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My 1,000
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Date: Jun 13, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:53 - 222.7 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Mike Tyson called it quits on June 12 after losing to unheralded Irish fighter Kevin McBride in the latest of his comeback debacles. Tyson, 38, threw in the towel at the end of the sixth round of his fight and admitted he didn’t “have the fighting guts anymore”. The loss is his third in his last four bouts, all against unknowns, and must surely signal the end for the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He was a shadow of the aggressive powerhouse that intimidated and hurt opponents in his glory days. His once legendary aura of invincibility had all but completely vanished against McBride.

In a news conference after the fight a dejected Tyson declared: “This is it. I’m finished.…It’s just not in my heart. I’m just not interested in fighting anymore.” He took his defeat on the chin and announced a change in direction – missionary work. However, he filed for bankruptcy in August 2003 and still has debts of $30 million. With the creditors snapping at his heels, it may not be too long before he is forced back into the ring. Unfortunately, he may end up becoming more of a well paid circus performer than a boxer. Regardless, the $5 million bonanza he earned for his six rounds against McBride will help ease the pain a little.

WARM-UPS

1. CALL IT QUITS: Have you ever called it quits? Are you a quitter? Do you hang on in there ‘till the very end or do you fall at the first hurdle? Talk with your partner(s) about the times you have quit something. Is there anything you want to quit now? The following ideas may be helpful in your conversations:

  • A job
  • Smoking
  • Studying
  • A relationship with someone
  • Trying to please other people
  • Trying to be a better person
  • Trying to lose weight
  • Other

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Mike Tyson / boxing / comebacks / guts / champions / glory / chins /
missionary work / debts / circus performers / pain

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

3. BOXING: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with boxing. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. 2-MINUTE BOXING DEBATES: With a partner, engage in these fun 2-minute debates. Students A firmly believe in the opinions on the left, Students B support the opinions on the right. Change partners often.

  1. Boxing is the world’s most exciting sport. vs. Most of the time boxing is boring.
  2. Boxing is degrading to humans. vs. Boxing is a sport full of passion.
  3. Boxing is a blood sport. vs. People love to see raw aggression and blood.
  4. Mike Tyson is bad for boxing. vs. Boxing needs controversy and newsmakers.
  5. $20 million for one fight is too much. vs. The boxer works hard and suffers pain.
  6. Boxing should be banned. It’s too dangerous. vs. People die in other sports too.
  7. Mike Tyson should stop now. vs. Mike Tyson should keep going – he’s an entertainer.
  8. Women should never be allowed to box. vs. It’s fantastic that women box.

5. CHAMPIONS: Is Mike Tyson the greatest boxer ever? Who is? Talk with your partner(s) about the greatest ever boxing and other sporting champions. Who is the greatest sportsperson ever from your country? Who is the greatest sportswoman ever? Who is the greatest world sportsperson ever? Change partners and compare the people you talked about with your first partner(s).


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Mike Tyson has thrown in the towel on his boxing career.

T / F

b.

Mike Tyson lost a fight to the heavyweight champion of the world.

T / F

c.

Mike Tyson said he didn’t have the guts to fight any more.

T / F

d.

Tyson was a shadow of his former self in his most recent fight.

T / F

e.

Tyson is quitting boxing due to heart problems.

T / F

f.

He wants to become a missionary.

T / F

g.

Tyson owes his creditors $300 million.

T / F

h.

He may be forced to box again to pay off his debts.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

unheralded

indestructibility

b.

debacles

chasing him

c.

threw in the towel

spooked

d.

intimidated

crestfallen

e.

aura

quit

f.

invincibility

unpredicted

g.

dejected

payout

h.

bankruptcy

atmosphere

i.

snapping at his heels

insolvency

j.

bonanza

fiascos / fiascoes

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

called it

days

b.

threw in the

at his heels

c.

glory

towel

d.

once legendary aura

on the chin

e.

all but completely

bonanza

f.

He took his defeat

quits

g.

filed for

vanished

h.

creditors snapping

the pain

i.

$5 million

of invincibility

j.

help ease

bankruptcy

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WORD ORDER: Put the underlined words back into the correct order.

Defeated Mike Tyson quits boxing

Mike Tyson quits on it called June 12 after losing to unheralded Irish fighter Kevin McBride in his latest comeback of the debacles. Tyson, 38, towel in the threw at the end of the sixth round of his fight and admitted he didn’t “have the fighting guts anymore”. The loss is last his third in his four bouts, all against unknowns, and must surely end for the signal the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He was aggressive of a shadow the powerhouse that intimidated and hurt opponents in his glory days. His once legendary aura of invincibility vanished completely all had but against McBride.

In a news conference after the fight a dejected Tyson declared: “This is it. I’m finished.…It’s heart my not in just. I’m just not interested in fighting anymore.” He took chin the defeat on his and announced a change in direction – missionary work. However, bankruptcy filed he for in August 2003 and still has debts of $30 million. With the heels creditors at his snapping, it may not be too long before he is forced back into the ring. Unfortunately, becoming may he up end more of a well paid circus performer than a boxer. Regardless, the $5 million bonanza he earned for his six rounds against McBride will pain a little help the ease.

