In the Beginning

T’was the night before Christmas at the start of this poem

The Gypsy King’s family was happy at home

Tyson sat next to his children and missus

Full of good cheer and giving out kisses

There was happiness, laughter, contentment, and love

Then came a crash on the roof up above

Followed by moaning and groaning . . . “Oh, my!

I’ve broken my leg,” they heard Santa Claus cry.

Tyson brought Santa Claus down from the roof.

“Oh, what a blunder! Oh, what a goof!

Oh, what a mess,” Santa Claus wailed.

Then Santa’s rosy-red pudgy cheeks paled.

“Can’t travel,” said Santa. “My leg hurts real bad.

Children all over the world will be sad.

No presents this Christmas, that’s how it will be.

It’s the worst thing that ever has happened to me.”

“Oh, this is terribly sad,” Tyson cried.

“It will bring heartache to children worldwide

There has to be something that I can do

To help in this moment of crisis for you?”

Then Tyson sat Santa Claus down by the fire

And stared at the flames as they rose ever higher.

He furrowed his brow ever deeper in thought

And clenched his fists just like he did when he fought.

He clenched them so hard that his face turned bright red

And a great inspiration came into his head

“I’ve got it,” he said. “I know what I’ll do.

I’ll deliver the presents and pretend that I’m you.”

“There’s a problem, said Santa. “You’re a really big fellow.

And your suit looks like draperies from a bordello

Children will tremble and cry out in fright

If they stay up till midnight and see you tonight.”

“Nonsense,” said Tyson. “I’m a big cuddly chap.

Children are eager to sit on my lap.”

“All right,” said Santa. “But before you deliver

There are rules to be followed if you’re the gift-giver.

“Now and then someone will make a request.

I’ve got a long list of which presents are best.

As a substitute Santa, please take my advice.

Bring this list with you and read it through twice.”

Then Santa gave Tyson a long list to read

So Tyson would understand how to proceed

T’was a task for a King; it would take him all night.

But Tyson was certain that he’d get it right.

Santa’s List

Gennady wants judges who see things his way

Terence wants Errol with no more delay

Claressa wants one more fight just like the last

Don King would like to go back to the past

Both of the Charlos want love and respect

Eddie Hearn wants to see Queensberry wrecked.

Frank Warren would like Eddie Hearn to be quiet

DAZN would like someone to come in and buy it

Triller would like to pick up a quick buck

Lou DiBella has asked for a change in his luck

A.J. requested a future that’s sunny

All of the sanctioning bodies want money

Probellum asks that we solemnly pray

That people forget all about MTK

And Deontay fervently hopes that it’s true

That he’ll never again have a fight against you

Adrien Broner wants less time in jail

Andy Ruiz wants less weight on the scale

Amanda Serrano wants Katie again

For a payday as big as they give to the men

Michael Buffer would like boxing fans to all rumble

Most people want Pretty Boy to be humble

Joe Joyce now lusts for a big money fight

And Dillian would like to end each bout upright

Jake Paul has written that he’s in distress

He’d like to know how he got into this mess

And musicians would like to hear more songs divine

Like Hatton’s Blue Moon and Sweet Caroline

Sky Sport would like Ben Shalom to succeed

Ring 8 wants cash to help fighters in need

Paco wants favors too many to mention

Gareth A. Davies wants lots of attention

Conor Benn says as a fighter he’s clean

And wants no more talking about Clomifene

Clean fighters want to see more funds for VADA

Whose testing is light-years ahead of USADA

Gervonta wants Ryan. And Ryan wants him

But the chances of that ever happening are slim

And no surprise here; Top Rank wrote in to say

It wants everyone to do all things its way

Canelo wants more belts to put round his waist

And the memory of fighting vs. Bivol erased

Lennox would like to be able to claim

That he knocked you spark out in a video game

Fans everywhere would like more fights for free

With only the megafights on pay-TV

The fans also want to see judges who score

Like an impartial jurist instead of a whore

Matt Christie wants good health for all of the fighters

And a much bigger budget to pay for his writers

And here’s a request made to Santa’s chief elf

Al Haymon wants all of the toys for himself

In the End

On Christmas Eve, Tyson did just what he said

With toys piled high on the back of his sled

He went round the world in the spirit of joy

Giving out presents to each girl and boy

It made him feel good, and the part he liked best

Was wherever he went, to the East or the West

To the North or the South, lower or higher

Children left cookies and milk by the fire

He thought all the sweets were a wonderful treat

He ate every one, a remarkable feat

And I heard Tyson say when he came home that night,

“My stomach is stuffed, and my pants are too tight.”

Thomas Hauser’s email address is His most recent book – In the Inner Sanctum: Behind the Scenes at Big Fights – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. In 2019, Hauser was selected for boxing’s highest honor – induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.