Boxing: Georgia on Their Minds, but Iron Mike's Camp Is a Finkel Thing; Mike Tyson Is Still Looking for the Right State Even Though He Has Now Be Granted a Licence. Richard Gibson Reports

The Birmingham Post (England), February 14, 2002 | Go to article overview

Boxing: Georgia on Their Minds, but Iron Mike's Camp Is a Finkel Thing; Mike Tyson Is Still Looking for the Right State Even Though He Has Now Be Granted a Licence. Richard Gibson Reports


Byline: Richard Gibson

Despite being granted a licence to fight in the state of Georgia, Mike Tyson's team are still exploring other avenues for the proposed clash with world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Alternative possibilities in either California or Texas - where licences have also been sought - were being pursued by Tyson's manager Shelly Finkel. A fortnight ago when the Nevada State Athletics Commission denied Tyson a licence to box, it was generally accepted that other states would follow suit.

But Georgia's break from the unwritten rule may now encourage others to entertain the idea of hosting the showdown.

Although yesterday's announcement puts Atlanta's Georgia Dome on course to host the high-profile bout in June, Tyson's publicist Michael Smith said 'that has been thrown out there, but there is no credibility in it yet'.

Smith added: 'As far as a date and a venue go, nothing has been officially confirmed.'

Britain's 36-year-old Lewis was scheduled to defend his WBC and IBF titles against Tyson in Las Vegas on April 6. But that original match, marred by an ugly brawl at the publicity launch, was scrapped due to the Nevada decision that Tyson was not fit to fight.

Following yesterday's events, Lewis and his manager Adrian Ogun - neither of whom were available for comment - will doubtless be monitoring developments closely.

Lewis' former manager Frank Maloney suggested Georgia - where the only requirement to gain a licence is to be medically fit and yet where one-legged cruiserweight Craig Bodzianowski got his hands on one in the 1980s - was trying to place itself on the boxing map. …

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