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Tuesday, October 13, 1998 Published at 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK


Sport

Tyson 'mentally fit to box' again

Tyson: Seeking a return to the ring

A long-awaited psychiatric report into Mike Tyson's mental health says that the former world heavyweight champion is "fit to box again."

However, the study also reveals Tyson has been suffering from depression and recommends that he undergo psychotherapy.

The report, which was made public on Tuesday, followed a psychological evaluation which Tyson was ordered to undergo as part of his application to the Nevada state Athletic Commission to regain his boxing licence.

Tyson had earlier lost a legal battle to prevent the report being released before his appearance before the commission next Monday.

Depressed

The report reveals much about the boxer's state of mind at the time when he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear in a world title fight in June 1997 - the incident which cost Tyson his licence .


[ image: Holyfield's ear after the biting incident]
Holyfield's ear after the biting incident
Tyson told the psychiatrists that when he fought Holyfield he was very depressed because of personal and financial problems and was feeling betrayed by "people I would have died for."

The report also portrays him as lacking in self-esteem and depressed to the point that he has been taking anti-depressant drugs in the months following the Holyfield fight.

"I have no self-esteem, but the biggest ego in the world," Tyson told the psychiatrists.

The document reveals Tyson felt embarrassed and humiliated by having to undergo the psychological tests and was concerned that people would think he was "psycho."

Tyson 'remorseful'

However, it concludes the former heavyweight boxing champion is "fit to box again."

It says Tyson is deeply remorseful for biting Holyfield and is highly motivated not to repeat any such behaviour in the ring.

"We believe that the risk of such a re-offence is low," the report said.

The report recommends that Tyson undergo psychotherapy and that his problems with depression and self-esteem can be treated without any further medication.

Tyson's lawyer, Jim Jimmerson, earlier described the report as positive and said it showed that Tyson was mentally and physically able to fight.



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