USA Boxing is eager to remain competitive and keep the top amateurs on track for the 2016 Olympics. Dr. Charles Butler, the head of the organization, believes that Mike Tyson, though, is standing in the way.
Tyson has recently become a promoter, and Butler implied he was poaching talent from USA Boxing.
“Mike, USA Boxing does not have the funds to compete with your offers,” Butler said in an open letter to the former standout. “If you have money and would like to assist these youngathletes and the sport, you should donate for athlete stipends tosupport the training of these boxers and help your country regain itsprominence on the medal stand. Please do not take them from us. If theywin a medal for their country, you can always sign them to professionalcontracts at that time.”
Tyson’s company, Iron Mike Promotions, is particularly under fire for signing Erickson Lubin, who was seen as a legitimate gold medal contender.
As can be expected, Tyson did not appreciate essentially being labeled as a talent poacher. “Your organization never attempted to contact me directly to discussthis matter,” Tyson responded. “Had you done so, perhaps you would have abetter understanding of my love for amateur boxing and my commitment toprotect fighters by giving them the best possible opportunities thisbusiness can offer.”
It seems that Tyson is likely to have been targeted because of his name and fame as he is far from the only promoter to “poach” talented fighters from the amateur ranks. Additionally, it seems unclear why USA Boxing feels that these young men should not have the ability to choose the best path for them.