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Tyson Might Not Receive His License


NEW YORK — Mike Tyson's chances of getting a boxing license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission have diminished considerably in the last few days because of intense pressure from the state's power brokers and the public, according to several sources.

One source said it is no better than 50-50 that the former two-time heavyweight champion will get a license when he comes before the commission Tuesday. Another source predicted Tyson won't get the license.

He needs to be licensed for a planned title match against champion Lennox Lewis, scheduled for April 6 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel.

Tyson severely damaged his case last Tuesday when he initiated a brawl at a news conference here to promote the fight.

Lewis' handlers claim Tyson bit the champion on the thigh.

On the same day, a Las Vegas police lieutenant, concluding an investigation into charges Tyson sexually assaulted a woman in his Las Vegas home in September, said, "There is probable cause to believe a crime has occurred."

Until the latest wave of negative publicity, it was assumed the commissioners, representing a state that has been suffering economically since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, would not stand in the way of a fight that could bring tens of millions of dollars into the local economy.

No one involved in the decision-making process wished to be quoted in order to maintain a sense of open-mindedness heading into the hearing.

But, according to one source, leaders of the gambling industry, the most powerful lobby in the state, have indicated to commissioners that they do not regard a Tyson fight as a make-or-break event for the local economy.

When Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ears in their 1997 heavyweight title rematch, the commission took Tyson's license away for 18 months.

Only Luther Mack is still around from that five-man commission. The new members are Amy Ayoub, listed as a political consultant; Flip Homansky and Tony Alamo, both physicians; and John Bailey, an attorney. Tyson needs the approval of three of the five.

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