The Heavyweight Champion of Bankruptcy

A recent article on Forbes.com listed some of what it called the biggest money meltdowns in the history of sports, or, to use less headline-worthy language, those athletes who had blown the most loot in their lifetimes. ↵

↵Most of the usual suspects were named -- Bobby Orr, Johnny Unitas, and Denny McClain among them -- all three famously victims of very bad investments, out-and-out theft (in Orr’s case) and, in McClain’s case, a positively voracious appetite for gambling and get-rich quick scams. ↵

↵

↵A few names get dropped in the article whose lavish lifestyles and subsequent falls from financial grace were a surprise to me, most of all Jack Clark. Maybe I remember that Clark filed for bankruptcy while in the middle of an $8 million contract with the Red Sox in the early 90’s. But I certainly didn’t remember that his bankruptcy filing revealed that he owned 17 luxury cars, and still owed money on all of them. ↵

↵

↵Shrewd, Jack, very shrewd. Evidently, he thought he was Mike Tyson. Which brings us to the top of the list, the uncontested heavyweight champion of sports “money meltdowns," Kid Dynamite, Mr. I Own Lions and Tigers and Bears himself, Iron Mike. ↵

↵

↵According to the Forbes article, Tyson is estimated to have made over $400 million in his career, and he, uh ... well, he spent it all. Nearly a half-billion gone to God knows where. He declared bankruptcy in 2003, and he still to this day owes millions. During his spending peak, which sadly coincided with his fighting decline, he was paying out upwards of $400,000 a month, with most of it going towards the standard expenses of a heavyweight boxer -- legal fees, limos and tiger care. ↵

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↵Tiger care. God, I miss Mike Tyson. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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