Former heavyweight champion of the world Tommy Morrison, will once again step into the ring on February 25th, 2011. This will be his third fight in his comeback since 2007. However, this will not be the same Tommy Morrison that thrilled us with brutal ko’s and his signature left hook, and certainly not the Tommy we remember from Rocky V. No, this will be a hardened 42 year old Tommy Morrison that will be fighting to restore his reputation and livelihood that was stripped from him in 1996.
I’m sure most that know boxing is familiar with the Morrison saga. From what I read, there are so many different versions and theories about what happened to Tommy Morrison and if he was actually infected with HIV. I can only speculate what happened in 1996 that lead to Morrison’s downfall. However, Tommy claims he tested negative for the disease in 2000 during a prison physical, after being convicted of a drug related offense, which was the second time he took the test since 1996. He took the test 3 times that year and tested negative 3 times. Tommy could not believe what he witnessed and realized he may never even contracted the disease. Still, more tests needed to be done and more doctors needed to analyze the results.
When Tommy was released from prison in 2003, he took more tests and got more opinions. From this point on, many versions will later come out that Tommy has HIV or he never had HIV. There has been so many conflicting versions from Tommy Morrison and various boxing commissions around the country, it is enough to make your head spin in confusion. According to Morrison, he has nearly passed every test given to him. However, many boxing commissions are not convinced he was negative at all and still caries the HIV antibodies based on his original test taken in Nevada in 1996.
The part of this ordeal which convinces Morrison and many others, that testing positive for HIV may have been some sort of conspiracy against him, is the fact that the Nevada boxing commission no longer has his original test results from 1996. What happened to them? How can a document of such importance just disappear? Well, Tommy Morrison has requested those documents or any documents that state he is HIV positive from the commission since 2000, and he has yet to recieve them.
Whether you believe Tommy Morrison is HIV positive or not, something stinks to the high heavens about this. Is it possible that the test was a simple mistake? Doctors make mistakes all the time. Labs can be negligent and make mistakes as well, or is there something more sinister going on. The fact is one test changed his life forever. He went from a star to prison in a matter of four years. His livelihood was taken from him because of negligence or a possible conspiracy. When people hear the word “conspiracy,” people tend to take the popular stance, and look at you as if you are just crazy. However, boxing is known for bad decisions, fixed fights, greedy promoters, and bad politics. Maybe it is a stretch to call this a conspiracy, but if your Tommy Morrison and you have questions that are not getting answered or avoided, should he feel otherwise? This is a man who has been betrayed by so many in boxing, even by members of his own team.
As a boxing fan, I would like to see some closure about Tommy Morrison’s HIV status. I think boxing fans should demand the truth when something smells sour. Is it too much to ask, to see actual proof either way. It is pretty hard to discredit his story when commissions don’t do what it takes to prove without a doubt he is HIV positive.
When thinking of Tommy Morrison, I think of a tragic figure. A fighter that could have been so much more, but his potential was ripped away from him, and now he is not only fighting for a check but for redemption as well. Although, like many of his planned fights, this fight in February may get scratched as well. In world of Tommy Morrison, the fight is not a sure thing until the opening bell rings.