Glasgow's fight to host Tyson

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The Independent Online

A decision on whether Mike Tyson can fight in Scotland could be made early next week, his promoters said yesterday.

A spokesman for Sports Network, owned by the fighter's European promoter Frank Warren, said negotiations were still continuing, but should be finalised soon.

The Glasgow stadiums, Parkhead, home to Celtic Football Club, and Hampden Park are both vying for the right to stage the fight - due to take place next month - which would see Tyson facing Lou Savarese. Ibrox, the home of Rangers, was also in the running to stage the bout, but was ruled out when a suitable date could not be found.

Sports Network's spokes-man, Richard Maynard, said venues further afield were still being considered and added: "We are also looking at other venues in Europe as well so it may not take place in Glasgow. We are looking to hopefully have it finalised by the beginning of next week - Monday or Tuesday - whether he will be coming here or not."

Tyson, who has a rape conviction dating from 1992, could also face immigration problems which might prevent the fight going ahead in Scotland. Immigration laws ban foreign nationals who have convictions for major crimes from entering the country, and Tyson was only able to attend a fight in Manchester earlier this year after being given special dispensation from the Home Secretary Jack Straw.

At the time Mr Straw hinted that the permit was merely a one-off and the former heavyweight champion would be refused a work permit if he tried to fight in Britain again. The Home Office has yet to receive an application from Tyson to enter the UK, but the decision will be reached in accordance with current immigrationregulations.

The New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, issued areport yesterday with suggestions to cure some of boxing's ills. He said fighters should be ranked by only one organ-isation and have their health and finances better protected. The report called for the use of a "consensus" scoring method in which the median score of the three judges would be tabulated for each round.

If that system was already in place, Lennox Lewis would have beaten Evander Holyfield in their controversial first heavyweight bout at New York's Madison Square Garden which was ruled as a draw, Spitzer said. The decision sparked outrage and prompted calls for boxing reforms.

Spitzer's report said: "Over the decades too many professional boxers have been left destitute, penniless and punch drunk. Anti-competitive practices appear to be the norm, and professional boxers are subjected to exploitation daily."

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