenes."

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Stuff like: Tyson's claim he used a fake penis to pass a fight night drug test, him beating up a member of his own security team, a bitter dispute over a $2.5 million jewellery bill and the boxer threatening to eat Lennox Lewis's (unborn) children in a ferocious rant.

Oh and the fight itself lasted less than a minute but still had a crazy finish. That sort of stuff.

Warren described Tyson as "good as gold" during his first ever UK fight in Manchester earlier in 2000. But in June in Scotland, the promoter saw the other side of the Jekyll and Hyde heavyweight.

"From start to finish, it was just a nightmare," says Warren. "As soon as he landed, I knew this was a different animal I was dealing with.

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"There was all sorts of things going on in the background. He bought - I can't remember the exact amount, but it was something like two-and-a-half-million dollars in jewellery the first time around from Graff. And he never settled the bill...

"When they came back, the jeweller issued the proceedings against him. And then he got annoyed, because I think he was screwing a girl in the jewellers - and they fired her. I don't know [exactly]. All sorts of stuff going on behind the scenes."

The unpaid jewellery bill was a huge news story. By fight night, Warren was sporting a badly bloodshot eye and rumours persist - long denied by the promoter - that things actually got physical between between Frank and Iron Mike.

If they did, Warren showed a more impressive chin than Tyson's opponent outdoors at Hampden Park, Lou Savarese. The American hit the canvas from the first serious punch Tyson threw, a left hook to the top of the head. He got up and as 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' bludgeoned him to body and head, referee John Coyle stepped in to end it.

Except Tyson wasn't done. The 33-year-old kept winging punches around the beleaguered ref, who fell to the canvas, until frantic ring-invading cornermen and Coyle were able to explain that the fight was, in fact, finished.

It briefly looked as though Tyson could be disqualified before the referee raised his fist, as the rain-soaked and confused crowd booed. At 38 seconds, it was the second-fastest KO of his career.

"Immediately after the fight, the police took him straight from Glasgow to the airport," says Warren. "They wanted him out of town."

Of course, that police escort came after the post-fight interviews and one of the most angry and remarkable rants of Tyson's career.

"Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you," he snarled on live TV. "I didn't train for this fight, I only trained probably two weeks or three weeks for this fight. I had to bury my best friend - and I dedicate this fight to him.

"I was gonna rip his heart out. I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal, the most vicious, the most ruthless champion there's ever been. There's no one can stop me. Lennox is a conqueror? No, I'm Alexander... There's no one that can match me. My style is impetuous, my defence is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah."

Gamely, Showtime interviewer Jim Gray attempted a follow-up question to a man who's just claimed he's Alexander the Great and wants to chow down on the kids of his heavyweight rival: the at that time childless Lewis. But Tyson stalks off.

What were Warren's thoughts when he heard that post-fight tirade? "My reaction was..." his voice tails off in disbelief. "Well, he was literally out of control. He bashed up one of his security people as well. He was just horrible."

It is amazing just how transformed Tyson is as a person now, 20 years on and seemingly having found a tranquillity he never did in his fighting days.

After the success of January 2000's Manchester show, he came to this event with a different mindset, having arrived weeks after one of his long-term friends and former bodyguard, Darryl Baum, was killed.

Yet there's one story around this whole crazy night Warren is keen to refute: the claim Tyson made in his autobiography that he used a fake penis - known as a 'whizzer' - in order to fool drug testers.

Tyson's version of events is that, as a regular user of marijuana and cocaine (rather than any performance-enhancing drugs), he would have a whizzer on fight night, filled up with someone else's clean urine. When it came to a drug test, one of his entourage would slip him the false pecker and he would use the contraption to pass water.

"Let's talk about that," says Warren bullishly. "I've got to get down to some basic English here: that was total and utter bollocks. Total rubbish! What planet is anyone on to even think that that happened? It's just ridiculous.

"His book - well, there's an English version and an American version. The English one, they tempered what they put in it because they would have got sued by me... He just sat there, told a few stories, copped his few quid. That's what he did. And I've got to tell you: 100% that just did not happen at all. It's just garbage."

Whatever the truth, it's understandable that Warren is disgusted by the idea that a boxer he once promoted would try to cheat a drug test, even for non-PED reasons. There's also no love lost between Tyson and Warren, as that chaotic night in Glasgow was the last time they would work together.

We couldn't let Frank go, however, without asking him about the latest twist in Tyson's bizarre life story. That he's back in training, landing punches on pads and may yet enter a boxing ring again, possibly even against old rival Evander Holyfield.

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"They're old guys, so if they want to do an exhibition with head guards and they're just moving around - where no one is going to get hurt and it raises money for charity - then good luck to them," says Warren.

"But a fight? Absolutely not. Fighting is a young man's game - and certainly not for Mike Tyson, who's been out the ring for how many years now? He got beat in his last two fights. He should not be fighting, it's a dangerous sport and it just should not be happening. End of story."

The promoter makes a persuasive point. But Iron Mike's magnetic hold over boxing fans remains so strong that, even in 2020, Tyson could probably still fill an arena with any type of contest. Let's face it: whatever happens, it can't possibly be as insane as what occurred one wet night in Glasgow, 20 years ago.

Go to Queensberry Promotions' YouTube channel for an incredible range of archive fight action, plus new and exclusive interviews

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Frank Warren, Mike Tyson, Boxing News, Baddest Man on the Planet, Boxing, Fight News, Iron Mike

Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.

 

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