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Boxing; Tyson prepares to leave gaol and return to the ring

MIKE TYSON is set for release from gaol in Maryland after his latest brush with the American legal system ended abruptly yesterday. Following a series of violent outbreaks that came perilously close to ending his career, he now has another chance to re-establish himself in the ring.

A judge in Indiana has ended his period of probation for a 1992 rape conviction, clearing the way for his release from a gaol on another conviction, with the release date set for no later than 4 June. The former world heavyweight champion had already been given parole by the authorities in Maryland on Friday. He had been sentenced to one year in prison there for assaulting two men after a traffic incident.

The Indiana judge made the decision on Friday, but it was only announced yesterday. Tyson's lawyers argued that the gaol time that Tyson had served for the Maryland conviction also counted as punishment for violating his parole in Indiana.

"Our number one reason for release is to assure that Mr Tyson will integrate safely into society and follow the general rules of his parole," the Maryland authorities said in a statement. "He needs to be supervised and held accountable to public standards of conduct." If Tyson had served out his whole sentence in Maryland, he would then have been put on probation, which is less stringent than parole. He will now be on parole until September, and then on probation for another two years.

Shelley Finkel, Tyson's advisor, has said he wants the boxer back in action in August, perhaps against Axel Schulz. Tyson, however, is still said to be taking anti-depressants to keep his mood stable.