 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘quit’ and ‘boxing’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. WORD ORDER: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT BOXING SURVEY: In pairs / groups write down questions about boxing.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • quits
  • debacles
  • towel
  • signal
  • shadow
  • aura
  • dejected
  • chin
  • direction
  • snapping
  • end up
  • bonanza

 DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What was your initial reaction to this headline?
  2. What adjective(s) describe your feelings about this story?
  3. What do you think about boxing?
  4. What do you think about boxers?
  5. Why do you think people want to fight in the ring?
  6. Why is a boxing ring square?
  7. Do you respect Mike Tyson for keeping going at the age of 38?
  8. How does boxing compare with other combative sports like karate, K1, Thai boxing, sumo, etc?
  9. Have you ever thrown in the towel?
  10. What would you do if you changed direction in your life?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Are you interested in boxing news?
  3. Are you interested in news of Mike Tyson’s latest controversies?
  4. Would you like to take up boxing?
  5. Do you like watching grown men punch each other?
  6. What do you think of women’s boxing?
  7. Do you think boxing should be banned?
  8. Is $5 million too much to give Mike Tyson for losing a fight?
  9. Should Mike Tyson hang up his gloves for good or keep fighting?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

SPORTING SAFETY: You are on the panel of the Safety in Sport Committee. It is your job to (1) identify the dangers involved in two sports and (2) recommend safety measures to lessen those dangers. Discuss your ideas with fellow panelists and write them in the table. Students A talk together about boxing and tennis, Students B talk about soccer and marathon running.

SPORT

DANGERS

SAFETY MEASURES
 

Boxing

Tennis

 

SPORT

DANGERS

SAFETY MEASURES
 

Soccer

Marathon running

Change partners so that Students A talk to Students B. Put forward your ideas for increasing the safety of the sports you discussed earlier. Give each other feedback on the practicality of your recommendations. Are they good or bad? Will they be accepted within the sport?

Return to your original partners and discuss and agree on any revisions you made.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Defeated Mike Tyson quits boxing

Mike Tyson ______ __ _____ on June 12 after losing to unheralded Irish fighter Kevin McBride in the latest of his
______ ________. Tyson, 38, threw in the towel at the end of the sixth round of his fight and admitted he didn’t “have the fighting guts anymore”. The loss is his _____ __ ___ ____ ____ bouts, all against unknowns, and must _______ ______ ___ ____ for the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He was a shadow of the aggressive powerhouse that ___________ ___ ____ opponents in his glory days. His once legendary ____ __ __________ had all but completely vanished against McBride.

In a news conference after the fight __ _________ ____ _______: “This is it. I’m finished.…It’s just not in my heart. I’m just not interested in fighting anymore.” He took his ______ __ ___ ____ and announced a change in direction – missionary work. However, he ____ ___ _________ in August 2003 and still has debts of $30 million. With the creditors ________ __ ___ ______, it may not be too long before he is forced back into the ring. Unfortunately, he may end up becoming ____ __ _ ___ ___ circus performer than a boxer. Regardless, the $5 million bonanza he earned for his six rounds against McBride will ___ ____ ___ ____ a little.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on the Mike Tyson. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. CALL IT QUITS: Write an account of a time you called it quits and threw in the towel. How long and how hard did you try? Was it an easy or difficult decision to quit? How do you feel now about your decision? Relate your story to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you have similar feelings about calling it quits?

4. A LETTER: Write a letter to Mike Tyson. Tell him what you think of his decision to call it quits and what he should do from now. Read your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

unheralded

unpredicted

b.

debacles

fiascos / fiascoes

c.

threw in the towel

quit

d.

intimidated

spooked

e.

aura

atmosphere

f.

invincibility

indestructibility

g.

dejected

crestfallen

h.

bankruptcy

insolvency

i.

snapping at his heels

chasing him

j.

bonanza payout

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

called it

quits

b.

threw in the

towel

c.

glory

days

d.

once legendary aura

of invincibility

e.

all but completely

vanished

f.

He took his defeat

on the chin

g.

filed for

bankruptcy

h.

creditors snapping

at his heels

i.

$5 million

bonanza

j.

help ease

the pain

WORD ORDER:

Defeated Mike Tyson quits boxing

Mike Tyson called it quits on June 12 after losing to unheralded Irish fighter Kevin McBride in the latest of his comeback debacles. Tyson, 38, threw in the towel at the end of the sixth round of his fight and admitted he didn’t “have the fighting guts anymore”. The loss is his third in his last four bouts, all against unknowns, and must surely signal the end for the former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He was a shadow of the aggressive powerhouse that intimidated and hurt opponents in his glory days. His once legendary aura of invincibility had all but completely vanished against McBride.

In a news conference after the fight a dejected Tyson declared: “This is it. I’m finished.…It’s just not in my heart. I’m just not interested in fighting anymore.” He took his defeat on the chin and announced a change in direction – missionary work. However, he filed for bankruptcy in August 2003 and still has debts of $30 million. With the creditors snapping at his heels, it may not be too long before he is forced back into the ring. Unfortunately, he may end up becoming more of a well paid circus performer than a boxer. Regardless, the $5 million bonanza he earned for his six rounds against McBride will help ease the pain a little.

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