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Saturday, September 19, 1998 Published at 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK


Tyson begs for his fighting future

Mike Tyson claimed he bit Holyfield's ear in retaliation for a head-butt

Down to his last few million dollars, the enigma that is "Iron" Mike Tyson will beg for the right to fight again on Saturday.

Tyson, 32, will plead for his licence before the same panel which threw him out of the fight game last year for biting a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear. He was also fined $3m.

The man, who became the youngest undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1986, is seeking reinstatement from the Nevada Athletic Commission.

'Tyson could fight abroad'

Shelley Finkel, who has replaced Don King as Tyson's adviser and promoter following a public falling-out with the electric-haired impresario, says Tyson could fight abroad if he is refused his licence back.

Finkel said: "I have loads of offers and I've turned them all down so far.

"I don't know what I'm going to do if he isn't licensed, though. His financial situation is very bad and he needs to fight."

After his release from prison in 1995 Tyson earned $100m in the ring prior to his suspension after the second Holyfield fight.

Holyfield ready to get it on again

If he gets his licence back Tyson could be fighting again before the end of the year and there will be an inevitable clamour for Tyson-Holyfield III. Holyfield, who fights Vaughn Bean in Atlanta this weekend, has forgiven Tyson and is willing to fight him again.

[ image: Evander Holyfield has forgiven Tyson]
Evander Holyfield has forgiven Tyson
Rejection would mean at least another year on the sidelines in Nevada, home of the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas, and those states which honour the suspension.

It could even raise the prospect of Tyson and his advisers applying for a licence to fight in Britain. Promoter Frank Warren is known to have made tentative enquiries about linking up with Team Tyson.

Last month Tyson showed signs that the tension was getting to him when he began swearing during another licence hearing in New Jersey. He had to be calmed down by his lawyer, Anthony Fusco Jr.

Tyson has since withdrawn his licence application with the New Jersey authorities.

Facing fresh criminal charges

He also has criminal charges hanging over him after he allegedly attacked two men after a car accident last month in Maryland.

A conviction could threaten the probation he was placed on after his release from an Indiana jail, where he served three years for raping a beauty queen.

Chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission, Dr Elias Ghanem, said: "Mike Tyson will have to rise to the occasion during his licensing because it's going to be a test of what kind of person he is.

"The whole issue is his temper and self-control."

'He must live by the rules'

"Everything that has happened since we revoked his license we have to find out about.

"He'll have to prove to the commission he has rehabilitated and he can live by its rules and regulations."

Tyson, who has been seeing a psychotherapist in a bid to control his temper, needs at least three votes from the five-member commission and the burden of proof is on him.

On Thursday he appeared at a lunch honouring Mr Ghanem and Nevada Governor Bob Miller and was seen shaking several commission members' hands.

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