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Did ‘The Hangover’ Was Start Of Mike Tyson Pop Culture Renaissance?

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When Mike Tyson signed on to appear in “The Hangover,” the former boxer didn’t realize how his role in the 2009 comedy would reignite his career.

“I just looked at it as a regular job,” Mike Tyson said.

That impression rapidly changed, however, when Tyson was flocked by admirers on a Hollywood tour bus — a phenomenon that had once been common for the 55-year-old but had been toned following his storied boxing career.

Though Tyson has made cameo appearances elsewhere over the years, including 2011’s “The Hangover Part II,” these days, he’s focusing on his legal cannabis brand, Tyson 2.0, as well as his budding partnership with Ric Flair.

And while his boxing days are long behind him, Tyson has proposed an intriguing solution on what he would do to restore the sport to the popularity it once was when he was at his height: a tourn ament to crown the undisputed best fighter in each weight class.

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“Every weight class has a tournament,” he said. “They have so many titles because when it’s a title fight you get more money. That’s good. But they should unify every weight class, and separate them up and start all over again [in a tournament for each class’ champ].”

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As boxing is currently structured, with several different promoter fiefdoms, the best matchups do not always happen in the sport.

“If the fighters want the best fights, I don’t see why they’re procrastinating,” Tyson said. “If they think they’re the best, [prove it]. In the ’80s, it was different. We were hungrier. We wanted to be number one — and no one else on our mountain.

“If I was still a young fighter, I’d say, ‘You’re letting these guys eat around you, letting these guys live around you?’ They’re supposed to be your food! And you’re letting them eat, letting them get stronger. It’s just crazy. That’s my mentality. I want your total surrender or your total destruction, either one.”

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