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"Mike Tyson is so fast and so powerful that it is almost impossible to resist the guy's punching power. Wherever he hits you, you're going to feel it. He reminds me maybe of George Foreman, but Tyson's much faster than Foreman. He reminds me in style of Rocky Marciano, but he's much faster than Marciano, and he's much bigger, 217 pounds. And he's faster and much more powerful than Joe Frazier, with a better hook. I really have no one to compare him with in terms of punching power."

~ Jose Torres , NY Boxing commisioner

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Mike Tyson News: Tyson avoids jail with plea bargain

Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 @ 13:47:01 UTC by tysonian

NEW YORK- Mike Tyson avoided a return to jail Thursday by agreeing to plead guilty to disorderly conduct in a brawl with two men outside a Brooklyn hotel last year.

The former heavyweight champion's lawyer, Mel Sachs, called the agreement a "fair and equitable resolution of this matter."

Tyson was at the Brooklyn courthouse during the negotiations, appearing relaxed as he flipped through a catalogue of boxing memorabilia or read the newspaper.

Under the agreement, he will perform 100 hours of community service, teaching and instructing children in boxing, Sachs said. Once that is completed, other charges will be dropped.

Tyson initially was charged with assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. He had faced up to a year in jail if convicted.

The 37-year-old Tyson was arrested after an early morning brawl with Samuel Velez and Nestor Alvarez-Ramos, who allegedly threatened him last June while the boxer awaited a ride to the airport.

Velez and Alvarez-Ramos are awaiting trial on charges of menacing Tyson before the fight began.

In December, a judge rejected Tyson's bid to have the case thrown out and ordered him to go on trial. Attorneys for Tyson had argued he was acting in self-defense when he battered the pair.

Sources: ESPN and MSNBC.

More quotes and pictures available in the extended section of this post (click 'Read More' below).

Tyson agrees to plea deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct instead of assault for his part last year in a Brooklyn hotel brawl.

The case had appeared set to go to trial when last-minute settlement negotiations broke down on Thursday morning, but just as jury selection was about to begin in Brooklyn criminal court, Tyson struck a plea deal.

The trouble-prone Tyson agreed to 100 hours of community service -- lecturing, training and instructing at Gleeson's boxing gym in Brooklyn and undergoing counselling. He also took responsibility for his actions.

"On June 21st 2003 I was in a situation and engaged in conduct very disorderly," Tyson told Brooklyn criminal court judge John Carter.

If Tyson completes his community service and counselling in accordance with the agreement, he will plead guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct, a lesser charge than three counts of assault the prosecution originally filed.

Tyson, 37, was charged with assaulting Samuel Velez and Nestor Alvarez last June at the Marriott Hotel after the pair approached the ex-champion for an autograph. Tyson pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault.

Velez and Alvarez are charged with menacing and harassing Tyson. They pleaded not guilty. Their case was scheduled to go to trial later this year.

Settlement negotiations had been under way for more than a month and a last-minute round of talks earlier on Thursday appeared to have been the last chance to break the impasse, but then prosecutors and Tyson's lawyers made a breakthrough.

"I'm happy with the outcome of the whole situation," Tyson told reporters outside the court.

Tyson has had several highly publicised run-ins inside and outside the ring. He served three years in prison for the 1991 rape of a former beauty queen and was suspended from boxing after he bit the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield in a 1997 heavyweight title bout.

source: reuters

Mike Tyson enters the criminal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his attorney, Mel Sachs, left, Thursday, Feb. 26.

Mike Tyson enters criminal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004, for jury selection in his assault case.

Mike Tyson, center, and his attorney Mel Sachs, center right, exit criminal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004.

Mike Tyson leaves criminal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004.

Tyson's community service at Gleason's Gym

February 27, 2004 - Mike Tyson is scheduled to perform community service where he used to train for fights. In order to avoid jail time in connection with a tussle with two taunters at a Brooklyn hotel last summer, the former heavyweight champion will put in 100 hours of work at the legendary Gleason's Gym. Although the details of Tyson's activities are still being worked out, the gym's owner, Bruce Silverglade, provided Fightnews with some idea of what Tyson will be doing.

"I thought it would be great if he could work with kids, giving them pointers on boxing and just talking with them about the good points and bad points of boxing," Silverglade said. The gym already has a developmental program, Gleason's Athletic Program, for young people aged 8 to 16, and Silverglade says he would like for Tyson work through that. The district attorney and Tyson's attorneys are going to review the program.

Silverglade believes boxing has been and can be "beneficial for a lot of people." He says he gets frequently gets calls from school counselors and parole officers asking him to work with people they feel are facing trouble. He says others have performed community service through the gym, but "no one of Tyson's stature" has previously done so. However, he noted, Gleason's has "many big names - boxers, actors, politicians - coming in and out everyday, so Tyson will be one more big name among many."

Silverglade is not yet sure when Tyson will begin his 100 hours, but he did say he expected them to be spread out over six months rather than run concurrently over two and a half weeks.

Tyson is one of more than 100 champions to have trained at Gleason's. The gym first opened in the Bronx in 1937 and fighters such as Jake LaMotta, Mike Belloise, Phil Terranova, Jimmy Carter and Carlos Ortiz trained at that location. Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) trained for his first fight with Sonny Liston there. In 1974, the gym moved to Manhattan and became the base for champions and contenders such as Roberto Duran, Vito Antuofermo, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Wilfred Benitez, Hector Camacho, Julio Cesar Chavez and Gerry Cooney. The gym has been in Tyson's home borough, practically beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, since 1984. Iran Barkley, Riddick Bowe, Camacho, Arturo Gatti, Junior Jones, Kevin Kelley, Buddy McGirt, Tyson and Zab Judah are among the prominent pugilists who have trained, or still train, at the current site.

Gleason's has a tradition of serving the community. For example, its Give a Kid a Dream program lets underprivileged kids train at the gym without paying dues. Soon after September 11, 2001, Silverglade and Steve Farhood of Showtime's ShoBox organized an event that raised $50,000 for the Twin Towers Fund, which had been set up to assist the families of New York City uniformed services members who lost their lives on 9/11.


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