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Tyson Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Tyson flies into Glasgow
Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson arrived in Britain last weekend
A handful of fans gathered to see boxer Mike Tyson fly into Glasgow days before his controversial fight.

His plane touched down at the city's airport shortly after 2030BST on Wednesday.

The convicted rapist's arrival at his Glasgow hotel was relatively low key. Flanked by heavy security, he stopped to speak to onlookers and sign autographs.

Earlier on Wednesday Tyson was given the all-important licence to take part in the fight.

Licence granted

The British Boxing Board of Control granted the certificate - but speculation continues over the former world champion's fragile psychological state.

The board's general secretary Simon Block confirmed Tyson had "fulfilled his requirements and been granted a licence to box subject to the usual pre-contest medical".

This case was very high profile and there were some specific reports which needed to be addressed, but we are satisfied

Simon Block, board of boxing
The announcement gave an effective all-clear to his contest with Houston's Lou Savarese at Hampden Park on Saturday.

Worries had been expressed that Tyson may not be granted a licence because of medication he was believed to be taking.

Mr Block said: "Mike Tyson has had to comply with the same requirements as every other overseas boxer on the bill. This case was very high profile and there were some specific reports which needed to be addressed, but we are satisfied."

The controversial heavyweight boxer was originally due to set foot on Scottish soil for the first time around lunchtime on Wednesday.

But his entire schedule has been disrupted, partly due to his late arrival in the UK after he attended a friend's funeral.

Over 40,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's fight which has been the subject of furious debate in recent weeks.
Mike Tyson
Tyson talked to customers at their tables
Tyson increased the confusion and speculation surrounding his own state of mind when he cancelled a scheduled workout to be watched by invited members of the media at his Grosvenor House Hotel training base in London's Park Lane.

But shortly before it was due to begin, the boxer's team decided a closed session was to take place instead.

Tyson's team insisted there was no ulterior motive for such a move and stressed that there was no danger of the fight not going ahead.

"We made a team decision that we wanted to keep everything under wraps. We've got a special surprise for Mr Savarese," said Tyson's trainer, Tommy Brooks.

Four-day delay

Tyson arrived in Britain on Sunday night, four days later than originally planned, because he wanted to attend the funeral of a close friend who was murdered in New York's Bronx.

Brooks said it was only natural that Tyson's mental state would be affected by such an event.

"He had a good friend that passed away and Mike's human, the guy was real close to him," said Brooks.

"It's like having a brother or sister or mum or dad pass away. It's hard to deal with.
Savarese
Lou Savarese arriving in Glasgow
"It takes a while but he's a professional athlete. He's signed on the dotted line and he's here to take care of business. He's here to honour his contract.

"We wouldn't be here if the fight wasn't going through. I think Mike is a lot more confident in what he is doing than before. We're getting back to the basic fundamentals and that's the key to Mike Tyson now."

Promoter Frank Warren said Tyson looked in "great shape" on video footage he had watched of the fighter training in America.

Shortly after the session was cancelled, Tyson was spotted walking through his hotel lobby, wearing a Scotland football jersey.

The boxer made a brief appearance outside his London hotel on Monday night.

The 10-round bout cleared a major hurdle on Friday when Glasgow City Council granted a safety certificate for the venue.

Home Secretary Jack Straw granted Tyson a visa for the fight despite political opposition and protests from women's groups.

Tyson in Scotland
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15 Jun 00 | Sport
19 May 00 | Scotland
20 May 00 | Scotland
30 Jan 00 | Sport
16 Jun 00 | Sport
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