Tyson likely to fight in Manchester

Mike Tyson apparently will fight Julius Francis, the British Commonwealth champion, on January 29 at Manchester, England.

Mike Tyson apparently will fight Julius Francis, the British Commonwealth champion, on January 29 at Manchester, England.

The fight is all but signed, a boxing source said today, speaking on condition of anonymity.

This would be Tyson's first fight since his one-round no-contest with Orlin Norris on October 23 at Las Vegas. It would also be his first outside the United States since he lost the undisputed heavyweight title when he was knocked out in the 10th round by James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo in 1990.

The site for the 10-round bout would be the MEN Stadium in Manchester.

Francis, who turned 35 today, has a 21-7 record, with knockouts. He has won his last three fights, all defenses of the British title he won in 1997.

In two fights before those three victories, he lost a 12-round decision to Axel Schulz on February 29, 1998, in Germany. He was stopped in the second round by Vasili Klitschko April 18, 1998, in Germany.

Tyson (46-3, 40 knockouts) fought only twice in 1999. He knocked out Francois Botha on January 16 at Las Vegas and knocked down Norris with a head blow after the bell. Norris injured his right knee after falling and could not continue. The fight was a no-contest because referee Richard Steele ruled the punch after the bell was an accidental foul.

After the Norris fight, the Nevada State Athletic Commission let it be known it would like to see Tyson fight elsewhere.

Lennox Lewis, of Britain, the undisputed heavyweight champion, has said he would like to defend against Tyson.

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