Boxing: Sick Tyson is forced to pull out of fight

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The Independent Online

Mike Tyson's bout against Clifford Etienne in Memphis on Saturday is off because the former world heavyweight champion has been suffering from diarrhoea during the build-up to his first fight since he was beaten by Lennox Lewis in the same city last June.

The fight appeared in doubt when Tyson missed his scheduled flight from Las Vegas to Memphis, but fight organisers hoped he would travel later. However, that plan fell through. A spokesman for the promoters said that, according to his trainer, Tyson was still in bed suffering only half an hour before the plane had been due to leave.

Tyson's preparation has also been hit by the departure of his close friend and fitness trainer, Jeff Fenech, who said: "I had to make a stand, for myself and for him. We worked so hard early and now it has all been wasted by Mike having the last four or five days off out of seven. I don't believe he'll fight on 22 February."

The postponement will surely curtail any hopes he has of taking part in a planned rematch with Lewis this summer.