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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Officials block Tyson fight
Mike Tyson
Tyson's mental state was questioned by the NJ board in 1998
Mike Tyson's hopes of fighting at the Meadowlands in New Jersey this summer have been quashed.

The former world heavyweight champion, in partnership with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, had agreed to appear on the undercard at the Continental Airlines Arena on 21 June.

However, The Star-Ledger of Newark has reported that any request Tyson makes for a New Jersey boxing licence will be denied by Governor James E McGreevey.

"The administration had some issues with it and asked [NJ Sports and Exposition] not to pursue it," McGreevey spokesman Micah Rasmussen told the newspaper.

NJ Sports and Exposition CEO George Zoffinger described the decision as a "disappointment", estimating that Tyson could have made $1m for the state, excluding revenue generated from parking, hotels and other sales.

"He's had two fights in the last year without incident," said Zoffinger.

"I thought that was enough to prove he's okay, but others think otherwise, so we decided this time we'll pass."

The initial announcement had angered lawmakers.

Democratic Senate President Richard J Codey told the athletic control board that the boxer had shown no evidence that he had in any way "improved his atrocious behaviour".

Gary Shaw, a former athletic board member who represents Tyson, claimed the decision unfairly targeted the boxer, describing it as a "double standard".

Tyson last fought in New Jersey in 1990, and has not sought a state license since 1998.

At that time, he cursed state officials when they questioned whether he was mentally fit to fight, and later withdrew his application.




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