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Tyson's license revoked

Boxer fined $3 million for biting Holyfield's ears

July 9, 1997
Web posted at: 1:17 p.m. EDT (1717 GMT)

LAS VEGAS (CNN) -- Nevada boxing regulators revoked Mike Tyson's boxing license Wednesday and fined him a maximum $3 million for twice biting Evander Holyfield's ears.

Tyson was not present when the Nevada Athletic Commission handed down its decision.

Poll: Do you agree with the commission's ruling?

"We must take the most stringent action available to us," Dr. Elias Ghanem, the chairman of the commission, said just prior to the vote. "That is my personal view."

Tyson is allowed to reapply for his boxing license a year later and each year afterward, leaving him no guarantee the Nevada State Athletic Commission would ever let him box again.


Other states would be required by a new federal law to honor Nevada's revocation, meaning the profession that has made Tyson $140 million during the last two years could be in jeopardy.

It is possible Tyson could still fight overseas while trying to get his license back, but while he's on probation for a rape conviction he may not get permission to leave the country. The probation lasts until March 1999.

Tyson bit Holyfield's ears before being disqualified after the third round of their June 28 heavyweight title fight. A week ago, he made a public apology and asked to be allowed to fight again.

Nevada senior deputy attorney general Gordon Fink urged the commission to revoke Tyson's license and enforce the maximum fine of 10 percent of his $30 million purse.

"Suspension in this case -- no matter how long -- would not be enough," Fink said amid a packed Las Vegas City Hall council chambers

Tyson, 31, had been expected to personally plead for his boxing career before the commission. But early Wednesday, Tyson flew to New York from Las Vegas on a TWA flight.

Tyson was not required to attend Wednesday's hearing. His lawyer Oscar Goodman said he recommended the boxer not to attend.

Holyfield's lawyer Jim Thomas testified before the commission, saying that his client had forgiven Tyson and did not want to punish him. Holyfield was in South Africa and could not attend the hearing.


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