- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Former two-time heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will be coming to Washington to fight Irish heavyweight Kevin McBride on June 11 in a Showtime pay-per-view event at MCI Center, sources close to the promotion confirmed yesterday.

On Sunday, the negotiations involving local promoters and Tyson’s representatives bogged down, and the entire event was in doubt. However, by yesterday the parties appeared to come together and are ready to announce Tyson’s return to the ring, sources said.

A noon press conference has been scheduled today at Lincoln Theater to announce the fight against unheralded McBride (32-4-1 record and 27 knockouts), sources said. Former District boxing promoter and entrepreneur Rock Newman, who is believed to be involved in financing for the fight, would say only that the press conference was “to discuss the future of Mike Tyson.”

Newman did say several groups were involved in that future, including Peake Management Group, the sports management firm that includes Newman, Nate Peake and Jeff Fried; the Stuckey Group; and Raging Promotions, the local boxing promotional firm run by Marty Wynn and former women’s boxing champion Isra Girgrah.

Women’s boxing champion Laila Ali, who fought at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie in July in a Raging Promotions event, also is scheduled to be on the card.

Tyson has been in town for several days, sources said, getting the medical tests necessary to renew his boxing license in the District. He had been granted a license by the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission in 2002 during talks for Tyson to fight Lennox Lewis in Washington. Instead, that fight took place in Memphis, Tenn.

The bout against Lewis was supposed to take place in Las Vegas, but Tyson got into a brawl with Lewis at the New York press conference announcing the fight, and the Nevada Athletic Commission — which already had stripped Tyson of his boxing license in June 1997 when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ears in their second fight — told Tyson he was not welcome to fight in Nevada.

Tyson (50-5, 44 knockouts) has not fought since being knocked out in the fourth round by journeyman British heavyweight Danny Williams in July 2004. He injured his left knee in that fight and required surgery. He has been working out recently in a Phoenix gym with former featherweight champ Jeff Fenech serving as his new trainer.

The former heavyweight champion, who reportedly earned more than $300 million in the ring, is fighting to reduce his debt of nearly $40 million since filing for bankruptcy last year. Tyson has not been world champion since he lost the World Boxing Association title to Holyfield in November 1996.

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