Legal fight in N.J. may await Tyson


Published: July 11, 2004

Jul. 5, 2004

The chaos might be gone, but Mike Tyson’s days in court probably aren’t.

A Tyson fight in the legal ring looms in New Jersey, where the governor came out of the grandstands and said he would try to bar Tyson from any state-funded arenas.

“In 20 years of licensing, the governor has never been involved with any other person,” Tyson adviser Shelly Finkel said last week as the former heavyweight champ celebrated his 38th birthday after a workout at Central Boxing in Phoenix.

Gov. James McGreevey jumped into the headlines within hours after the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board licensed Tyson, who at news conference in Louisville, Ky., last week vowed an end to the chaos that has surrounded him.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher joined the chorus when he ripped his state commission for licensing Tyson to fight Danny Williams on July 30 at Louisville’s Freedom Hall.

Fletcher said he was trying to protect “the image of Kentucky.”

Kentucky didn’t do much to protect Greg Page in March 2001, when he was seriously injured in Erlanger, Ky. There was no ambulance nearby. Most commissions mandate one be waiting in the parking lot.

Page nearly died; his head injuries have done more damage to Kentucky’s image than Tyson ever will.

Nonetheless, Fletcher undercut McGreevey by acknowledging that Kentucky’s licensing of Tyson was legal.

Norm Frauenheim