Nevada officials deny Tyson new license

Mike Tyson has been denied permission to fight heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in the state of Nevada.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Las Vagas:

Mike Tyson's challenge for Briton Lennox Lewis' world heavyweight crown won't be happening in Nevada. The Nevada State Athletic Commission yesterday turned down Tyson's application to renew his boxing license in the state, just a week after Tyson-Lewis bout -- expected to be worth up to $40 million -- was announced for the Las Vegas MGM Grand on April 6. The announcement in New York last week was marred by a melee involving Tyson and a profanity-laced outburst from the former world champion. But the commission, in voting 4-1 to deny his application to renew, cited not only the press conference fracas but other Tyson indiscretions dating back to the infamous Bite Fight of June 28, 1997 when Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ears. "I'm not Mother Teresa," a grey-suited and subdued Tyson said. "But I'm also not Charles Manson." But commissioner Amy Ayoub voiced concern that Tyson, whose license was revoked after the biting incident and reinstated 15 months later, had shown a "pattern of uncontrollable violence". She cited his last fight in Las Vegas, when he hit Orlin Norris after the bell to end the first round. Norris fell awkwardly and injured his knee and the fight was ruled a no-contest. In the wake of that 1999 fight Tyson's Nevada license was allowed to lapse. Commissioner John Bailey also brought up Tyson's fight against Lou Savarese in Scotland, when Tyson failed to stop punching when the referee stepped in to end the bout – and was felled by a blow from Tyson. (PTI)