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Sunday, 18 June, 2000, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Tyson flies in to controversy
Mike Tyson
Women's groups wanted the fight called off
Boxer Mike Tyson has arrived in Britain on Sunday ahead of his controversial fight in Scotland this month.

Women's groups - angry that the convicted rapist has been allowed into the country for a second time - will demonstrate when the boxer travels to Glasgow for his bout with fellow American Lou Savarese.

He is now a Muslim, he is trying to be a good Muslim and therefore the Muslim community will respect him for that

Bashir Maan
Glasgow Central Mosque
Tyson, 33, had been due to fly into London several days ago but delayed his arrival so he could attend a friend's funeral.

The boxer and his entourage arrived at Heathrow Airport on Sunday evening. Tyson will spend a few days training in London before travelling north.

Tyson's only previous fight in Britain was against Julius Francis in Manchester at the start of the year, when he defeated the British heavyweight inside two rounds.

Like the Francis fight, the 10-round bout at Hampden Park on 24 June has been dogged by controversy.

It only cleared its final hurdle on Friday when Glasgow City Council granted a safety certificate for the venue.

Earlier, Tyson's promoters fought off a legal challenge from women's rights campaigners.

Tyson vs Francis
Tyson demolished Julius Francis in four minutes
Home Secretary Jack Straw granted Tyson a fight visa despite political opposition and protests from women's groups.

But members of the Glasgow-based Rape Crisis Centre mounted a legal challenge, calling for a judicial review.

However, their request was rejected at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The fight promoters have reduced the stadium capacity for the fight to 51,800 after failing to sell all 60,000 tickets.

But there is interest in the fight from Glasgow's Muslim community.

Bashir Maan, of Glasgow Central Mosque, said: "People do realise that he is a convicted rapist, but they also realise that he has repented and that he has changed his ways.

"He is not the same Tyson that he was eight years ago.

"He is now a Muslim, he is trying to be a good Muslim and therefore the Muslim community will respect him for that."

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See also:

15 Jun 00 | Sport
Warren dismisses Tyson doubts
19 May 00 | Scotland
Women plan Tyson 'confrontation'
09 Jun 00 | Sport
Tyson drugs demand
05 Jun 00 | Scotland
Tyson promoter wants expenses
02 Jun 00 | Scotland
Tyson visa challenge fails
22 May 00 | Scotland
Tyson fight gets dirty
20 May 00 | Scotland
Tyson ticket hotline inundated
11 Jan 00 | Sport
The life of Iron Mike
30 Jan 00 | Sport
Tyson in the ring
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