-- Anyone still mystified by the seemingly unbreakable hold Mike Tyson has on the heavyweight division should have attended Saturday's news conference at Madison Square Garden in which Don King unveiled his Nov. 13 fight card.
The so-called "Struggle for Supremacy," which will be contested here at the Garden, site of Saturday night's Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga fight, includes four heavyweight bouts, each of which will feature a current or former champion. It is intended to help identify a future undisputed champ, but it might instead simply draw attention to the lack of star power and talent in the splintered division.
"I'm trying to bring heavyweight excitement back into the forefront, Madison Square Garden, the most famous arena in the world," said King, who wore a red, white and blue jean jacket adorned by George W. Bush campaign buttons. "And to bring all these heavyweights here to have a round robin, so to speak, where there becomes one undisputed heavyweight champion again."
Only two of the four heavyweight title holders -- World Boxing Association champion John Ruiz and International Boxing Federation champion Chris Byrd -- will be present. But it is unlikely the other two -- World Boxing Organization champ Lamon Brewster and World Boxing Council champion Vitali Klitschko -- would add much excitement.
"If the four heavyweight champions today went into a police lineup in their gloves and robes and trunks, not only wouldn't they be picked out as to who they are, nobody would know what the hell they did for a living," longtime boxing observer Bert Sugar said.
As it stands, the card's headliners are soon-to-be 42-year-old Evander Holyfield, who is 2-4-2 in his last eight fights, Baltimore native Hasim Rahman, arguably a one-punch wonder, and Andrew Golota, who is known for his fragile psyche and chronic low blows. The remaining fighters are gentlemen named Jameel McCline, Kali Meehan and Larry Donald.
"The best you can say about this is that we hope one of them comes out who has some standing in the heavyweight community," Sugar said. "The worst is that those four fights should bring hockey back to the Garden quickly."
Rahman (39-5-1) will fight Meehan (29-2), who lost a split decision to Brewster in early September; Byrd (37-2-1) will fight his good friend McCline (31-3-3); Holyfield (38-7-2) will face Donald (41-3-2); and Ruiz (40-5-1) will fight Golota (38-4-1).
Of the eight, the personable Rahman, who has won four straight fights after going 0-3-1 in his previous four, seems to have the most star potential. "I'm 100 percent ready, and I'm gonna be better than I've ever been," he said.
Holyfield, meantime, has the name recognition, but the warrior's spirit that defined his greatest triumphs now may be keeping him in the ring much longer than he should stay. "Looking over my past fights, I realize one of the most important things is I'm willing to pay the price in order to achieve my goal of once again being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world," he said.
None of the others on the card quickens the pulse, and that is why Tyson, despite his recent knockout loss to unknown Danny Williams, still might be one of the most viable heavyweights remaining. Yesterday, King, who Tyson fired and subsequently sued, said he expected Tyson to attend last night's event and that he was talking to the former champion about re-signing.
"He says he's going to re-sign with me, hopefully he will," King said. "And if he does, he'll be in the mix right along with the rest of them."
King also raised the possibility that another former champion, Oliver McCall, could fight his way into that mix. McCall also will fight on the Nov. 13 card, but not on one of the four featured bouts. McCall, who once won the title from Lennox Lewis, is most famous for having a breakdown in the ring during his rematch with Lewis, crying and then quitting.
But McCall was not the most unlikely of future contenders at the news conference. King introduced IBF cruiserweight champion Kelvin Davis, who stood, shirtless, with his belt on and his hands on his hips in the back of the room.
"I've never seen the heavyweight division in such shambles," Sugar said. "There's nothing there."