Gone in 38 seconds

Charged up Tyson disposes of Savarese

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2000

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Mike Tyson maintains he's rusty, but he looked like a well-oiled machine for 38 seconds on a rainy night in Scotland.

That's how long it took the former heavyweight champion to stop Lou Savarese outdoors at Hampden Park.

The crowd of about 20,000 fans on a cold, nasty Saturday night had barely stopped cheering Tyson following his introduction when they began booing at the fight's quick ending.

Tyson knocked down the 6-foot-5 Savarese with a left hook about 12 seconds into the fight. Savarese struggled up at 5 and Tyson was on him like a cat.

A flurry of punches, including a big left hook, sent Savarese reeling back, and referee John Coyle leaped in and halted the match.

Tyson was not done, however. He moved around Coyle and hit Savarese twice more before the referee pushed Tyson away and signaled that the fight was over.

''I am the most ruthless, brutal champion ever,'' Tyson said. ''I am Sonny Liston and Jack Dempsey. There is no one who can match me.''

Tyson was asked about fighting heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis of Britain, a match that is his goal.

Directing his comments to Lewis, he said, ''I want your heart. I want to eat your children.''

In the next breath, Tyson said he was not yet ready for Lewis.

''I need more training. I am rusty,'' he said. ''He is no match for me when I am right. I have only fought 12 times in 10 years.

''I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him.''

Neither Tyson nor Savarese appeared at the post-fight news conference. Savarese went to a hospital for an ankle he must have injured when falling.

''I got caught with a left hook,'' Savarese said as he left the ring. ''I threw a jab and he slipped it. I got caught with a great punch. I thought I was ready to continue, but I don't question the referee's judgment.

''I am highly disappointed. I trained hard for this fight. I got caught cold. I could have continued,'' Savarese said.

Savarese was supposed be a stiffer test for Tyson, who will turn 34 on Friday, than was Julius Francis, whom Tyson stopped in the second round on Jan. 29 at Manchester, England.

Instead, Savarese was no opposition at all.

The fastest knockout in Tyson's career was 30 seconds against Marvis Frazier on July 26, 1986, three fights before Tyson won the WBC heavyweight title by stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round.

For Tyson's 38 seconds of work, he earned $8 million. Savarese got $850,000 for his public embarrassment.

It was thought that the death of Tyson's close friend, Darryl Baum, might affect his focus.

Baum was shot to death in Brooklyn, N.Y. last week. Tyson attended the funeral and delayed his trip to Britain for four days, arriving last Sunday.

''I dedicate this fight to my friend Darryl Baum,'' Tyson said.

Then there was another possible distraction -- an alleged scuffle with fight promoter Frank Warren over who should pick up a $650,000 jewelry tab Tyson ran up in January.

British newspapers had reported that Tyson hit Warren, or that he threatened to throw Warren through a window -- allegations that Tyson denied.

Warren, who was at the fight, did not comment on the allegations, although he was not sure whether he would promote Tyson again.

''I've got to have a long think about things,'' he said, adding that of the 40,000 tickets distributed, about 20,000 were returned to organizers.

But the fight didn't last long enough for Tyson's focus to come into question.

''The crowd was with me with this fight,'' Tyson said. ''I will be better next time. The fans know my pedigree.''

Tyson, is 48-3 with one no-contest and 42 knockouts. Savarese, who will be 35 on July 14, is 42-4 with 32 knockouts. The four losses have come in his last seven fights.

Tyson weighed 222 pounds and Savarese 241 1-4.

He is scheduled to return to the United States on Sunday.



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