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Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK


Tyson walks away with $8.7m purse

The bell rang five times before Tyson hit Norris

US Boxing authorities have decided not to punish Mike Tyson for the late punch which floored Orlin Norris and caused the former heavyweight champion's comeback fight to be ruled a no-contest.

As a result Tyson will receive the $8.7m purse from the fight, which was withheld while the Nevada State Athletic Commission reviewed the bout.

Not wanted

The commission decided not to punish Tyson but hinted strongly it might refuse to renew his Nevada boxing licence when it expires at the end of the year.

Tyson did not attend the 30-minute hearing.

The commission upheld referee Richard Steele's decision on the night to deduct two points from Tyson at the end of the first round of Saturday's fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

[ image: Norris faces surgery on his knee]
Norris faces surgery on his knee
Norris fell, dislocated his knee and was unable to continue. He received his $201,000 purse on the night of the fight but faces surgery on the injury.

Commissioners could have fined Tyson or they could have changed the decision from a no contest to a disqualification.

They decided to take no action because referee Steele ruled on the night that the left hook that dropped Norris after the bell sounded was not deliberate.

Commission chairman Dr Elias Ghanem warned Tyson's representatives his state licence may not be renewed.

"We're going to watch him closely," Ghanem said. "But I don't think he'll ask to fight here for a while."

[ image: Referee Richard Steele ruled the punch was not deliberate]
Referee Richard Steele ruled the punch was not deliberate
In contrast to the long hearings a year ago that won Tyson his licence back after his ban for biting Evander Holyfield's ears, Thursday's hearing lasted only a half hour.

Tyson's attorney, Jim Jimmerson, told the commissioners Tyson had lashed out in the "intensity of the moment".

Jimmerson also pointed out that no other fighters had been disciplined for punching after the bell.

Felix Trinidad hit Oscar De La Hoya twice after the bell in the middle rounds of their welterweight title fight last month, and was not penalised.

Tyson's promoter, Dan Goossen, said he was already looking at fixing up future Tyson fights outside Nevada.

Tyson is tentatively scheduled to fight Shannon Briggs on February 26 at Madison Square Garden.

"We were looking to take Mike out of the state of Nevada and go other places including out of the country," Goossen said. "Those plans are still on the table."

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