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Monday, August 06, 2007

IIPM Press Release :- “I’m Bad!” Gosh, really?!

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They’ve known black, they’ve known white; wonder if “it don’t matter”?

It’s Michael Jacksonnot just the first name and the last syllable of the last name that Michael Jackson and Michael ‘Mike’ Tyson have in common। Two figures who have seen both the proverbial zenith and nadir of their careers under unprecedented media glare; both Tyson and Jackson remain, at worst vilified as celebrity villains and at best, personalities with strong affinity for controversy. Their talent is unquestionable, as is their penchant to surround themselves with situations so eccentric that they bordered on the fictional. Their lives have been full of events that tabloid and paparazzi fodder is made of and if their lives can be said to be running on parallel tracks, those tracks surely belong to a roller coaster.

Tyson battled a strife-torn childhood in a notorious Brooklyn neighbourhood before his boxing talent was spotted at school by a juvenile detention counsellor, Bobby Stewart। Tyson trained under him and later under the legendary Cus D’Amato (a trainer who had trained Floyd Patterson among others). After a decent start (24 wins 3 losses) as an amateur, Tyson turned pro in 1985.

Michael Jackson, who went on to become the King of Pop, meanwhile had spent his childhood performing as a part of The Jacksons and his solo career took off with the album Off The Wall in 1979, one that spawned an incredible number of four top ten hits worldwide including Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough that won him a Grammy।

On the other hand, shooting at the top of the boxing popularity charts was Tyson, with TNT in his fists, knocking out reputations and opponents with unmatched ferocity, emerging unfazed as the youngest man to have won a heavyweight title belt। The nickname ‘Kid Dynamite’ captured the Tyson aura the best. It all came unhinged in the 1990s when a string of disasters struck his career. First came the shocking loss to rank 42-1 outsider James ‘Buster’ Douglas who knocked Tyson out in the 10th round. Then, in 1991 he was arrested and later convicted of rape which sentenced him for 6 years (released after serving three). Tyson converted to Islam in the mean time and took the name Malik Abdul Aziz.

Jackson’s career graph continued to spiral upwards phenomenally as his follow up album Thriller became the best selling album of all time। The ones that came next were no mean feats themselves – Bad, Dangerous, HIStory all were albums that were global smash hits. Jackson set a new trend with stylish and expensive music videos that drew huge audiences, and as his fan base grew, so did the media scrutiny of his private life. Initial accusations of child molestation were raised in 1993 and 10 years later in 2003, he went on trial, charged on seven accounts of child molestation. The trial which began on Jan 31, 2005 acquitted him of all charges, but his image took a beating. Amidst all this, he managed to release Invincible, the album that debuted at No.1 in 13 countries!

MikeMike Tyson Tyson career went from bad to worse as he defended his WBC title (won from Frank Bruno in 1996) fighting Evander Holyfield, to whom he surprisingly lost under controversial circumstances as the Tyson camp complained about Holyfield’s head butts। Tyson’s fall from grace was completed in his second bout against Holyfield in June 1997, where enraged by the alleged head butting tactics of Holyfield, Tyson bit off his opponents ears in a shocking display of barbarity and raw emotion. Tyson never recovered from the incident and got into numerous legal problems later, going to prison for a second time on charges of assault. ‘Kid Dynamite’ suddenly became ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’.

One has been named ‘Most Successful Entertainer of All Time’ by the Guinness World Records and the other ‘The #1 Most Outrageous Character in Modern Sports History’ by ESPN। Together they have hogged more space in pop and tabloid media than perhaps all other celebrities combined! Today, while Jackson still remains wildly popular, Tyson battles anonymity and bankruptcy, picking up the pieces from a burnout of what could have been high flying careers of enviable exemplars.

Edit bureau: Tareque Laskar

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2007

IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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