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The BBC's Andrew Cassell
"The event is the hottest ticket in town"
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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"They call boxing the fight game and this contest is undoubtedly creating a fight"
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Friday, 19 May, 2000, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Women plan Tyson 'confrontation'
Mike Tyson
The boxer has again sparked extreme reactions
Women's groups are planning to disrupt Mike Tyson's visit to Scotland for a fight at Hampden Park in Glasgow next month.

The decision by Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to allow the boxer, who was convicted of rape in 1992, back into the UK, has prompted an angry reaction from politicians and pressure groups.

Leading women's rights activist, Rosina MacRae, said opponents were already making plans to express their anger.



Allowing a convicted rapist to fight there damages the reputation of Scotland as well as the stadium

Fiona McLeod, SNP
"There is no doubt that the women's groups in Glasgow are discussing at the moment how we are going to mount a protest at this.

"There certainly will be a public demonstration and opposition and there will be confrontation at the Mike Tyson fight, if it does take place in Glasgow," she said.

Co-promoter Frank Warren named Hampden, Scotland's national stadium, as the venue for the 24 June match.

Newly-redeveloped Hampden was saved from financial disaster earlier this year by a rescue package which included 2.75m from the Scottish Executive.


David Taylor
David Taylor: We didn't chase the fight"
The Scottish Football Association, which operates Hampden, said the issue of Tyson's entry into the UK was a matter for politicians.

At a heated news conference, chief executive, David Taylor, said: "The decision was made on the basis of the commercial imperatives for this stadium.

"We, along with a number of other stadia, put forward proposals. We certainly didn't go chasing the fight.

"We have a facility here that people want to use, it's just first-class. So therefore, the promoters felt this was the place to look to come."

"This is the type of major event which will put Hampden on the map and there are very few events of this magnitute in the sporting calendar."

The event was described as "a showpiece for the stadium and the city of Glasgow".

Economic benefits

Tyson and his entourage have already been booked into Glasgow's Hilton Hotel.

In granting Tyson access, Mr Straw said he took into account the economic benefits such a major sporting occasion would bring to Glasgow and Scotland.

The Scottish National Party's call for a judicial examination of Mr Straw's decision has been ruled out by Acting First Minister, Jim Wallace.


Hampden Park
SFA: "Hampden must pay"
The SNP's sports spokeswoman, Fiona McLeod, and her fellow MSP, Gil Paterson, have tabled a new motion in parliament condemning the Scottish Football Association.

Ms McLeod said: "It is disgraceful that the SFA have sided with Mike Tyson, and against the clear wishes of the Scottish Parliament and people.

"Hampden is Scotland's national stadium - allowing a convicted rapist to fight there damages the reputation of Scotland as well as the stadium."

Tyson will square up to 34-year-old Italian-American fighter Lou Saverese, who has won 36 of his 39 bouts.

Entertainment licence

Before the fight can be staged, Glasgow City Council must grant an entertainments licence.

The authority is coming under pressure from members of the Scottish Parliament and others to reject the application when it is considered.

John Mason, an SNP member of Glasgow City Council who sits on the licensing committee, said he would be opposing the application.


Glasgow Council chambers
Glasgow councillors have a vital role
"We are trying to move against violence, and especially stamp out violence against women, and for someone to come with his reputation to Glasgow I think does no good for the city whatsoever," he said.

But BBC Scotland's political staff say refusal would be extremely difficult because councillors cannot consider moral objections.

Co-promoter Frank Warren said more than 15,000 applications for tickets had already been received. Hampden has a standard seating capacity of 52,046.

Tyson is at the centre of a new controversy, after allegations that he hit a topless dancer at a night club in Las Vegas. The boxer's camp has strenuously denied the claims.

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See also:

19 May 00 | Scotland
Hampden named as Tyson venue
18 May 00 | Scotland
Tyson cleared for UK fight
18 May 00 | Scotland
Full text of Straw's decision
11 Jan 00 | Sport
The life of Iron Mike
30 Jan 00 | Sport
Tyson in the ring
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