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Fight promoter Frank Warren
"The public are the people who matter - and they were entertained"
 real 28k

Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 09:23 GMT
Tyson: The fans' verdict

Tyson keeps it short and sharp

Fans gave a mixed reaction after watching Mike Tyson's first ever fight in the UK, a boxing match big on hype but short on rounds.

Alan Gorringe, 32, from London said: "It was a great fight. It was really value for money and Tyson was at his best.

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"I am a Brit and really you've got to support Francis but it was great to see Tyson in the ring. He is a brilliant fighter."

But while a combined purse of around £5m for four minutes work - about £20,576 a second - represented good value for the two boxers, some of those in the audience at Manchester's MEN arena were left feeling a little short changed.

Paul Southwell, 31, from Yorkshire, said: "We all knew what was going to happen, it was a waste of time.

"I paid £100 apiece for four tickets and it was all over in five minutes."

Mr Southwell said: "We wanted to see Tyson and for the five minutes that he was on it was a good fight but he's only in it for the money."

You know that you have to be patriotic and support Francis but he was crap
Fight fan Hazel Meigh
Others, though, felt they had got their money's worth.

Administrator Karen Waterman, 30, of Lancashire, had been to the fight with her husband Wayne.

Mrs Waterman said: "Tyson was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I paid £75 and it was worth every penny. I was really cheering him on."

Her husband, Wayne, 34, said: "I have never seen Tyson box before and it was an amazing experience, absolutely fantastic.

"He could have knocked him out in the first round and it would still have been worth every penny."

Francis was knocked down twice in the opening round and fell to the floor three times in the second before the referee declared the contest over.

He could have knocked him out in the first round and it would still have been worth every penny
Wayne Waterman
The British fighter was surprisingly booed by many home fans as he made his way back to the dressing room.

Hazel Meigh, 28, of Stoke, said the fight was a farce.

She said: "It was over far too early, you know that you have to be patriotic and support Francis but he was crap.

"I liked Tyson, he is a great fighter, but I really felt that as a British person I should be supporting Francis."

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See also:
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson wastes little time
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Victorious Tyson waits for Lennox
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Picture gallery: Tyson floors Francis
30 Jan 00 |  Sport
Tyson v Francis: Punch by punch

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