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Gillian Marles reports
"The much-vaunted economic benefits have failed to materialise"
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banner Friday, 23 June, 2000, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Glasgow's Tyson bonanza falls flat
Tyson Savarese
Tyson and Savarese square up
The economic benefits of the Mike Tyson fight in Glasgow are thought to have been overstated.

Ticket sales for the controversial bout have fallen short of anticipated levels and hotels in the city have reported a string of cancellations.

When the fight was first announced it was suggested it would earn some 20m for the city - some even speculated it could generate 100m.

Home Secretary Jack Straw cited the economic benefit of the fight when he granted a visa for the convicted rapist to enter the UK.

Tyson in Glasgow
A study of spending habits during big events revealed that the most Glasgow could hope for from the fight is 3m.

But on Thursday evening it seemed Mike Tyson was doing his level best to redress the balance when he was spotted at the huge Braehead shopping centre on the edge of Glasgow.

Surrounded by security and a melee of press photographers, Tyson was seen browsing in a shoe shop.

Tyson, whose presence in Glasgow has been the source of much controversy, has stressed that he does not care about the public's perception of him.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the former world heavyweight champion and convicted rapist also admitted that he enjoyed hurting people.

The boxer's admission came as it emerged that his team was preparing legal action against a number of newspapers.

Tyson greets his fans
Referring to a friend whose funeral he had attended last week, delaying his arrival in the country, he added: "He would have wanted me to fight. He was a fan as well as a friend."

He played down talk of a possible future world title fight, saying he would take each fight as it comes.

But it was a question concerning his public image which provoked the most startling response.

"I enjoy what I do. I enjoy hurting people. I'm in the hurting business and I enjoy it. You guys enjoy coming to watch," he said.

He added that he did not care about the public's view of him, saying: "I don't like myself sometimes so I can understand why they don't like me."

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