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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 20:48 GMT
Tyson fight 'back on'
Mike Tyson
Tyson's scheduled bout with Lennox Lewis is now in doubt
Mike Tyson's cancelled bout with Clifford Etienne could still take place, according to the former world heavyweight's manager Shelley Finkel.

The event was called off on Monday, after the 36-year-old pulled out citing flu and stomach illness.

The move cast severe doubt over his planned rematch with current world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in the summer.

But on Tuesday, Finkel said Tyson had changed his mind and the fight would now take place as scheduled.

"He woke up today and called and said, 'I want to do it,"' Finkel told the Associated Press. "He's leaving today."

The latest news follows a series of bizarre twists.

Reports had been circulating over the last couple of days that all was not well in the Tyson camp and fears heightened after he missed a scheduled flight from Las Vegas to Memphis on Monday.

Tyson's close friend and fitness trainer Jeff Fenech had already flown home to Australia after stating that Tyson had missed several days' work in the last week.

I'm hopeful the fight can be rescheduled soon

Mike Tyson
"I'm sorry to let down all my fans in Memphis and around the world," Tyson earlier said in a statement.

"But I am not 100% and I do not want to perform at less than that.

"I've been in bed with the flu the last five days and I'm hopeful the fight can be rescheduled soon."

Tyson's trainer Freddie Roach gave the decision his full backing.

"It's in his best interests not to fight," said Roach. "If he's not 100% or at least close to it, he shouldn't fight, because if he loses to a guy like Etienne, it's over."

Should the fight take place, Etienne is not expected to present much of a problem for a fit Tyson, who is a 7-1 favourite for the bout.

See also:

13 Jan 03 | Boxing
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