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Saturday, February 6, 1999 Published at 11:59 GMT

World: Americas

Tyson jailed over road rage

Tyson is led to jail after being convicted for the assault

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has been jailed for one year for assaulting two motorists in a road rage attack.

Dionne Shury: "Many are predicting that his career is now over"
Tyson lashed out after his wife's Mercedes was involved in a three-vehicle crash in Maryland last August.

Judge Stephen Johnson said the boxer had demonstrated ''potentially lethal road rage".

Nick Bryant: "Tyson could have his licence revoked"
But the Brooklyn-born boxer intends to appeal, his lawyers said.

The court was told that Tyson punched a 62-year-old driver of one of the cars and kicked another man in the groin after the accident in the Washington suburb of Gaithersburg.

'Time bomb'

In a memo to the judge, prosecutor Douglas Gansler called Tyson "nothing less than a time bomb".

[ image: Heavyweight champion: Tyson in happier times]
Heavyweight champion: Tyson in happier times
Judge Johnson handed out a two-year sentence, with one year suspended. He also fined Tyson $5,000 dollars and placed him on two years' probation after his release.

Tyson was led away in handcuffs after the three-hour hearing. His wife, Monica, watched on in tears.

The 32-year-old, still on parole for a 1992 rape conviction, had pleaded no contest to two charges of second-degree assault at an earlier hearing.

Indiana authorities must now decide whether the boxer should face an additional sentence for violating his parole, which was due to expire in March.

Licence at risk

Tyson's victims in the road rage attack, Abmielec Saucedo and Richard Hardick, have settled out of court.

Prosecuting lawyer Douglas Ganslar: "Recent rape conviction"
Their lawyers said both men had been ready to tell the judge that Tyson should not go to jail.

But the assault could cost the boxer his boxing licence for the second time in less than two years.

It was revoked after he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear during a title fight in 1997.

Tyson's boxing advisr, Shelley Finkel, said: "If it were anyone but Mike, it wouldn't be an issue. It's a shame."

The hearing is the latest controversial note to Tyson's career. As a juvenile he had several brushes with the law and in 1992 he was convicted of rape.

Tyson made his latest comeback last month, beating Francois Botha.

'Waiting to explode'

Boxing promoter Frank Maloney said that Tyson was a "human time bomb waiting to explode".

Frank Maloney and Barry McGuigan discuss Mike Tyson
"I'm not sure jail is the best place for him. I think jail will be the final nail in his coffin," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He's anti-society. More than being locked up I think he needs help."

Former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan said he felt sorry for Tyson.

"I think it will be the final curtain for him becasue the guy's very unstable," he said.

"It puts me in mind of the former champion Sonny Liston and we all know what happened to him. He ended up dead."

He added that people will remember Tyson "as one of the best heavyweights ever".

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