And we were all so very fascinated and easily won over by boxer Tommy Morrison and his many eccentricities…
The serial bedding of women, the pet mountain lions and leopard, the tattoo of Elvis on his butt that he gave a closeup of to Channel 9’s Karen Kornacki.
Then there was the episode in Springfield where Morrison and his entourage befriended a college kid late one night at a bar and ended up shaving off his eyebrows and cutting a hair highway down the middle of his head.
Or so we thought at the time.
Syndicated radio personality and KC export Erich Mancow Muller saw through all of that and into Morrison’s darker side.
He was a young man who hid behind a smile and acted nice enough when needed but in reality was little more than a vile, evil sociopath.
“He seemed like really dumb kid with a violent undertone,” Mancow says. “People kept telling me this guy was gonna be a big star because he had been cast in a Sylvester Stallone movie. Not just any Stallone movie but a Rocky movie. I mean, look at what happened to Mr. T, a bouncer from Chicago after he was in Rocky 3. We all thought Tommy might be the next big deal.
“I interviewed him several times and found him completely charmless. And some of the stories that I heard about him from various women, all by the way unsubstantiated, were pretty vile. I was hitting the clubs and DJing at the same time he was out carousing. I was single and loved the ladies as much as any guy. I wasn’t exactly a feminist but the stories about Tommy were brutal.
“Seems he had real anger issues. I hope He has finally found peace. Then there was the story about him having AIDs. Still very mysterious to me when he got diagnosed. This was when we really didn’t have a grasp of what it was. He claimed he was misdiagnosed or something. This was because he wanted to fight. He was on my radio program several times denying he had AIDS.
“Really though, what keeps coming to my mind today is: what a waste. Such big dreams such potential what a waste. But to me even when he smiled there was always an undercurrent of nastiness.”
A dark undercurrent many of us seemed to miss while reveling in Morrison’s boxing successes and over-the-top idiosyncrasies.
“Look, I was a kid and those Rocky movies were huge,” Mancow muses. “When we heard about this real boxer being cast it was wild. I thought, he must be pretty special. He was younger than me! A kid! Then I met him and Thought, ‘He has very little personality. What am I missing?’ And as it turns out his movie career didn’t happen. I just saw darkness. A big, corn fed goofy smile is what others saw but I just saw darkness.”
Off the record: