The Super Bowl commercial that had Mike Tyson singing the Michael and Son jingle also starred some local talent: a bartender from Madam’s Organ (2461 18th St. NW).
Sam Crossed, who works at the Adams Morgan bar and moonlights as a real-life professional boxer, is the man laid out by Iron Mike in the 30-second advertisement.
“It’s almost like I hit the lottery, honestly,” Crossed said of his big role.
When his fight promoter told him he’d star in a local commercial, Crossed said he was skeptical at first.
“I said yeah, bullsh-t, I’ll believe that when I’m in the ring with Mike Tyson,” Crossed said. “This is too good to be true.”
Though his sparring match with Tyson’s son Amir lasts just under 15 seconds on-screen, Crossed said he spent more than seven hours throwing mock punches and moving around.
“It probably took longer than that,” Crossed said. “It’s funny because … say you do one take perfectly but somebody else messes up, you have to do it again. You have to take 20 shots for every scene.”
Tyson’s faux knockout blow alone took upwards of an hour to shoot, Crossed added.
“You can tell that Mike Tyson has been getting paid to punch people for the past 20 years,” Crossed joked. “He was so good at it. The gloves grazed my lips.”
Crossed said that, at one point, the director actually told Tyson to hit him for real.
“He hits me in the side of the head but he pulls up just enough [that it didn’t connect],” Crossed recollected. “I could feel it whizzing by my face when he threw the punch. He’s still got some power.”
When the ad aired for the first time on Sunday night, Crossed was a at a bar in Baltimore with a few friends.
“As soon as it came on, my buddies started yelling,” he said. “Within probably 10 seconds … I had 50 text messages on my phone.”
Going forward, the bartender-slash-boxer plans to use his newfound stardom to his advantage any way he can.
“It’s not going to hurt my career, that’s for sure. I got to do a commercial with Mike Tyson. I can’t ask for anything more than that,” Crossed said. “I’ll be able to show that to my grandkids in 50 years.”
Crossed’s next professiomal fight takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Feb. 27.
Crossed photos by Daniel Cork and Dusty Harrison, screenshot via Youtube