ABC will premiere Part 1 of a two-part documentary on boxing hero Iron Mike called “Mike Tyson: The Knockout” Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. The conclusion will air June 1, also at 8 p.m. ET.
After watching both parts of the four-hour series there was one overriding question that was never adequately answered.
Why this profile done on this man at this time? Why wait until so late in the series to debut Byron Pitts’ often-compelling interview with Mike, arguably the only new information in the show? Why spend so much time rehashing the trigger points of Mike’s career and fail to devote much time to the man that Tyson has become?
Pitts, the co-anchor of “Nightline,” sat down for a one-on-one with Iron Mike that airs in the end of Part 2. The series airs about a month before Tyson’s 55th birthday on June 24. In one compelling moment, Pitts asks Tyson what he’d say if he could talk to the 20-year-old version of himself.
These are the moments when Mike shines, when he’s given the opportunity to be introspective and analyze his life.
“It’s going to hurt,” Mike told Pitts. “It’s going to hurt bad. It’s going to really hurt. It’s going to hurt really bad. But I live fear. I’m from Brownsville Brooklyn. I’m what fear looks like. Look at me.”
“If you think anybody’s afraid of me,” Mike says to Pitts, gesturing with his hands as he spoke, “well, I’m probably a thousand times more afraid of them than they are of me. That’s why I’m more aggressive than they are.”
Pitts, who is known for his extensive work covering the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan, was able to drag such nuggets out of Mike.
It gives the viewer a much better sense of who Mike is than most of the rest of the four hours, which rehashed the very familiar themes of Mike’s life and career.
Part 1, the documentary makes the point that at his peak, he was arguably the most famous man on the planet. The story of the most famous man on the planet is well-known and well-chronicled, but it makes up the bulk of this documentary.