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 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 10:59 GMT
Reality TV show 'plans Tyson fight'
Mike Tyson
A member of the public could fight former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson in a proposed new US reality TV show, it has been reported.

California production company Triage Entertainment is in talks with the boxer's managers to finalise an agreement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Several US networks are said to have shown interest in the programme, which plans to feature an ordinary man as he is put through intense boxing training before the fight.

Evander Holyfield
Tyson bit off a piece Evander Holyfield's ear
Tyson, who served three years in jail for rape in the 1990s, is infamous for biting off part of Evander Holyfield's ear during a professional fight.

Last year he was denied a boxing licence in Nevada after attacking British boxer Lennox Lewis during a press conference.

The fight eventually was staged in Memphis in June, with Lewis easily defeating Tyson to keep the world title.

Celebrity matching

This week Tyson agreed to pay his second wife $6.5m in future earnings as part of a divorce settlement. That figure will rise to $9m if he fails to pay on time.

Tyson will return to the ring on 22 February when he takes on Clifford Etienne. It will be his first fight since losing to Lewis.

Bovey, left, and Gervais
Bovey and Gervais fight was a ratings winner
Recent boxing shows have been big ratings winners in the US.

The Fox network had a huge success last year with Celebrity Boxing.

Matches included a bout between disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Paula Jones, who accusations of sexual harassment against former US president Bill Clinton sparked the scandal which eventually led to his impeachment.

A charity boxing match between The Office star Ricky Gervais and Anthea Turner's husband Grant Bovey was also a ratings winner for the BBC over Christmas.

Former pop star Tony Hadley is in training to face BBC reporter John Pienaar in the corporation's next celebrity boxing bout, due to take place next month.

See also:

15 Jan 03 | Entertainment
08 Jan 03 | Entertainment
19 Dec 02 | Entertainment
09 Jun 02 | Lewis v Tyson fight
22 Jan 02 | Boxing
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