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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Big fight facing big turn-off
Organisers will keep Tyson and Lewis apart before their 8 June fight
Organisers will keep Tyson and Lewis apart pre-fight
The heavyweight showdown between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson may take place in front of a below-capacity crowd in Memphis.

Against all expectations, fight organisers have had trouble shifting seats for the 8 June bout at the Pyramid Arena, which holds 20,000.

And Lewis' team have been forced to return nearly half of the 6,000 tickets allocated to them for tour operators because British fans do not want to travel.

Many have been distracted by the World Cup and Jubilee celebrations.

Since Lewis and Tyson arrived in Memphis on Friday there has been a growing concern that neither boxer is doing all he can to ignite pre-fight interest.

Lewis was given a ticker-tape welcome but disappointed the crowd by saying: "This is the only time you'll get to see me live in Memphis."

Tyson arrived by private jet and refused to answer questions. His handlers now say he will not attend a press conference and workout on Tuesday.

If the American does not show up, there is a real chance that his British opponent will also boycott scheduled appearances on Wednesday.

Lewis and Tyson have already revealed that they will not attend a head-to-head press conference and will even weigh in separately on Thursday, three hours apart.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC boxing commentator John Rawling
"Tyson's saying nothing to the media"
A look at the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight

Lewis stuns Tyson

Our man in Memphis

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