Board's Tyson hearing may result in world ban

Mike Tyson's boxing future could be decided today when the fighter's legal representatives appear in his absence at a special disciplinary hearing at the British Boxing Board of Control's office in Southwark, South East London.

Mike Tyson's boxing future could be decided today when the fighter's legal representatives appear in his absence at a special disciplinary hearing at the British Boxing Board of Control's office in Southwark, South East London.

Tyson has been called to appear under article 25 of the Board's disciplinary regulations to answer questions of misconduct in the ring during and after his fight against Lou Savarese in Glasgow on 24 June. If he is found guilty and a ban is imposed it will be upheld throughout the world.

The fight ended in controversy, like so many of Tyson's previous encounters, when the British referee, John Coyle, appeared to slip after a glancing blow from Tyson caught his left shoulder as he struggled to stop the fight and rescue Savarese in the first round.

The ugly mêlée in the ring is just one of the charges that Tyson's legal team will have to face today behind closed doors. The other charge relates to the boxer's adrenalin-charged interview in the ring at the fight's conclusion when he made several references to eating the children of Lennox Lewis, the most widely recognised of the current world heavyweight champions.

"We understand that a substantial legal team will represent Mr Tyson and every effort will be made to attend to the business in one day, but if a second day is necessary a future date will be arranged and agreed," confirmed Simon Block, the Board's general secretary.

Tyson's comments, which were no worse than many of the things he has said in the past and tame compared to the utterances of boxing's real bad boy, Sonny Liston, provoked outrage which seemed to genuinely shock the boxer. In America Tyson's outbursts no longer reach the sports pages and in Glasgow it was clear he was trying to shock.

The tangle in the ring could have, and should have, been avoided. First, the referee in a Tyson fight always grabs Tyson at the conclusion and not the stricken opponent. This is unconventional, but tried and tested and when Coyle reached for Savarese he made a simple mistake.

In addition, it is surely time that British referees were made to wear rubber-soled boots or trainers and not slippery leather dancing shoes.

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