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Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK


Tyson ready for ring return

Orlin Norris squares up to Mike Tyson at the weigh-in in Las Vegas

Mike Tyson makes the latest in a string of comebacks in the ring on Saturday, when he takes on journeyman Orlin Norris in a heavyweight clash in Las Vegas.

The troubled former world champion, whose career has been blighted by controversy, goes back into the ring for the first time since a four-month prison term for assault.

But despite his chequered past - which includes another jail sentence for rape and the infamous "ear-biting" incident in a world title fight with Evander Holyfield - Tyson is determined to recapture his reputation as the "baddest man on the planet".

"I'm bringing some pain, baby," promised Tyson, who returns to action after a nine-month absence.

Tyson weighed in at 223 pounds for his scheduled 10-round fight, while Norris - a former cruiserweight world champion - registered 218 pounds.

Hot favourite

Despite his long lay-off, 33-year-old Tyson is a 9-1 favourite to beat Norris, 34.

[ image: Mik Tyson needs to get his faltering career back on track]
Mik Tyson needs to get his faltering career back on track
'Iron Mike' looked sloppy in his last fight, against South African Francois Botha last January, but he came through with a fifth-round knockout to take his career record to 46 victories and three defeats - with 40 of those wins inside the distance.

At one stage in jail his weight ballooned to 280 pounds, but after shedding some 60 pounds, , Tyson and his trainer Tommy Brooks say the once undisputed heavyweight world champion is ready to begin the climb back to the top.

"Mike's in tremendous, tremendous shape," Brooks said. "He has built up the muscles in his shoulders and put a lot of hours in.

"What we're doing this week is rebuilding his confidence to where he can say 'I'm Mike Tyson, and I'm the baddest man on the planet.'

"There's never been a question in our minds about the outcome of this fight," Brooks continued. "There isn't going to be a decision. What we're working on, Norris can't escape."

Little big man

Norris, though, is unconcerned about being cast in the role of support player for the Tyson circus and insisted he revelled in the role of underdog.

[ image: Orlin Norris: Determined to take his chance in the limelight]
Orlin Norris: Determined to take his chance in the limelight
"You know what, this is nothing new for me," said the 5ft 10ins fighter.

"I've won 50 fights and lost five, but most of the time I've been in this position, so it's nothing new and it doesn't really mean anything.

"I've fought a lot of big guys. Everybody said 'Oh, no, Tony Tucker, Greg Page, they're going to kill him.'

"And I win. It gives me an advantage, because it always makes you feel stronger to have people say, 'Golly, he did it. I can't believe he did it. That little guy did it.'"

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