ATLANTIC CITY, DEC. 9 -- Saturday night's fight card of lopsided matches arranged by controversial promoter Don King left a lot of people flat -- on the canvas -- and gave rise to speculation about the futures of those who predictably were left standing. Is the "old Mike Tyson" back to stay after his demolition of Alex Stewart in 2 minutes 27 seconds? What will become of Simon Brown, a winner by knockout in a mere 1 minute 53 seconds, now that he says he's signing up with King to promote his fights? Who'll be Julio Cesar Chavez's 74th straight victim after he disposed of Ahn Kyung Duk in three rounds?

At his best, Tyson answers the bell like Carl Lewis coming out of the blocks. His most famous first-round victim is Michael Spinks, who lasted 91 seconds. A lesser known one is Marvis Frazier, Joe's son. Frazier lasted 30 seconds. Stewart's fate was reminiscent of both those fights. Like Spinks, Stewart had no chance -- none -- trying to keep the furious Tyson off him. Like the Frazier fight, Tyson came flying out of his corner and into Stewart's face so fast you'd have thought he was a car commercial -- zero to 60 in a couple of seconds.

But will Tyson (39-1) keep the heat turned up as he did for Stewart? Out of the ring, he's unpredictable -- one reason his original managers kept him fighting so often. And has he learned to handle a big man with a good jab like a Buster Douglas, or even a Bonecrusher Smith, who lasted 12 rounds with Tyson in 1987?

"I'm the best," said Tyson, sounding like he used to. "When I hit anybody, they'll go." But a long-time Tyson watcher asked: "Does he have a weak chin? Probably not. Does he come apart if he goes a distance? Not sure."

Up next for Tyson: possibly Razor Ruddock (25-1-1). Between the Brown and Chavez fights, Ruddock short-circuited Mike "Powerhouse" Rouse in 2 minutes 37 seconds. "I'd love to fight Ruddock," Tyson said. It could happen in March.

As for Brown (33-1), he is understandably restless. He's been a fighting International Boxing Federation welterweight champion and owns a growing reputation as the best little-known fighter in the world. He's got the punching power and swiftness of a jackhammer.

Saturday he positively drilled the outclassed Ozzie O'Neal, who wobbled out of the ring with everyone's hopes that he gets a new line of work.

In King, Brown is on the verge of going with boxing's most ubiquitous promoter -- apparently believing that anyone with his fingers in so many pies can scoop up an ample slice for him. "You can't be with a better man than King to get the kind of fights I want," Brown said.

"I'd like to be back in the ring in January. After that, we'll see."

January would be another tuneup, but "after that" means Brown wants some real action with Chavez or Michael Nunn -- some name fighter. But it's still the same old story: Chavez is not looking his way, not yet anyway.

"I want to fight {Meldrick} Taylor and {Hector} Camacho," Chavez said. "First, I want to clean my division, beat everybody, then go after the welterweight champion. I'm a junior welter naturally."

Brown will move up to middleweight or remain a welterweight -- whichever is more lucrative. Meanwhile, sentiment grows to see Brown truly tested. He was well-received Saturday night, even if the arena was only half full when he fought, three hours before Tyson. It's obvious Brown is a hitter, and fight crowds love hitters.

Who got the biggest ovations when ringside guests were introduced? Smokin' Joe Frazier and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Tyson received the most enthusiastic reception -- in anticipation of his return to form.

Chavez, defending two titles, was given a big welcome. So was Brown.

"I'd like to see Brown and Chavez fight," a fan said after both had knocked out their opponents.

"I'd get back in the ring right now and fight Chavez," Brown said.

Chavez was almost as fresh as Brown. "I was surprised that he quit," Chavez said of Ahn. "The first three times he went down they were good punches. The fourth, I don't know. I think he should have had more guts. I thought the public deserves more than this."

Tyson, Brown and Chavez proved willing to do their parts. All they need are opponents to do theirs.