Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wait, So...He Doesn't Have AIDS?

Something is amiss in the Associated Press story that started making the rounds Tuesday evening reporting that Tommy Morrison--perhaps better known (to people who prefer crappy movies about white boxers to the real thing) for playing "Tommy 'Machine' Gunn" in the Rocky no one talks about than for his boxing career--who essentially retired over a decade ago after being diagnosed as HIV-positive, has been cleared to fight in West Virginia.

The thing that's missing? No one--including Morrison--appears to be making the biggest deal in the world out of the fact that he says he's NOT HIV-positive.

In my book, that's kind of the story here, not the fact that a boxer--HIV-positive or not--is going to fight John Castle of Indianapolis at the Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort on Thursday. If Morrison is, in fact, HIV-positive, then good for him that he's fighting again. If he's lying about not being HIV-positive, then why isn't anyone looking into this? (West Virginia apparently can't, because the state doesn't require boxers to submit to blood tests, but State Athletic Commissioner Steve Allred said he reviewed Morrison's medical records and consulted with the Association of Boxing Commissions' medical review committee, for whatever that's worth.) And if Morrison was, as he claims, misdiagnosed over 10 years ago and never had human immunodeficiency virus to begin with...how could such a thing have happened, and--perhaps much more puzzlingly--why the hell is he more interested in fighting John Castle of Indianapolis at the Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort than in suing the bejeezus out of every doctor, nurse and medical receptionist he's ever come in contact with since 1996, as well as possibly their extended family members, college roommates, and mailmen?

Were I in the position that Tommy Morrison is alleging he's in, I wouldn't be saying, "I'm negative and I've always been negative and that should be the end of it," as he told the AP over the phone. My quote would read more like, "I'm negative and I've always been negative click," because I couldn't end that interview fast enough to call my phalanx of lawyers.

But that's just me. Some of us prefer winning sums of money that would allow us to start a few banana republics to getting punched in the head repeatedly, while others...well, others might be crazy liars.

[Ed note: Yes, I'm aware that AIDS and HIV are two different things; I simply felt that the inclusion of the former made for a catchier title. Sue me. Unless you're Tommy Morrison, in which case you're not really into that.]

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