Sunday, June 22, 2008

wonder why alternate sports history isn't a section in bookstores.

I wrote this a year or so ago... We got in the discussion of how a Tyson vs. Ali fight might go, so I took a stab at writing up the call of the fight. Was originally posted on the sports forum of the Aantares message board.

With deference to Howard Cosell.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as we get ready for the third round tonight at Caesar's Palace in New Jersey we are truly witnessing history. The unstoppable force and the immovable object, in one corner a boxer and in the other corner a fighter. On your one hand you have Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, a young man who knows his craft perhaps as well as any who ever placed a foot in the ring and with a heaping helping of the knowledge that he is a pinnacle, premiere pugilist. Standing opposite him, Kid Chaos, a mad bulldog. A freight train with gloves on, young Iron Mike Tyson.

Ali seems to have employed the strategy of largely evading early. Perhaps he is of the opinion that he can tire this young firecracker out, that this controlled explosion must subside over time if he can just last it out. But while Ali has landed the occasional well-timed blow and even rattled the young Tyson once or twice, it's clear that Kid Dynamite's raw power has slowed and staggered Ali, and going into this third round I suspect we'll see Ali perhaps a half-step slower.

There's the bell and out come the fighters. Tyson has all the look of a man on a mission, while Ali stands more a man with a plan. The fighters trade jabs, Ali working mostly to position Tyson and keep the wolf at bay, Tyson trying to work in towards Ali's midsection. Ali took a controversial blow there perhaps after the first bell rang which may have literally been bonecrushing... of course Ali being a consummate we couldn't read much from his expression at the time.

Ali's still got a lot of spring, he's practically challenging Tyson to burn his substantial energy around the ring. Ali says if Tyson's going to get to him he's going to have to earn it. Ali gets Tyson on the run, OH and Ali lands a series of successive rights to the head, Tyson getting caught overpursuing and he pays dearly.

Tyson seems to be sizing up Ali, positioning him and OH, a left right combination to the head, and I'd be surprised at this point if Ali could remember any name for himself. Ali tries to make a show of rebounding and illustrating his trademark speed, but it's clear he met a brick wall. Ali looks to be getting his footing again and OH Tyson caught him across the jaw, and Ali is up against the ropes. He's certainly dazed now. Twelve seconds left in the round, Ali may squeeze by and if he can survive this beating he might be able to last Tyson out. Ali comes off the ropes and Tyson catches him with three solid jabs to that tender midsection... as Ali starts to list, Tyson meets him on the jaw again...Ali is down in a pile...

let's see if, the ref... Mills Lane begins the count.... 5, 6... Ali is getting up to his feet, but it appears he may be back in Louisville already... Mills Lane looks the prize fighter in the eyes... and he's called for the bell, this fight is over. With two seconds left in the third round, we have a TKO here in Atlantic City, Tyson was just too much for Ali to stand. And I think in the end, the discussion on this fight won't even necessarily be the decision to mercifully end it, but that potentially late blow in the end of the first round --- from which we might now say Muhammad Ali may have never fully recovered.

You saw it here, brought to you by the good people at Aantares... Iron Mike Tyson runs over Muhammad Ali in three brutal rounds."

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