Boxing: Tyson faces threat of 20 years in jail

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The Independent Online
MIKE TYSON faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading "no contest" to two assault charges. The former world heavyweight champion's plea, which stemmed from a traffic accident in a Washington suburb on 31 August, is not an admission of guilt.

It does mean, however, that Tyson could be punished with 10 years in prison for each count when the judge, Steven Johnson, sentences him in January.

Tyson said he was neither promised leniency for his plea nor any special treatment in sentencing. He also said he was aware the plea could affect his probation status from a 1992 rape conviction, for which he served three years in prison. His probation period from the rape sentence ends in March.

Abmielec Saucedo and Richard Hardick reached an out-of-court settlement with Tyson to avoid a civil suit after claiming the fighter kicked and punched them after the traffic incident. "He admits to losing his temper on the side of the road," said Tyson's attorney, Paul Kemp.

Tyson had no comment on the case, but said he plans to make his return to the ring in a fight next year against South Africa's Francois Botha. He had his boxing licence revoked by Nevada officials in July of last year after biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during their world title fight.

Mike Callahan, the manager of the Ulsterman Eamonn Magee, yesterday lodged an official complaint with the Commonwealth Boxing Council following his boxer's controversial one point defeat by Paul Burke on Monday. Burke, from Preston, won the Commonwealth light-welterweight title in Manchester, but there was heavy criticism of a 115-114 verdict by the referee, John Keane.

"The decision has been made and you have to accept it but, as I expected, the outcry has been immense," said Callahan. "As Eamonn Magee's manager I am obliged to lodge this complaint and seek... a rematch."

The British Boxing Board of Control secretary, John Morris, who acted as Commonwealth supervisor, admitted that he, too, was surprised by the verdict.

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