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Tuesday, October 20, 1998 Published at 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK


Bugner targets Tyson

Mike Tyson: Bugner's next opponent?

Veteran world champion Joe Bugner has put himself in line to fight Mike Tyson.

World Boxing Federation title-holder Bugner first mooted the idea of a head-to-head with Tyson when he beat James Bonecrusher Smith in July to become the oldest champion ever at the age of 48.

Following Tyson's successful re-application for a licence to box on Monday, Bugner has reiterated his intention to seek a fight with the troubled former world champion.

Bugner, born in Hungary and now based in Australia after moving from England several years ago, earned jeers rather than plaudits after beating Smith via a second-round technical knockout.

But he believes he is a big enough draw in his new homeland to attract Tyson down under.

"I'm able to attract enough people in this country (Australia) to make it pay," he said.

"But what's even better is that now I'm a world champion the fight will attract satellite coverage as well."

Tyson makes comeback

Tyson told the Nevada Athletic Commission that he had suffered enough for biting Evander Holyfield's ear during a title fight last year.

The Nevada Athletic Commission gives its decision
He said he needed to box to make a living.

The commission voted four-to-one to restore the fighter's licence in the state.

Barry McGuigan: "The man deserves another chance..."
"I want to warn you, from my view, this will be your last chance," Commission Chairman Elias Ghanem told Tyson.

"You will either conduct yourself in accordance with our rules and regulations, or you will probably never fight again in Nevada."

Muhammad Ali and basketball legend Magic Johnson testified on the boxer's behalf, saying that despite his problems, Tyson should be allowed to return to the ring.

Support from Ali

"There are only a few punishments worse than being denied a right to make a living," Ali said in a statement read by his wife, Lonnie.

The BBC's Kevin Geary: "Tyson's emotional inadequacies were stripped bare"
Ali was banned from the sport for three and a half years for refusing military induction.

Tyson told the officials that he was humiliated by the hearing and the psychological tests they required him to undergo last month.

"Please don't torture me any longer, sir," Tyson said. "I made a mistake. Other fighters have made more.

[ image: Mike Tyson:
Mike Tyson: "I'm so sorry I screwed up"
"I'm just a human being trying to live my life."

Tyson said he has no one to blame but himself for biting Holyfield.

But he reitterated that the assault happened because he believed Holyfield was headbutting him.

Tyson also denied accusations that he punched and kicked two men after a motoring accident in Maryland in August.

"I'm not going to kill anybody. I'm not a mass murderer," Tyson told the commissioners when asked about his ability to control his temper.

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