Published: March 9, 2005
Mike Tyson’s manager,
Shelly Finkel, said yesterday that he hopes to arrange another comeback
fight for the former world heavyweight champion and was looking at MCI
Center as a possible venue. But Finkel acknowledged that the bout has
not been finalized and an opponent has not been chosen.
Tyson would also need to be granted a license by the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission. He has not yet applied for one.
“Nothing has come to our attention,” said Arnold McKnight, a D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission member.
Tyson, who lives in Phoenix, appeared at a popular
music festival in Rome last week and said he would fight in Washington,
according to a report by Reuters news service. Tyson turns 39 on June
30 and has not fought since being stopped in four rounds by British
journeyman Danny Williams last July.
“It looks that way,” Finkel said when asked if rumors about the fight at MCI Center were true. “He’s in good shape.”
Tyson has flirted with fighting in Washington in the
past. In 2002, Finkel attempted to engineer a championship bout between
Tyson and titleholder Lennox Lewis for the city after Tyson was denied
a license in Nevada.
Citing Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction and his biting
off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a 1997 bout, the D.C. Boxing
and Wrestling Commission held a public hearing on whether the fighter
should be licensed in the city.
Area religious leaders, feminists and the Greater
Washington Board of Trade lined up against Tyson, but, after a raucous,
decidedly pro-Tyson public hearing and a four-hour psychological
examination, the commission voted to approve the license.
The fight, however, wound up in Memphis, and Lewis dominated before Tyson was counted out on one knee in the eighth round.
As with all D.C. boxing licenses, Tyson’s 2002
license was good for one year, so Tyson would have to reapply. If he
did, the commission would carefully consider the application.
“After we get together with our legal and our
advisory arm, we would proceed with caution,” McKnight said. “We’d be
concerned about the well-being of the fighter. He hasn’t fought in a
while. We’d err on the side of safety. . . . We’ll move forward to
what’s best for the city and the fighter.”
Finkel said yesterday that Tyson’s prior experience
with the commission paved the way for him to consider the fight in
June. “They licensed us and they’ve been nice to us,” he said.
Tyson could not be reached for comment.
Finkel said that June 25, an open date at MCI Center, would be the potential fight date.
“We have had a number of discussions with boxing
promoters for possible upcoming events, but we have no agreements,
contracts or confirmed dates at this time,” said Matt Williams, a
spokesman for Washington Sports and Entertainment, which operates the
Several boxing Web sites have reported Tyson (50-5)
would face journeyman Bob Mirovic, provided the Australian fighter wins
a bout Saturday night in Germany. Finkel said Mirovic is not being
considered for Tyson, but declined to name other potential opponents.
Tyson, one of the most devastating punchers in boxing
history, became the youngest heavyweight title holder at age 20 when he
knocked out Trevor Berbick for the WBC crown in November 1986.
After unifying the division’s three principal
championship titles, Tyson gained universal acclaim by knocking out
undefeated Michael Spinks in one round in June 1988.